Port Beaufort and Witsand lie at the mouth of the Breede River on the western side of St Sebastian Bay.
Most South African towns are named after a governor or a relation of a governor and Port Beaufort is named after the Duke of Beaufort, father of Lord Charles Somerset.
Once this was a thriving little port pioneered by Benjamin Moodie, a Swellendam farmer, in 1817. He built the first stone "warehouse" here and the maritime activity flourished until the collapse of the Barry empire in 1866. The Barry enterprises had business interests in towns and villages throughout the Overberg and its insolvency affected many. Port Beaufort ceased to be a port.The old customs house is now an inn and the thatched church built in 1849 a National Monument, both a reminder of the port in its heyday.
Witsand is 3 km downstream from Port Beaufort and is a popular seaside and angling resort with wide white beaches. Commercial fishermen operate from the small harbour and visitors can, with the correct permits, pick oysters and mussels off the rocks at low tide.