It is difficult to talk about Zoar or Amalienstein separately, so interwoven are these sister Towns. They lie adjacent to one another on Route 62, they are both on the Missionary Route (that includes Mamre, Genadendal, Wuppertal, Steinkopf and Elim) and both Towns are under-explored and dependent on Tourism, for their survival.
Their History goes something like this: Zoar was the first of the South African Missionary Society's (SAMS) 'projects', established in 1817. Interestingly the Berlin Mission Society ran the Mission Station on behalf of SAMS, only to fall out over something vital enough that one of the injured parties established Amalienstein, just next door. Both Missions received substantial funding from a Baroness Amalie von Stein.
But the Towns' History goes deeper than this. The Locals 'colonized' by the Missionaries were from the Attequa tribe, descendants of the Korana (a Quena/Khoi tribe). Their Culture and way of life is fast dying with the elders of the Town, who are now trying to preserve and share what little they know as part of a 'Kannaland Storytelling Initiative' to capture, share and showcase the History they remember. These informal and off-the-cuff sessions are the best way to meet the people of Amalienstein and Zoar.
To do in Zoar and Amalienstein:
Drive into Amalienstein and visit the Church and its yellow-wood pews. The local coffee shop will also make you feel welcome or you can explore the Kanna Biodiversity Route, established by Open Africa as a way to introduce visitors to Zoar. You can also be adventurous and catch the 'Zoar Donkey Taxi', through the Village. For the Children there is a 'Land and Sand environmental excursion', with Allicatt Tours (Alistair Reizenberg), based in Zoar.