Prince Albert lies in a picturesque fertile valley on the edge of the Karoo on the one side and the Swartberg mountains on the other. If wide open spaces and a deafening stillness appeal to you, if small Karoo towns make you happy, then Prince Albert would be the perfect destination for you. Here are our favourite things to do in this beautiful small town.
Drive through the Swartberg Pass
The Swartberg Pass is for many South Africans, the rubicon of gravel road passes. There is an allure and a mystique around this old pass, coupled with its status as a national monument. The pass is very long at 23,8 km and it takes about an hour to drive, excluding stops. You will be treated to a wide variety of incredible scenery. The Swartberg Pass has almost too much to offer the traveller with a never-ending changing set of views - each as awe inspiring as the one before.
Explore the town’s history at the Fransie Pienaar Museum
If you love discovering the history of a place you are visiting, then a visit to the local museum is a must. Fransie Pienaar was born in 1897 in Prince Albert and left after school to study music at Sullivan College in Cape Town. After marrying and returning to her home district, she started collecting antiques to the extent that she soon needed to dedicate an entire room in her home to her collectables! This collection then grew to fill a hall donated by the Dutch Reformed Church and then to a house loaned to Fransie by the Prince Albert Council. This house was built in 1906 and also served as a hospital from 1952 to 1978. The collection of museum items is still growing today as Prince Albert inhabitants continue to donate to this worthy cause.
Visit the SoetKaroo Wine Estate
The SoetKaroo Wine Estate consists of just one hectare of land, a 'village farm' in the heart of Prince Albert. And this is where husband and wife team, Herman and Susan Perold, live and make their dessert wine from their own grapes. It is the only SAWIS registered wine estate in the Great Karoo. Visitors are welcome to visit the vineyard and cellar and to taste the wine. The SoetKaroo wines are sold from the tasting room in the Perolds' dining room.
Prince Albert is the perfect place from which to experience the beauty of the South African Karoo environment and landscape. The climate is superb with an extremely high sunshine index, and the village is a well-preserved gem, with water furrows and beautifully preserved Cape Dutch, Karoo and Victorian buildings. It’s definitely worth a visit.
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