Travel Experiences

Cape Winelands

Nestled just a short drive from Cape Town, South Africa's Cape Winelands region is a veritable paradise for wine enthusiasts and nature lovers. With its picturesque landscapes, award-winning vineyards, and charming historic towns, this beautiful region offers a sensory experience like no other. Journey through the Cape Winelands and unveil its vine-covered valleys, indulge in delectable wines and immerse yourself in the area's rich cultural heritage.

From the historic streets of Stellenbosch to the culinary delights of Franschhoek, and the majestic landscapes of Paarl and Wellington, each town offers its unique blend of wine culture, scenic beauty, and rich heritage. As you traverse the vine-covered valleys and taste the exquisite wines, you'll be captivated by the region's charm and the warm hospitality of its people. So, raise a glass and embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting Cape Winelands, where the fusion of nature, wine, and culture will leave an indelible mark on your heart.

Cape Winelands South Africa Delaire Graff
Cape Winelands South Africa Delaire Graff

Our exploration begins in Stellenbosch, the heart of the Cape Winelands and one of South Africa's oldest towns. The oak-lined streets, Cape Dutch architecture, and vibrant atmosphere create a unique ambience. Stroll through the town's charming Dorp Street, adorned with boutique shops, art galleries, and quaint cafes. Don't miss visiting the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden, where you can marvel at a diverse collection of indigenous plants.

Next, we venture to Franschhoek, often hailed as the culinary capital of South Africa, and shrouded by impressive granite mountains and lush vineyards, offering a stunning backdrop for wine-tasting adventures. The Franschhoek Wine Tram offers a unique way to explore the vineyards, allowing you to hop on and off at various wineries along the route.

Amidst rolling vineyards and majestic mountains, this charming town is a haven for food and wine connoisseurs and a must-visit for any Safari Guru travellers wishing to end their safari journey with indulgence. Embark on a gastronomic journey at world-renowned restaurants and sample award-winning wines from prestigious estates.

Cape Winelands South Africa Delaire Graff
Cape Winelands South Africa Bale Restaurant Menu
Cape Winelands South Africa Chanteclair Buffet
Cape Winelands South Africa ChanteClair Cottage
Cape Winelands South Africa Delaire Graff
Cape Winelands South Africa Babylonstoren Shop
Cape Winelands South Africa Delaire Graff
Cape Winelands South Africa Babylonstoren Wine
Cape Winelands

From the historic streets of Stellenbosch to the culinary delights of Franschhoek, and the majestic landscapes of Paarl, each town offers its unique blend of wine culture, scenic beauty, and rich heritage. As you traverse the vine-covered valleys and taste the exquisite wines, you'll be captivated by the region's charm and the warm hospitality of its people. So, raise a glass and embark on an unforgettable journey through the enchanting Cape Winelands, where the fusion of nature, wine, and culture will leave an indelible mark on your heart.

WHY THE CAPE WINELANDS AND SAFARI?
  • An Adventure of Contrasts:

Expand your African adventure by venturing beyond the savannah and delving into the rolling vineyards of the Cape Winelands. This juxtaposition of experiences will heighten your senses, offering a contrasting journey that combines the wild beauty of the bush with the sophistication and charm of South Africa's wine country. Immerse yourself in the thrill of safari, and then retreat to the tranquil landscapes of vine-covered hills for a taste of relaxation and indulgence.

  • The Perfect Interlude:

After the exhilaration of a safari, the Cape Winelands provide the perfect interlude, allowing you to unwind and savour the finer things in life. Begin your journey in Cape Town, where you can marvel at Table Mountain, explore the vibrant markets, and soak in the captivating atmosphere of the city. From there, venture into the picturesque towns of Stellenbosch, Franschhoek, and Paarl, where world-class wines, delectable cuisine, and scenic landscapes await.

