My travel dates:
06 April – 20 April 2018
Flight Berlin – Windhoek: 8359 km
Flight Swakopmund – Cape Town: 1738 km
Cape Town -> 87 km Riebeek Kasteel -> 91 km Somerset West -> 395 km Outdtshoorn -> 421 km Cape Town-> 1603 km Durban -> 569 km Johannesburg -> 461 Rooiboklaagte-> 461 km Johannesburg
Flight Johannesburg – Berlin: 8,871.44 km
Altogether: 14,236.44 km
Flight: €326.94 / $391.21
Travel costs for 14 days: €1378.25 / $1694.22
Visa: As a European I didn’t need a visa
Tips for Riebeek Kasteel:
In this sleepy but beautiful little town in the Swartland, where some of South Africa’s best wine is produced, you’ll find a lot of nice guesthouses and a handful of cute little restaurants to choose from.
I slept and ate at a private home but here’s a website with some nice tips for where to stay and eat while in the area.
A Wine Tip and Good Deed in Somerset West:
Carmen Stevens is a very successful winemaker. But she also helps children in nine different schools in Cape Town with a food program. Many come to school on empty stomachs. “Eating should not be a privilege,” Carmen said to me. With the help of the platform “Naked Wines”, where her wines are presented and sold, she was able to raise enough money to supply – as of now – breakfast and lunch to 6541 learners over a two-year period, so that the children can concentrate on learning. And of course the fundraising continues.
I cooked with Carmen Stevens. More about her personal life story and struggles, from growing up in one of Cape Town’s most difficult areas, to emerging as one of South Africa’s most important winemakers, will be covered in the cookbook “Eating with Africa”.
Wine from Carman Stevens: https://www.nakedwines.com/producers/carmen-stevens
Swartberg Country Manor
Wake up at the foot of the Swartberg Mountains. The rooms are cozy and clean. The Manor has little cottages that you can book or nice double rooms in the main house to choose from. There’s a pool where you can relax if it’s warm enough, I was there in winter when it was pretty cold…The breakfast is wholesome with a large variety.
In the evening they offer a three-course South African flavored menu utilizing fresh, local ingredients at a reasonable price. There is quite a bit of meat on the menu but vegetarian dishes are also offered. Every bite is delicious and accompanied by delicious wines. The staff is really helpful and friendly, eager to make your stay as nice as possible. This area is great for outdoor activities, like visiting the ostrich farms in the area or going to the nearby waterfall swimming hole. You can mountain bike or hike or go star gazing. You’ll need a car to get here, as the lodge is around 40 km outside of the city of Outdtshoorn. I really enjoyed my stay here! Thank you so much for sponsoring!
Double room: €128.50 / $153.80, incl. breakfast
Single room: €77.64 / $92.90, incl. breakfast
Moroc-Karoo Country Guesthouse
This is a cute little guesthouse where each room has its own individual touch. The rooms are quite spacious as well. The owners live here too and you can sit on their terrace and enjoy the mountain view. Breakfast costs extra. Unfortunately, I left too early to try breakfast, but I’m imagining it would have been very good as well. The owners are very friendly and helpful, making you feel at home. This place is right next to the Swartberg Country Manor (also 40 km outside of Outdtshoorn), so you can hop over to the restaurant for dinner, or eat with your hosts in their home. It was a short stay but I really liked it!
Double room: €60.00 / $71.80
Single room: €43.50 / $52.00
Things to Do in the Little Karoo near the City of Oudtshoorn:
The area that today comprises Oudtshoorn and Kannaland in the Little Karoo is the ancient territory of the Khoi people. Have a guide take you around or book a tour to see Oudtshoorn and the surrounding area. This includes getting to see how the people of the Khoi live. Visit ostrich farms, drive through canyons, enjoy the mountainous desert landscapes or go stargazing at night. For your tailor-made different kind of safari contact: http://www.elelaafrica.com
I recommend this place because you can get a dorm bed but also a nice single or double rooms at a fair rate. They have a kitchen where you can cook your own food, if you like. There’s a pool and a big breakfast and a bar at night where you can get to know people. Also, you’re smack in the middle of Cape Town’s downtown hip area. Right in between, Tamboerskloof, Gardens and Bo-Kaap. There are tons of great restaurants and bars within walking distance, as well as a shopping center. The Lion’s Head is also just a short Uber drive away. Parking spaces are available as well. This was the second time I stayed here and both times were good.
Dorm bed starts at: €14.00 / $16.80, incl. breakfast
Single room starts at: €36.00 / $43.20, incl. breakfast
Panorama Chalets and Rest Camp
I stopped a night in Graskop because I wanted to see the view here, it’s supposed to be amazing. Unfortunately, on this particular day it was so foggy I could see no further than three meters. The little chalets are simple, with a kitchen and everything you need. It’s a chilly area but also very beautiful. In the little town there are a few good restaurants where you can get pancakes for breakfast or local as well as European food.
Panorama Chalets also offers breakfast à la carte.
A chalet starts at: €55.00 / $66.00, self catering
A big family chalet starts at: €120.00 / $144.00, self catering
Camp site starts at: €10.00 / €12.00, self catering
Ukuthula Cottages – Luxury ‘Bed in the Bush’
Nice self catering apartments / chalets near the Kruger National Park Kampersrus. Personally, I haven’t slept there but it was warmly recommended to me…
If you want to experience a culinary safari and South Africa’s rainbow kitchen as well as see the big 5, Elela Africa is the right thing for you. Look for traces of leopards, lions and elephants in the morning and finish the day finding local spices and ingredients at the nearby markets. Back at the lodge, prepare typical South African delicacies and fine foods with a gourmet chef, and enjoy them alongside some of the country’s best wines around a campfire.
Acornhoek / Rooiboklaagte
You can fly to Hoedspruit where you’ll find a lot of hotels, restaurant and shops. The whole town has a very rich and safe feeling.
If you want to see a place more authentic, then drive through to Acornhoek. There, you’ll see markets and also get a feel for a different South Africa.
I stayed in a small town called Rooiboklaagte, in a private home. There, I was shown what a “hope garden” is. The locals are taught how to grow their own food with the least effort and the best outcome. This project has spread throughout the entire community, including schools, with many people, as well as my hosts, growing their own permaculture “hope gardens”. It’s worth seeing and getting to know. Contact Trygive Nxumalo, who is collaborating with “A Spring of Hope”, to get a closer look and find out more about the project and how permaculture is changing things in this poorer area of South Africa for the better. Find out more on the website.
For my last night, I booked a room in a place unfortunately located a bit far out of the center. In an area with a lot of big houses and big gates called Linden. But the room was nice, clean and affordable. The staff was really nice and let me hang out there the whole day until I had to catch my flight in the evening. There is a shopping center nearby where you can buy food. If you want an amazing breakfast, go to “The Whippet” on 7th street and 4th Avenue just a few streets down. Along 7th street, you’ll also find other restaurants and shops in all categories for the day and night time.
Single room: €33.00 / $39.00, self catering
Double room: €47.00 / $56.00, self catering
Room with three beds: €60.00 / $71.00, self catering
Breakfast and Lunch Tip for Linden, Johannesburg:
The Whippet: They have amazing coffee and the menu is a mixture of really healthy food and really delicious high calorie food. All dishes are prepared with fresh ingredients and with a lot of thought and care. It’s a hip place but it also has a friendly atmosphere and a good vibe.
It’s great place for breakfast, lunch and a cake and coffee. They close around 5:00 pm.
*Please note that prices may differ or fluctuate. Please contact the Hotels/Lodges directly for more information.