Prince Albert, South Africa
5 reasons to visit this charming Karoo town
You will be forgiven for thinking that Prince Albert is a town that should be passed by on your way to Cape Town or, at most, used as a stopover to break the otherwise taxing journey. You could not be more wrong however as I have discovered on a recent visit to this quant Karoo town.
The town seemed sleepy when we arrived late on a hot Sunday afternoon but over the next few days we discovered that there are exciting surprises tucked away in every corner of this charming Karoo town. Below are just five reasons to spend a few days in this part of the world.
1) Visit the SoetKaroo winery
Roughly in the middle of the town's main road you will find SoetKaroo winery at the home of Herman and Susan Perold. Their backyard is a one hectare vineyard and their garage has been converted to a wine cellar from where they have been producing the local dessert wine SoetKaroo since 2004. Due to a lack of space annual production is currently only three thousand bottles and the wine can be bought exclusively from the tasting room in their dining room.
2) Watch the sun set over the little Karoo
On a clear day make sure that you drive to one of the nearby hills from where you will be able to enjoy the wonderful colours of a sunset over the little Karoo. Relax with a glass of local wine as you watch the horizon light up in the warm and bright colours of the last rays of the sun.
3) Browse the town's many antique and curio shops
Take a leisurely stroll down the tree-lined Church street and browse through the many antique and curio shops as well as the local museum and tourist office. You are likely to find that interesting read or dusty antique you have been looking for and are bound to learn a few interesting fact about the history of the town and the area.
4) Visit the Bergwater vineyards
About 20km outside of Prince Albert on the road to Klaarstroom you will find the imposing wooden building of Bergwater estate as it lies in the beautiful Prince Albert Valley. This friendly winery is well worth a visit and you are likely to walk away with a few bottles of wine after a tasting session in their tasting room. The selection of white wine includes Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc while the reds include Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon as well as a Merlot and Shiraz blend called Rendezvous.
5) Feast on some delicious Karoo lamb
A visit to the little Karoo will not be complete until you have had a meal of delicious Karoo lamb. The special taste typical of lamb from this area comes from the Karoo bossie (scrub) that the animals graze on. You are likely to find rack of Karoo lamb on the menu of almost all the local restaurants. Accompanied by a glass of local red wine it is the perfect way to end your day.
Next time you are on your way to Cape Town do yourself a favour and take the turn off that says Prince Albert Road and find out for yourself why so many people return to this little town in the Karoo each year.