  • Wine and Wildlife: A Harmonious Duo:

In the Cape Winelands, the enchantment of wine culture coexists harmoniously with the thrill of wildlife encounters. Indulge in wine tastings and cellar tours at prestigious estates, where you can savour the flavours of carefully crafted vintages. Then, venture into nearby nature reserves and private game reserves, where you can continue your wildlife journey. Spot graceful antelopes, observe dazzling birdlife, and, if you're lucky, encounter the majestic Cape mountain zebra in its natural habitat.

  • Scenic Splendors:

The landscapes of the Cape Winelands are a photographer's dream, offering a tapestry of colours, textures, and breathtaking vistas. From the verdant vineyards that carpet the valleys to the rugged mountains that frame the horizon, the region is an artistic masterpiece. Capture the golden hues of a sunset over the vineyards, or venture on a hot air balloon ride for a bird's-eye view of the picturesque landscapes below. The Cape Winelands will ignite your imagination and leave you with memories to cherish.

  • Fusion of Flavours:

No journey to the Cape Winelands would be complete without indulging in its delectable culinary offerings. The region's world-class wines pair harmoniously with exceptional farm-to-table cuisine and innovative fusion dishes. Embark on a gastronomic adventure, savouring various flavours, from traditional South African dishes to contemporary delights. Explore the renowned restaurants of Franschhoek, where award-winning chefs showcase their culinary artistry, and allow your taste buds to be delighted by the fusion of African, European, and Asian influences.

Download Safari Guru's Recommended Restaurant Guide for Cape Town and the Winelands.

ACCOMMODATION IN THE CAPE WINELANDS

Choosing the right accommodation is essential to enhance your Cape Winelands experience. Whether you're seeking luxury, comfort, family-friendly facilities, or a cozy guest house experience, Franschhoek offers a range of options to suit every traveller's needs. Let us guide you through the diverse accommodation offerings in this enchanting destination.

Luxury Villas: Indulge in the epitome of opulence and privacy with the Winelands' selection of luxurious villas that go beyond expectations. Situated in prestigious locations, these stunning properties often showcase breathtaking views of the surrounding landscapes, be it vineyards or majestic mountains. With their spacious, sometimes traditional interiors, state-of-the-art amenities, and impeccable service, these villas guarantee an unparalleled experience. Some Safari Guru favourites include La Clé; set amongst vineyards and only a 5-minute walk into Franschhoek, and Babylonstoren’s Family Houses.

Luxury Lodges: The Cape Winelands boasts an impressive array of luxury Lodges that combine style, elegance, and world-class service. These accommodations seamlessly blend contemporary design with African charm, providing a truly enchanting stay. From the iconic Monument House and the hidden gem, Sterrekopje Farm to the exquisite Delaire Graff Lodge & Spa, with the award-winning Indochine Asian-inspired cuisine and Laurence Graff’s personal collection of carefully curated art and sculptures showcasing South Africa’s finest contemporary artists..

Mid-Range & Family-Friendly Hotels: Travellers who seek comfortable stays without straining their budget will find a variety of standard hotels throughout the Wine Valley. These hotels offer a range of amenities and services, ensuring a pleasant and convenient experience without compromising on quality.

Guest Houses: For those seeking a more intimate and personal experience, Franschhoek's and Stellenbosch’s charming guest houses provide a perfect option. Nestled on the outskirts, often working farms, these establishments offer a cozy and homely ambience. Known for their warm hospitality, personalised service, and attention to detail, Safari Guru’s favourite guest house in Franschhoek is ChanteClaire.

The ample accommodations provide not only comfort and convenience but also serve as gateways to exploring the plentiful  vineyards, vibrant country culture, and historical landmarks that make it an extraordinary destination. So, go ahead and let Safari Guru plan your stay in one of our finest hand-picked accommodations, and get ready to immerse yourself in the beauty of this captivating valley.

THE BEST THINGS TO DO AND SEE IN THE CAPE WINELANDS

Olive Tasting:

To get the taste buds going visit Morgenster in the Helderberg region near Stellenbosch. This estate is famed for award-winning olive oils. Sample extra virgin, lemon-infused, and white truffle oils, along with queen and kalamata olives and olive pastes.

