Day Trip 2

Day Trip 2

Oudtshoorn – Schoemanshoek – Prince Albert – De Rust

Your journey start in Oudtshoorn – Get on the road and take the R328 through Schoemanshoek. Karusa Vineyards are situated 15 km from town along this route. Things to do: Taste superb wines and handcrafted beer; eat at the deli or relax on the stoep…

From here onto the historic and scenic Swartberg Pass. The pass is 27 km long and considered one of the most spectacular mountain passes in the world – an gravel road winds to the summit 1 583 meters above sea level in steep zigzags and sudden switchbacks with breathtaking views at every turn. The turn-off to the remote Gamkaskloof is near the summit of the pass. Things to do: hike or cycle down the mountain; bring your own picnic; breakfast at the old Toll House; visit Gamkaskloof.

Picturesque Prince Albert lies at the foot of the Swartberg Pass. Things to do: wine tasting; Gay’s Guernsey cheese; ghost walks; olives; mohair products; indigenous seeds.

Take the R407 towards Beaufort West and at the N12 T- junction turn rigt towards Klaarstroom and through Meiringspoort with its incredible passageway of various towering sandstone cliffs that pierce the heart of the Swartberg Mountain Range. The plant life on the mountains is exceptional, including species such as mountain Fynbos, Renosterveldt, Karoo veldt, Spekboom, Aloes, Proteas and the well-known Pelargonium zonale, the ancestor of all Geraniums, which was first collected during 1689 in Meiringspoort.

Visit De Rust for Klein Karoo hospitality and Excelsior-Vlakteplaas Muscadel. Things to do: glass products, antiques, art gallery; donkey car rides; waterskiing; fishing; hiking; red hills; history. Stop at Doornkraal for their Tickled Pink sparkling or some fortified wines Things to do: Browse through the country shop with lots of local goodies. Find wines from all the cellars in the Klein Karoo at cellar prices. A Klein Karoo wine shop!

Spend an unforgettable day in the Klein Karoo

Distances: Oudtshoorn through Schoemanshoek to Prince Albert (66 km) – Prince Albert to Klaarstroom (52 km) – Klaarstroom to De Rust (22 km) – De Rust to Doornkraal (13 km) – Doornkraal to Oudtshoorn (23 km). Round trip is 176 km.

Reasons to visit Schoemanshoek

Schoemanshoek is filled with adventure activities. Things to do include hugging, riding or feeding an ostrich; stroking a cheetah; diving with crocodiles; feeding an elephant; riding a camel; Cango Caves; ostrich products; hot air balloon; game viewing; mountain biking; absailing; Klein Karoo food and wine.

Local tourism information

To find out more about Schoemanshoek, places to stay, where to eat or to get the contact details of the activities mentioned, please contact the Oudtshoorn Tourism Bureau.

Oudtshoorn Tourism Bureau E-mail: info@oudtshoorn.com
Website: www.oudtshoorn.com

Reasons to visit Prince Albert

Prince Albert is a delightful South African village in the Karoo known for its sun-ripened fresh and dried fruit, especially figs and apricots. The town enjoys a superb climate, a high sunshine index and spectacular night skies. Karoo lamb, olives, olive oil and cheese are local delicacies.

Culture and history

Fransie Pienaar Museum

Prince Albert’s story from prehistory to today, including the Anglo Boer War, the gold rush, building the Swartberg Pass and distilling witblits – www.princealbert.org.za

Prince Albert Gallery

Regular exhibitions by South African artists, sculptors, ceramicists and photographers. Website: www.princealbertgallery.co.za

Olives

Nature 

Cape Nature

Cape Nature is responsible for the management of two of the Klein Karoo’s largest wilderness areas, namely the Swartberg Nature Reserve, which includes the remote Gamkaskloof, or “The Hell” and the Gamkaberg Nature Reserve – a succulent botanist’s dream destination in the Red Mountain Range. Website: www.capenature.co.za

Gamkaskloof

Also known as “The Hell”, is a fascinating valley near Prince Albert, where a small, proud community lived in isolation for more than 100 years. Access to Gamkaskloof is 15km from Prince Albert, near the summit of the Swartberg Pass. Visitors should allow almost a full day in a sturdy vehicle to travel the 57km to the end of the valley and back. You can stay overnight but you must make a booking! Website: www.diehel.com

Renu Karoo

Indigenous seed for Karoo veldt restoration; indigenous Karoo succulents, shrubs and trees for gardens; herbs; compost. Website: www.renu-karoo.co.za

Activities 

4X4 Routes

The Klein Karoo is criss-crossed with secondary roads (dirt or gravel) which provide a large variety of interesting and scenic drives as well as the highest concentration of 4x4 routes in the country. Several options exist with differently graded routes suitable for all types of off-road vehicles and drivers with different levels of experience.

