Activities in South Africa

Stanford - Raka Wines on Kleinrivier

Raka Wines are near Stanford, about 40km from Hermanus. Raka Wines is a family business whose history is a tale of the sea woven into the fabric of the farm Remhoogte.

The Dreyer Family bought the farm, Remhoogte in 1982. During 1999 they planted 10 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Shiraz. Since then a few hectares have been added every year, now 68 hectares include Pinotage, Sangiovese, Viognier, Mourvedre, Petit Verdot and also larger plantings of Cabernet Franc, Malbec and Sauvignon Blanc, making the farm self-sufficient in varieties needed for their artistic blending.


Calitzdorp - Boplaas Vineyards

Boplaas Family Vineyards is in Calitzdorp at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains in the Klein Karoo. The Boplaas Vineyards have been growing grapes for the brandy and port that they are famous for, for over 150 years and were exporting brandy to the UK as far back as 1880.

Port and red wine are the flagship wines of Boplaas and have on numerous occasions been crowned as SA Champion Port and red wine.   Only traditional Portuguese cultivars are used. Their range of Port includes Cape White, Cape Ruby, Cape Vintage, Cape Vintage Reserve and Cape Tawny.


Hermanus - Bouchard Finlayson Winery

Gardens at Bouchard Finlayson
Gardens at Bouchard Finlayson Credits: Freda Andrew

The Bouchard Finlayson Winery near Hermanus in located in the Hemel en Aarde Valley. Bouchard Finlayson is rated as one of the top South African wine producers, and their Galpin Peak Pinot noir continues to win awards from around the world.

You will find that the Wine Estates of the Overberg very different to those in the Boland and they are indeed a refreshing change. The Hemel-en-Aarde Valley is framed by mountains and within sight of the ocean, with frost free, cool Mediterranean weather and perfect soil conditions makes for outstanding wines.

Hermanus - Hamilton Russell Wine Estate

Tasting Room Hamilton Russell
Tasting Room Hamilton Russell Credits: Freda Andrew

Hamilton Russell Wine Estate is near Hermanus in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley.

Hamilton Russel Wine Estate has proved that you do not need a three hundred year history to be one of the top wine producers in the world. Started in the 1970's by the father of the current owner of Hamilton Russell (Anthony) and a complete paradigm shift in their philosophy in the early 1990's has seen this Estate flourish to maturity in less than 40 years.


Franschhoek Pass - Purcells Ghost Frog

Purcells Ghost Frog
Purcells Ghost Frog Credits:

Jan Joubertsgat Bridge on Franschhoek Pass is a known breeding spot for the rare and endangered Purcell’s Ghost Frog. Purcell’s Ghost Frog (Heleophryne Purcelli) is on the red list of endangered species, but fortunately the environment in which it survives is fairly stable. The tadpole apparently takes two years to grow to full maturity so they really need undisturbed territory to flourish.

Purcell’s or Cape Ghost Frog does best near fairly fast flowing perennial mountain streams, and one such stream flows below Jan Joubertsgat Bridge on the Franschhoek Mountain Pass.


Beaufort West - Three Museums in One

NG Kerk Beaufort West
NG Kerk Beaufort West Credits: Freda Andrew

Beaufort West Museum in the main street in Beaufort West is well worth a visit the next time you pass through this famous town on the N1 from Johannesburg to Cape Town.

The museum is open between 08:30 and 12:45 and again from 13:45 and 16:45 Mondays to Fridays and from 09:00 to 12:00 on Saturdays. Entrance costs very little and is probably still less than R10 per person.

The Beaufort West Museum consists of three buildings - The original Town Hall of Beaufort West,


Bloemfontein - 10 Best Guest Houses

City of Roses
City of Roses Credits:

Bloemfontein - Ten Best Guest Houses in their price class.

Bloemfontein is approximately 400km from Johannesburg and just over 1000km from Cape Town. Guest Houses in Bloemfontein are renowned for their excellent and friendly service.

There is much to see and do in Bloemfontein, which has a long and fascinating history.

Here are 10 of the Best Guest Houses in their class and price range in the City of Bloemfontein


Bloemfontein - A City for All Reasons

The Appeal Court
The Appeal Court Credits:

Bloemfontein is the Provincial Capital City of The Free State in South Africa. Bloemfontein is approximately 400km from Johannesburg on the N1 and just over 1000km from Cape Town, also on the N1.

The Appeal Court of South Africa has it's seat in Bloemfontein, which also is the home of many of South Africa's more famous institutions.

The National Museum is in Aliwal Street in the City Centre 

The Anglo Boer War Museum is in Monument


Hermanus - A Winters Day - July 2011

Warm in the Winter Sunshine
Warm in the Winter Sunshine Credits: Freda

Guesthouse and Hotel Owners in Hermanus (and almost everyone who lives here) will tell you that there is little to beat a sunny winters day in Hermanus. The unique champagne air will invigorate you whatever you choose to do on your holiday or long weekend break. Here, in Hermanus you can do


Bettys Bay - Harold Porter National Botanical Garden

Red Disa
Red Disa Credits:

The beautiful Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is situated in the centre of the Cape coastal fynbos where the flora is at its richest.  It encompasses mountain slopes with wind-clipped heathlands, deep gorges with small remnants of what were once large forests, flat lands and marshes with restios (reeds) , sedges (plants that look like grasses) and bulbs, as well as sand dunes adjacent to the beach with specialised salt-adapted plants. The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pools.


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