Chocolate & Wine paring:

Unique taste sensation of handcrafted chocolate paired with fine wine. A dedicated wine expert joins you at a table set for the wine-and-chocolate tasting (for which the wine estate is famous for). Three unique wines and three special chocolates are displayed on a wooden board. Cocoa beans and wine both contain tannins, which means they should complement each other nicely. At Waterford, however, the fine Belgian chocolates are specially crafted by Richard von Geusau to match the wines produced on the estate. https://www.waterfordestate.co.za/experience/explore/

Spice route wines and dv chocolate, Paarl

The Spice Route is a collection of nearby artisan producers sharing their craft with the public. A five-year collaboration between Spice Route Wine and DV Chocolate offer a Tutored wine & chocolate tasting, where they will talk guests through the process of cocoa bean fermentation, and their unique pairings with single-origin chocolate, sourced from around the world. No flavourings are added here and the pairings are an example of natural elements in cocoa varieties complementing these Swartland wines. Guests are guided throughout, cross tasting the chocolates with wines.

The tasting takes a minimum of 60 minutes and is truly educational!  Single origin chocolate is sourced from around the globe. If you’re with children and your interest lies in the story of chocolate and the making process, this is the one for you. Minimum group sizes are 10 so you must phone ahead. Smaller groups will be paired together. Duration: Min. 60 mins and maybe double this time at DV Chocolate factory. Cost: R60 pp at the Spice Route Wine Tasting Centre / R100 pp at the DV Chocolate factory. www.spiceroutewines.co.za  DV Chocolate: www.dvchocolate.com

Ice cream & Wine Pairing (summer months only)

The Food & Wine Experience“, Clos Malverne is all about exciting food and wine combinations. Living up to this notion, the wine estate were the first in Stellenbosch offering a unique tasting experience in the form of a “Ice cream & Wine Pairing”. It has since become one of their signature pairings with seasonal, hand-made delicacies. http://closmalverne.co.za/

Art in the winelands:

For the art lover a visit to the Dylan Lewis Sculpture Garden is a must. Eight years in the making, the garden is a place of expansive vistas, scents and the sounds of nature, with tranquil groves, hidden paths and lush indigenous vegetation. Here, the notion of the untamed wilderness within the human psyche is expressed both in the sculptures and their positioning in the landscape. https://www.dylanlewis.com/garden

Garden walk:

Keen to walk off some that lunch, then a stroll through the wonderful gardens at Babylonstoren is a must. Set within 3,5 hectares (8 acres) of cultivated fruit and vegetables, the big garden at Babylonstoren is at the heart of the farm - think back to the mythological hanging gardens of Babylon.

Craft Beer Tasting:

Some of the world’s most celebrated wines are produced in the region - and now, craft beer too. As in many parts of the world, craft beer has become enormously popular in South Africa – even the giant SABMiller (now swallowed up by AB InBev) is making their own craft beer!  You are certainly spoilt for choice in the Winelands with brewers such as CBC, Berg River and Wagon Trail in the Paarl region; Stellenbrau, Wild Clover, St. Thomas and Wild Boar near Stellenbosch and Triggerfish in Somerset West. Select breweries according to your taste and plan the best route to take in the wonderful scenery of the region.

Spice Route

A farm with 13 artisans all producing what they love to bring you a destination of dreams. The old farmhouse offers a variety to explore: typical South African delicacies like local wines from the surrounding vineyards, draft beer and dark chocolates. The name Spice Route dates back to the historical mariners who used to trade Eastern spices to Europe along the "Spice Route" for spice trade in the 15th century.[1] The Estate gives visitors the opportunity to explore local foods, beverages and goods that are produced in a traditional manner supporting the local community while spreading the taste and spirit of South Africa out to the world.  http://www.spiceroute.co.za/

Spier Segway Tour (children over 12yrs)

Segway Tours and Spier Wine Farm have combined green technology, sustainability and fun to provide the Stellenbosch winelands experience of a lifetime – for the whole family! Segway Tours offers one of the best things to do in Cape Town & Stellenbosch. Voted number one most unique way of exploring the Stellenbosch vineyards. Spier Wine Farm is situated ~ only 30 min from Cape Town ~ at the banks of the Eerste River with sweeping views of the Stellenbosch Mountains and even Table Mountain.