Donkey Trails

The Donkey Trail is an authentic heritage experience that takes you on an extraordinary hike over the Swartberg Mountain. Website: www.donkeytrail.com

Hiking (and cycling)

Some people just love the wide open spaces of the Klein Karoo, others appreciate the fact that they are hiking a world heritage site, still others appreciate the beauty of walking through an ecological hotspot where three plant biomes (succulent karoo, cape thicket and fynbos) converge. Website: www.capenature.co.za

Gay’s Guernsey Dairy

Cheese Gay’s Guernsey Dairy. provides farm-fresh milk, yoghurt, cream, amasi, feta and hard cheeses. Website: www.gaysguernseydairy.yolasite.com

Farmers’ Market

Every Saturday morning on the square next to the Fransie Pienaar Museum. Stallholders offer dried fruit,  homemade jams, pickles, cakes and bread, fresh fruit and vegetables. Enjoy a cup of coffee and a pancake or an early lunch at the market. Website: www.princealbert.org.za

Karoo Labyrinth

Is situated in the garden at St John the Baptist Church and has been constructed from local materials and indigenous plants. The path is defined by stones and weaves its way from the Church door towards a tree which provides shade for quiet contemplation and prayer. Website: www.storyweaver.co.za

Wolskuur Spinners

For 100% mohair hand-woven carpets, jerseys, mohair blankets and other mohair products. Website: www.karooweavery.co.za

Local tourism information

To find out more about Prince Albert and its surround, places to stay, where to eat or to get the contact details of the activities mentioned, please contact the Prince Albert Tourism Bureau.

Prince Albert Tourism Bureau E-mail: princealberttourism@intekom.co.za
Website: www.princealbert.org.za

Reasons to visit De Rust

At the foot of the Swartberg lies the natural beauty of De Rust, a little farm village with a peaceful environment. Everything about De Rust is true – true hospitality, true Karoo environment and true peace and quiet.

Culture and history

Historical Building Walking

Trail in town highlights popular building styles of the area. Visit the NG Church, Curio and Gift shops and view antiques and collectables at the Schoemans Gallery.

Nature

Animals

A large variety of animals like klipspringer, grey rhebok, kudu, dassies, baboons, caracal and Cape mountain leopard are found in this area. Some of the most primitive beetle species (Colophon spp.) in the world can be found on the peaks of Meiringspoort. An amazing collection of bird life is also found here e.g. black-, fish- and martial eagle, Cape sugarbird and pied kingfisher.

Meiringspoort

With its incredible passageway of various towering sandstone cliffs that pierce the heart of the Swartberg Mountain Range. The plant life on the mountains is exceptional including species such as mountain Fynbos, Renosterveld, Karoo veldt, Spekboom, Aloes, Proteas as well as the well-known Pelargonium zonale, the ancestor of all Geraniums, which was first collected during 1689 in Meiringspoort. Guided tours are available.

Activities

Stompdrift Dam

Offers fishing (a regular carp derby twice a year), boating, skiing, kayaking, swimming and a bird watching trip on a safari ship. Situated 6km outside of town, it is the largest dam in the Klein Karoo with a coastline of 25km.

Houseboat Cruises

Relax with a Sunset Cruise, bird watching safari or champagne breakfast on our safari ship “Stompie” – she can take up to 40 passengers. Or explore the more than 25km “coastline” of Stompdrift Dam with our luxury houseboat, Loeloeraai, for the real family treat and break-away. Website: www.stompdriftdam.co.za

Hiking Pantry and Medicine Chest

Smell and taste the plants used by the Khoisan to cure ailments. This 45 minute hiking trail will be quite an experience. Website: www.toorfontein.co.za

Local tourism information

To find out more about De Rust and its surround, places to stay, where to eat or to get the contact details of the activities mentioned, please contact the De Rust Tourism Bureau.

 

De Rust Tourism Bureau Website: www.derust.org.za

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