Category: Western Cape

  • Martin Hatchuel — SA tourism’s muse has gone silent

    Martin Hatchuel has been known by thousands of subscribers to his email newsletter, This Tourism Week. Its publication was sometimes erratic, but has now ceased completely. Martin often used This Tourism Week to stir controversy wherever he thought he saw injustice or just plain stupidity. And he didn’t pull his punches. But in real life, he […]

  • Stanford Revisited

    There’s an apocryphal story about a neighbour who wasn’t too happy with his new German neighbours on the Wortelgat Road outside Stanford.  But the German neighbours invited him nonetheless when they opened their new restaurant… and he accepted. During the long lunch at Springfontein Eats, he had a phone call from his daughter, concerned about…

  • Fancy a gypsey caravan?

    There are always unusual things coming out of Stanford.  Like the gygpsey caravans Howard Dunbar builds. He’s built about 16 caravans over the past four years, mainly in two sizes — 5.4 metres and 3.6 metres.  A fully kitted caravan — with complete solar power system, pumps, fridge, fitted kitchen and bathroom — costs between…

  • The social hub of Stanford

    Stanford Hills Estate has become the de facto community hub of Stanford.  It’s child-friendly… and has one of the best kids’ playgrounds anywhere.  It’s also pet-friendly and dog walkers from the village take to its hills every day.  If you don’t have a dog to walk, one or both of Peter & Jami Kastner’s Ridgebacks…

  • Southernmost Tip of Africa iconic site

    In 2002, the then municipal manager of Cape Agulhas municipality, Keith Jordaan, asked me for ideas to improve the area for tourism.  I gave him three ideas: Create a world class, iconic site at Cape Agulhas to celebrate it as the southernmost tip of the African continent and where two oceans meet. Napier was a…

  • Hermanus’ best-kept secret

    VOLMOED is a beautiful self-catering accommodation country retreat set in the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley near Hermanus. Tucked away in it’s own little valley within the Hemel-en-Aarde Valley lies a peaceful place called Volmoed. As the Onrust River makes it’s way from the heights of Babylon’s Toring through De Bos Dam it tumbles down into this little…

  • General Dealer Museum at the Stanford Hotel

    “It was originally a general dealer, then a men’s bar, a wine bar, a place to buy picnics, a function space — but it never quite worked. Then it occurred to me that Stanford didn’t have a museum — so I turned it back into a general dealer — as a museum.” A compulsive collector…

  • One Wilderness you won’t want to be delivered from

    With a network of lakes, rivers and dramatic hills set between the Indian Ocean and the Outeniqua Mountains, Wilderness is a unique destination.  Often overlooked in favour of the nearby and much larger George and Knysna/Plettenberg Bay on either side, it is a destination in its own right.  So don’t just drive through… stop and…

  • Solar makes cents, and Boschendal becomes a significant producer

    About two years ago, the V&A Waterfront commissioned 4,207 solar panels (7,000m²) installed on the roofs of the main Waterfront buildings, with a total electrical output of 1,093.8 kWp at a cost of R20 million.  It conserves about 1,721,956 kWh annually, significantly reducing the Waterfront’s environmental footprint.  At the same time, Boschendal commissioned its first, small…

  • Bucking the trend in the drought

    The Western Cape has faced its worst drought in a century, and this is the third consecutive year of that drought.  Cape Town’s mayor has been at pains to point out that — with climate change — “This is the new normal.” With dwindling water supply to farmers, crop productions have been slashed and, across…