For adventures in Nature reserves and so much more, you will have stellar times when you go on a private tour of Stellenbosch.
This aptly named town is surrounded by the spectacular Stellenbosch Mountains on the impressive Jonkershoek River Valley and happens to be the second oldest town found in South Africa.
The historical town of Stellenbosch has the stately Cape Dutch, architecture of Victorian and Georgian style and fabulous streets that are lined with oak.
It is very easy to learn the history of this town through a guided tour to the many different museums that are located here.
The large choice of excellent hotels, mouth-watering delicious cuisine in fine restaurant and lively entertainment at night in the many bar and night clubs, makes Stellenbosch a fantastic place to pick as a destination to travel to for fun and adventure. Read More...
Adventures and Sights on a Safari Tour of the Stellenbosch Nature Reserves or Wine Tasting Tour in Cape Winelands
One of the highlight activities to do in Stellenbosch is to go on a safari tour of a Nature Reserve. There are a few that we should mention like the Jonkershoek Nature Reserve or the Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve. There is also the Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness that is a must to see by a safari tour too.
For those who are not interested in wildlife safari, there is Cape Winelands and anyone can make their own ‘safari’ tour there. Stellenbosch is quite famous for its wine and you can spend a wonderful few hours touring the vineyards and tasting some bud tingling tasty wine.
Top 10 Things to Do in Stellenbosch
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
When you take a sightseeing tour of Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, you get two nature reserves in one. These two nature reserves provide you with 10,000 hectares of natural scrubland. It is a fantastic place for hikers with the rugged terrain in the mountain catchment. There is a variety of birdlife that includes the Cape Sugarbird and the jackal buzzard. Other actives include walking, jeep runs, biking and fishing in the Eerste River.
Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden
The oldest university botanical gardens found in South Africa is the Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden and a great place to see on a guided tour. Located in the historical centre of the city, it is a compact Garden that houses a large diversity of indigenous and exotic plants. There happens to be a lovely restaurant where you can sit, relax and enjoy the beautiful Garden while eating or drinking.
Stellenbosch has a lot of culture and history, one of the best ways to learn all about it is on a guided tour of the Stellenbosch Museum. This museum currently consists of four houses and gardens of historical interest. Each house tells the history of a different period in relation to architectural development in the city. The houses have been restored inside and out to illustrate the style of their particular era.
Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary
A must do ‘safari jeep tour’ in Stellenbosch is the one to the Villiera Wildlife Sanctuary. As you are being brought around the vast sanctuary, the very knowledgeable game rangers tell you all about the Birds, Mammals and Bush found here. The type of animals you can look forward to seeing include Springbok, Bontebok, Red Hartebeest, Eland, Burchell’s Zebra and Ostrich. The type of birds includes the Martial Eagle and Blue Crane.
Vredenheim Big Cats Park
For those who love Cats or not, you must take a safari tour of Vredenheim Big Cat Park. This is where you will find many different types of Big Cats from all of Africa. If you feel brave, you can take camping tours and see Lions, Leopard, Lynx, Cheetah and even a Tiger Cub. It is not all Cats; there are Zebra, Fellow Deer, Springbok, Eland and Gemsbok. Also, see the White Pelicans and for the lucky person, an elusive Fish Eagle.
Take a wine tasting tour to Paul and Susan McNaughtons vineyard, Graceland, in Stellenbosch. This vineyard is located in the heart of the red wine county against the Helderberg slopes. You are expertly guided through the entire vineyard and the whole process of wine making is explained and demonstrated. The vineyard has 4 hectares of Cabernet Sauvignon, 3.5 hectares of Shiraz and 2.5 hectares of Merlot. The wine tasting is the best part!
Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness
Another inspiring guided tour to take is the one which brings you to the Giraffe House Wildlife Awareness Centre. This Giraffe House primary focus is to educate your g and old on the well-being of all animals, not just Giraffes. There is an excellent interactive session for children to learn more about animals, insects, sales spiders and reptiles. Walk around the enclosures, home to Giraffe, Eland, Vervet monkeys, Meerkat and more.
Neil Ellis Vineyard
No two vineyards are the same so why not go on a few different wine tasting tours. The Neil Ellis Vineyard have been in the wine making business for four decades and they set out to identify the natural environment where particular grape varieties will excel. On an educational tour here, you will learn how dedicated this vineyard is to the care of viticultural practices and the environment. Enjoy the wine at the end of the tour.
For a different type of tour but still, a very enjoyable one, take a guided tour of Butterfly World. This unique centre has a very large tropical garden in a greenhouse. This greenhouse gives the exotic butterflies the freedom to fly around safely. The best days to visit here are on sunny days when it is overcast, they tend not to be very active and you could miss out on seeing some of the most beautiful butterflies in the world.
Jan Marais Nature Reserve
Believe it or not, yo can be on a city tour and end up in the Jan Marais Nature Reserve because it is located in the town of Stellenbosch. This nature reserve is very large and full of fabulous indigenous trees, shrubs and plants. It is certainly paradise for nature lovers. The 1.7 kilometre walk around the perimeter is very enjoyable and there are great play areas for kids and an area that is perfect to set up a picnic on.
Travel Tips for Stellenbosch
Best Time To Visit
Anytime is a good time to visit Stellenbosch as the weather is good all year round. The warmest months tend to be January, February, March and December, so you need to be aware of that when going on safari tours. Ideally the best time for safari tours or any other sightseeing tours April, September, October and November because the weather is warmer and dryer than the other months of May to August.
The most expensive thing for most people going anywhere in South Africa is the flight tickets to get there. Once you are there, it is very reasonably priced. A three-course meal for 2 in a mid-range restaurant will cost around US$35; an imported beer will cost US$2 which is excellent. A fast food meal in McDonald's is cheaper here than in the US at US$4 a combo meal. Taxis start from less than US$2 for the first 1km.
Know Before Visiting
Sadly, there is nowhere in the world that is crime free, so when you are anywhere in South Africa be careful of your belongings. Only carry enough money to do you for the day and keep it somewhere safe on your person as there are pickpockets everywhere. Never walk alone at night in unpopulated dark areas. Tipping in restaurants and bars is between 10-15 percent but never feel obliged to leave a tip if the service was a disaster.
The summer months in Stellenbosch are January, February, March and December when temperatures are averaging around 25-27 degrees Celsius. January is both the hottest and driest month of the year. The coldest month is August but, even at that, the temperatures only go as low as 17 degrees Celsius. The wettest month is June and it is a month that really should be avoided if you do not like rain.