Craving to explore our beautiful West Coast, our zany Mzanzitravel team, Zainab Achmat and Cheryl Pinter, hit the road again.
There is nothing better than destressing in these uncertain times, and what better way than getting out there to see new places and meet more amazing people.
We opted to make a telephonic booking at Hertz car rental on the Sunday evening to leave on Monday. It was an easy, convenient process leaving us just having to make payment on collection the next day. Tip – they don’t have an EFT facility and the card you make payment with must have your name on it. Ensure that you have amended the maximum swipe limit of the amount requested to swipe in advance.
We decided on starting our trip at the furthest point of our journey and to work our way back home. Thus, we started at Clanwilliam, a town in the Olifants River Valley in the Western Cape, about 200 km north of Cape Town. It is the seat of, the Cederberg Local Municipality.
Our first stop was Carmién Tea shop that started life in 1998 in an old farm shop on the historic Brakfontein Estate near the small town of Citrusdal. Here we got to experience the Carmién Tea and nibble pairing. They have a huge range of teas to choose from. They also sell wine amongst many other gifting suggestions
Info: www.carmientea.co.za Contact: 022 921 8900
Clanwillliam Museum (Ou Tronk) housed in the town’s old prison building, this was an absolutely interesting visit. We really had an insightful visit seeing the old jail with all its treasures of history, including C. Louis Leipoldt the town’s famous poet, dramatist, medical doctor, reporter and food expert. Not forgetting the room of memorabilia of the late Tolla van der Merwe’s, South Africa’s favourite comedian storyteller.
We also ventured along to the famous Strassberg Velskoene factory shop where we had the privilege of a private tour to see the process of manufacturing the shoes. They have also introduced a new range of sandals. However, we fell in love with the custom-made boots! A purchase at this shop is a lifetime investment.
Next we stopped at Veldskoendraai Farmers Market & Restaurant. It is situated at the entrance to Clanwilliam. It is the perfect place to relax with the family. There is a fun play area for the kids to entertain themselves while you relax and enjoy a unique rooibos tea tasting experience. They also have wine tasting experiences from different regions on request. The food is divine and there are great options to choose from their menu. We really enjoyed the chilled vibe in both the indoor and outdoor eating areas.
Info: www.velskoendraai.co.za Contact: +27 (0)83 460 3773 or firstname.lastname@example.org
We stayed over at Rosenhof Guesthouse built in 1847. They have spacious self-catering options available as well. This had a home away from home feel. The luxury garden cottages have enough room to accommodate a family of six. Rosenhof accommodation is a few minutes’ walk away from the main road of this historical town. The guesthouse has a beautiful pool and secure parking.
Contact Karen Roux at Mobile: 082 323 6037 or E-mail: email@example.com
De Kelder Restaurant is like the hangout place in Clanwilliam. They make the best steak meals, pizzas, burgers and seafood. This restaurant has the perfect view of the Cederberg Mountain, making it the best place to be for sunset.
Contact 022 125 0443 / 027 482 1066 / 082 491 2992; E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
Visit the new House of Rooibos and enjoy their tea tasting room, shop and information centre. Sip on a delicious cup of Rooibos tea while you watch audio visual presentations about the history and production process of this amazing beverage. The quaint tea tasting room offers a wide range of Rooibos drinks in a variety of flavours, both hot and cold. They have a range of beauty products, snacks and lovely gifting suggestions too.
Info: www.houseofrooibos.info; Contact: +27(0)66 115 7749 / +27 (0)27 482 2155
Ndedema Lodge is also a stone’s throw from Clanwilliam town. This lodge is a definite off-the-beaten-track stopover. They have secure parking, a relaxing pool area, a spacious luxury garden and BBQ area. Not forgetting the laundry services, tours and shuttles to and from the airport.
Info: www.ndedemalodge.co.za; +27 82 559 6489
Next, we went to Cederberg Ridge Lodge Restaurant for a sunset supper. They present their food from the farm to the table. The guests can’t get enough of the freshly baked breads, pastries and not forgetting the view of the picturesque sunset overlooking the Cederberg Mountain. The accommodation is perfect for nature lovers, with hiking or bike trails. Once again secure parking and beautiful pool.
Travellers Rest – Sevilla rock art trail is wonderful to visit and hike the rock art trail. This was great fun and very exciting. They have 9 different rock art locations on the Travellers Rest trail. This the best place to escape to from condensed city life. We had picture perfect weather all the time. They have 29 cottages on the premises and a communal swimming pool. The restaurant was really cosy and welcoming.
Info: email@example.com; Contact +27 82 554 930
Paternoster is one of the oldest fishing villages of the West Coast. Plenty of international guests flock here to stay over as there are many spacious accommodations available and the most incredible fresh seafood restaurants to choose from after taking long tranquil beach walks.
Farrout Guesthouse welcomes anyone looking for tranquillity and a quiet time. This laidback guesthouse is a few minutes’ drive from the beach and the nearby famous camping spot, Titiesbaai. Enjoy a wood-fire hot tub at night while gazing at the stars. You have got to experience glamping in the indian Tipee (Wigwam). There are als beach buggy fun guided tours available.
Yzerfontein is a little harbour town well known for its Sixteen Mile Beach.
Another nearby attraction is Khwa ttu San Cultural Village which has so much to offer and is all about the original San inhabitants of the area. They have different tours available for all ages. Enjoy tea tasting with a difference or guided museum tours. I enjoyed the San Heritage Centre and all the story telling they shared. The kids had fun on the tractor rides and got to experience how to use a bow and arrow. The perfect place for the hiker, biker or even if you just need to relax and wake up to the chirping of birds. Spend the day or stay the night, either way it will be worth your while.
The town of Darling is central to this floral region. Tourists flock here to see the blooming flowers during the wildflower season. The museum is rich in history of the local butter industry and many more historic treasures.
We grew up seeing actor and comedian Pieter Dirk Uys on television. Finally, a dream came true when we got to experience his live show and meet him in person. Taking our time in the museum was also a highlight visiting Darling. You can’t visit Darling without booking your ticket for a Pieter Dirk Uys live shows at Evita se Perron. Also take time to walk through Evita’s Museum.
Just after the live show we had the opportunity to experience traditional South African cuisine prepared at Kosie Siekelela Restaurant by Head Chef Hentie van Merwe. Homemade ice-cream to die for, served on a platter with variety of ice-cream cups paired with a biscuit to indulge in. The 3-course meal was on another level, different to the usual that we know.
How could we pass Darling Sweet Shop without popping in to get some treats? They have flavours for all taste buds. Choosing your favourite sweets can take a while as they have a huge variety. Looking to stock Darling Sweet products in your store?
Contact our Sales Manager, Sam van Vuuren: Phone: +27(0)82 576-0301 or E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Old Forge 1910 Bar & Restaurant is right next to the Darling Sweet shop. They only serve breakfast on weekends. On Sundays they do a roast with all the trimmings. It is a stunning place to host weddings as they also have a great kids play area at the back and live entertainment on selected evenings. We had the privilege of staying over in their accommodation, the Maison de Lamour.
Maison de Lamour has modern spacious rooms with a four-post bed. Not forgetting the cosy cottage close to the splash pool and picturesque garden area. A five minutes’ walk into town and Darling Sweet Shop. Perfect stayover for the flower season.