At the foot of the Swartberg Mountain range, the small town of Prince Albert has emerged as a favourite destination, attracting visitors from across the country. Next time you pass this charming town, here’s a list of things to do in Prince Albert.
It’s a town where you can buy boerewors by the metre, ghosts are said to lurk the streets and roam the Swartberg Pass and where you can take it all in with a scrumptious meal at many of its world-class resteraunts.
Things to do in Prince Albert
1. Take a ghost tour
The perfect tour to help you get your bearings in Prince Albert – the real one and in the spiritual realm. Local storyteller Alisa Tudhope will guide you through the town, conveying her capacious historical knowledge of the town as well as tales of townsfolk who once roamed Prince Albert, and never seemed to leave.
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2. Visit the Fransie Pienaar Museum
Explore the museum’s displays of glassware, porcelain, musical instruments, weapons, Victorian clothing, and historical artefacts that highlight the town’s history. Discover intriguing exhibits on the Swartberg Pass, Gamkaskloof (the Hell), and the region’s short-lived gold rush. The museum also features a fascinating collection of kitchen equipment and provides insights into the area’s original Khoi San inhabitants.
3. Indulge in Culinary Delights
Prince Albert offers a variety of excellent restaurants and coffee shops. For a casual tea break or light lunch, head to the Lazy Lizard or La di Dah. The Lazy Lizard, a former bus terminal, serves delectable treats like apple pie and carrot cake. O for Olive, located on Swartrivier Farm, offers light lunches in a picturesque garden setting. For a taste of traditional Karoo cuisine, dine at the Karoo Kombuis or African Relish, which also offers cooking courses.
4. Capture the Architecture
Take a leisurely walk or cycle around Prince Albert to admire the town’s well-preserved buildings. The stoeps, Cape Dutch gables, and unique Prince Albert gables make for a captivating architectural experience. Photography enthusiasts find plenty of inspiration in the charming streets.
5. Discover Karoo Plants on a Guided Walk
If you’re fascinated by Karoo flora, book a guided walk with Renu Karoo at Wolwekraal Nature Reserve. Dr Sue Milton-Dean will introduce you to the indigenous plants and seeds they supply to restore the Karoo veld. You’ll gain insights into the geology, natural history, and cultural heritage of the area.
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6. Savor Artisanal Cheeses
Pay a visit to Gay’s Guernsey Dairy, where you can taste and purchase a range of delicious local cheeses. From gouda and cheddar to mozzarella and Karoo feta, these cheeses are free of hormones and preservatives.
7. Visit an Olive Farm
Explore one of Prince Albert’s olive farms, such as Kredouw, O for Olive, or Prince Albert Olives. Engage in an olive oil tasting and learn about the cultivation and processing of olives. Discover the different varieties of extra virgin olive oil, including Frantoio, Leccino, Coratina, and Favolosa.
8. Stargaze in the Karoo Sky
Take advantage of the Karoo’s clear skies and minimal light pollution by indulging in stargazing. Look up to admire the planets, constellations, and the awe-inspiring Milky Way. Find a quiet spot away from artificial lights, trees, and buildings to experience the full majesty of the night sky.
Shop for Unique Finds Discover unique treasures in the various shops of Prince Albert. The Country Store and The Olde Shoppe offer an array of antiques, collectables, and bric-a-brac. Immerse yourself in the rich heritage and history of the region through these intriguing objects.
9. Visit a Fig Farm
Embark on a journey to Weltevrede Fig Farm, located 25km outside of Prince Albert. Explore the vast fig orchards and learn about the cultivation and processing of these delicious fruits. Taste fresh figs, dried figs, and various fig-based products while enjoying the scenic surroundings.
10. Visit Karoo Slaghuis butchery
On Church Street there is a pink building where you don’t buy Boerewors by the kg but by the metre. From biltong to prime cuts of lamb or steak, this is the place to stop before your evening braai.
Venture Further Afield:
10. Drive the Swartberg Pass
Embark on a breathtaking drive along the Swartberg Pass, a marvel of engineering built by Thomas Bain in the 1880s. Ascend the steep switchbacks and enjoy sweeping views of the Karoo landscape. Take advantage of the viewing spots to fully appreciate the journey.
11. Explore the Swartberg Nature Reserve
At the top of the Swartberg Pass, you’ll find the entrance to the Swartberg Nature Reserve. This reserve offers a range of hiking trails, from easy walks to rugged multi-day hikes. Discover the natural wonders of the reserve, immerse yourself in the pristine wilderness, and marvel at the majestic Swartberg Mountains.
Pictures: Jared Ruttenberg/ @jaredincpt
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