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Western Cape

Breede River Valley

The Breede River Valley is the largest fruit and wine producing valley in the Western Cape and is South Africa's leading racehorse breeding area. The area stretches from Gouda in the west and McGregor in the south, to Montagu in the east and the Tankwa-Karoo National Park in the north. This semiarid area, part of the Little Karoo, offers magnificent scenery and is known for its indigenous fynbos and proteas. The clear mountain streams are in stark contrast with their rugged surrounds and the wildlife in the reserves offer visitors a chance to get a taste of the real African bush.

I n f o r m a t i o n :
Breede River Valley Tourism Bureau {+27 (0) 23 - 3476411}, Kleinplasie, Worcester.
Western Cape Tourism Board {+27 (0) 21 - 4265639/47} at the The Pinnacle, Corner Castle & Burg Streets, Cape Town.

From Cape Town, the drive to Worcester is through the du Toit's Kloof Tunnel (toll-road). Worcester (1822) has become the business and shopping centre of the Breede River Valley. It is a large wine producing area and has 20 wine cellars on its wine route.

Visit Kleinplasie Open Air Living Museum where replicas of existing old farm buildings and structures have been erected. The lifestyle of the early pioneer farmers is depicted here.

Beck House
(1841) is a Cape-Dutch house once owned by Cornelius Beck and now a museum. It is furnished in the style of a 19th Century townhouse. The Afrikaner Museum is situated in Church Street in a house built by Cornelius Beck in 1854. Church Street is one of the best preserved historical street complexes in the country. The KWV Brandy Cellar is the largest of its kind, under one roof, in the world. The 120 copper potstills produce the international award-winning KWV 10 and 20 year old brandies.

The Karoo National Botanical Garden is totally unique in that it is the only truly succulent garden in the southern hemisphere and on the African continent. The garden is also a haven for rare and endangered plants, with over 300 species being protected and propagated. Approximately 10 hectares of the estate are cultivated whilst the remaining 144 are kept as a flora reserve which has several kilometres of natural trails. The garden is open 365 days a year from 08h00-18h00. Entrance to the garden is free with the exception of the flowering months (usually August to October) when a nominal entrance fee is charged over weekends. Indigenous plants are on sale in the garden.

Take the R60 to the picturesque town of Robertson (1853), the centre of the horse breeding industry in the Western Cape. The Robertson Museum is a cultural history museum containing an exhibition of lace and the history of its manufacture. The Dassieshoek Nature Reserve offers a wide variety of fynbos and proteas as well as beautiful scenery of the Langeberg Mountains. The village of McGregor is 20 km from Robertson and has quaint whitewashed cottages and well preserved Victorian houses. The natural beauty of the area makes it popular with hikers.

is a small village at the foot of the Langeberg and is the fruit processing centre for much of the fruit grown in the valley. It is also the home to the Zandvliet Wine Estate famous for its multiple award winning Zandvliet Shiraz. Visitors are welcome for wine tasting and sales. The historic Zandvliet homestead is a grand example of vintage Cape Dutch architecture.

Take the road to Montagu where you will find the world famous healing hot mineral springs. This is an important fruit-growing region. The Old English Fort (1899) is positioned above the road leading into Montagu in Cogmanskloof. Long Street has 14 of the town's 22 national monuments. Joubert House is the oldest dwelling, now part of the Montagu Museum, which depicts the history of Montagu.

There are three alternative routes from Cape Town to Ceres - two through Wellington taking visitors through Baines Kloof (winding old road) or Gouda (R44), the third route is through Worcester (R43). Gouda is a small village near Voelvlei Dam and the Parrots Den Pub in the Gouda Hotel is a living museum.

Tulbagh is a historical town with a wealth of charming Cape Dutch architecture. 4 Church Street has a photographic history of the street and the 1969 earthquake. 14 Church Street is a Victorian exhibition, and 22 Church Street is a Cape Dutch House which may be viewed. The Oude Drostdy Museum is 4km from Tulbagh and houses a fine collection of early Cape furniture and utensils. Local artists display their work here.

was established in 1875 and named after Field Marshall Sir Garnet Wolseley, Governor of Natal, Transvaal & Zululand. Visit the Elro Furniture Factory and Showroom where imbuia, yellowwood and blackwood furniture is manufactured. Kies en Keur Home Industry displays the local arts and crafts.

was established in 1849 after the completion of Mitchell's Pass (the Toll House on the pass is a national monument). The temperatures here are extreme and winter brings the heaviest snowfalls in the Cape. Ceres is named after the Roman goddess of fertility and its fertile soils have made the area the most important deciduous fruit growing district in South Africa.

Ceres Fruit Growers
(tours must be pre-booked) is the largest fruit co-op in South Africa and has the biggest cold storage complex in the southern hemisphere. Ceres has become an important fruit-juice producing area and Ceres Fruit Juices produce Ceres, Liquifruit and Fruitree juices. Visit Du Toit Fruit where tours show the drying and cold storage of fruit. The Togryers Museum depicts the important role of transport riders in carrying supplies over the mountains in days gone by.

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