In this part of its course the river receives from the south the streams, often intermittent, which rise on the northern slopes of the Stormberg, Zuurberg and Sneeuwberg ranges - the mountain chain which forms the water-parting between the coast and inland drainage systems of South Africa.
Andrew Sparrman, the Swedish naturalist, when exploring in the Sneeuwberg in 1776, learned from the Hottentots that eight or ten days' journey north there was a large perennial stream, which he rightly concluded was the groote-rivier of Hop. The next year Captain (afterwards Colonel) R.
Bounded south, as stated, by the Zwaarteberg, further east by the Zuurberg (of the coast chain), its northern limit is the mountain range which, under various names, such as Nieuwveld and Sneeuwberg, forms the wall of the inner plateau.
Going westward from the Drakensberg the rampart is known successively as the Stormberg, Zuurberg, Sneeuwberg and Nieuwveld mountains.
In the Sneeuwberg range is Compass Berg, 8500 ft.
It rises in the Sneeuwberg north-west of Graaff Reinet, flows south-east through one of the most fertile districts of the Great Karroo, which it pierces at the western end of the Zuurberg (of the coast chain), and reaches the ocean in Algoa Bay.
Those who chose the latter alternative had to encounter the hostility of their old foes, the Bushmen, who were widely spread over the plains from the Nieuwveld and Sneeuwberg mountains to the Orange river.