Tour the vineyards on a Segway PT (Personal Transporter), the coolest two-wheeled way to see the Spier farm. This self-balancing electric vehicle will help you glide through the vineyards, past our Protea Garden and Biodynamic farming area where we will share some interesting facts.  http://segwaytours.co.za/

Spier Eagle Encounters

Eagle Encounters has been going strong since 2001, rehabilitating and releasing birds of prey, promoting conservation and education on land donated by Spier. Birds of prey keep the farm’s ecosystem in balance, making it possible to naturally control pests, without pesticides.

Enjoy up-close-and-personal interactions with eagles, hawks, falcons, owls, kites, buzzards, snakes and lizards.  Take part in heart-stopping falconry displays, where they fly birds to you. Kids will also enjoy the piglets, rabbits, tortoises, chickens and unique playground. http://www.spier.co.za/visit/eagle-encounters

Cheetah Outreach

Cheetah Outreach is an education and community-based programme created to raise awareness of the plight of the cheetah and to campaign for its survival.  Founder Annie Beckhelling launched the project in January 1997 with just one hectare of land provided by Spier Wine Estate and two cheetahs. Experience the excitement of a personal encounter with our hand-raised cheetahs.  http://www.cheetah.co.za/encounters.html

For adventurous travellers wishing to explore the best of South Africa, adding the Cape Winelands to your itinerary offers a captivating blend of wildlife, wine, and scenic splendour. By combining the exhilaration of a safari with the tranquility and indulgence of South Africa's wine country, you'll embark on a journey that embraces the diverse facets of this magnificent continent. From encountering wildlife on game drives to sipping fine wines amid stunning vineyards, the Cape Winelands will awaken your senses and leave you with unforgettable memories.

So, prepare for an adventure of contrasts and embark on a voyage that combines the wild allure of safari with the refined pleasures of the Cape Winelands. Africa awaits, ready to weave its magic once again.

Chanteclair Franschhoek accommodation nestled between the mountains

FEATURED PROPERTY: CHANTECLAIR FRANSCHHOEK

L’Auberge Chanteclair Franschhoek is a beautifully renovated Victorian style farmhouse offering luxurious, yet authentic, accommodation in the heart of the Franschhoek Valley.

Nestled between scenic vineyards and surrounded by towering mountains, the charming guest house is within walking distance of the historic village of Franschhoek. The magnificent mountains provide a superb backdrop for a glass of wine in the evening, before heading into the village to dine at one of Franschhoek’s many highly acclaimed restaurants.

Chanteclair Franschhoek, with its lofty ceilings, light and airy rooms is situated in a wonderfully landscaped garden set amongst spreading Oak and Jacaranda trees, creating a very special ambiance. The main house has four double or twin rooms, one single and two separate detached units, Vine Cottage and The Studio. More about Chanteclair Franschhoek ...

FEATURED PROPERTY: MONUMENT HOUSE FRANSCHHOEK

After a day of exploration, retreat to the sanctuary of Monument House and immerse yourself in the luxurious amenities. Take a refreshing dip in the sparkling swimming pool, characterised by manicured gardens and a tranquil atmosphere. Indulge in a spa treatment where skilled therapists will rejuvenate your senses with bespoke therapies and rituals designed to restore balance and well-being.

Food enthusiasts will delight in the culinary experiences at Monument House. Their talented chefs showcase their passion for gastronomy, creating culinary masterpieces inspired by the finest local and seasonal ingredients. From delectable breakfast spreads to exquisite fine dining, every meal is a celebration of flavour, artistry, and impeccable service.

The attentive personnel at Monument House will curate bespoke daily itineraries tailored to your preferences, whether you seek to embark on a wine-tasting tour through Franschhoek's renowned vineyards, indulge in a spa retreat, or discover the rich history and culture of the region. More about Monument House ...

Monument House Franschhoek Garden View

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