Prince Albert

Travel Guide Africa South Africa Western Cape Prince Albert

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Introduction

Nestled next to the Swartberg mountains in the Western Cape lies the charming Karoo town of Prince Albert.

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Sights and Activities

Wineries

  • SoetKaroo - A local dessert wine produced from the home of Herman and Susan Perold. The couple, who moved to the region from Stellenbosch, planted their one hectare vineyard in 2000 and bottled their first SoetKaroo dessert wine in 2004. Production is currently only three thousand bottles per year and the wine can be tasted and bought exclusively from the tasting room at the Perold’s home.
  • Bergwater – Bergwater wine estate is located 20 kilometres outside the town of Prince Albert in the beautiful Prince Albert Valley. The estate consists of 1500 hectares of land of which all but 70 hectares of vineyards are designated as a nature reserve. The estate’s white wines include Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc while the reds include Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon Reserve and their house blend Rendezvous.

Scenice Drives

  • Meiringspoort - On the route to Oudtshoorn, about 55 kilometres on the road to Klaarstroom, you enter the Meiringspoort pass that takes you through the seemingly impenetrable Swartberg mountains. The road, constructed from 1856 to 1858, is an amazing engineering achievement and the drive will take you past breathtaking scenery including soaring cliffs on both sides of the road, crystal waterfalls and interesting indigenous fauna and flora.
  • Swartberg pass - Only 2 kilometres outside of town you will find the turn off to the Swartberg mountain pass. Probably the most famous of the passes through the Swartberg mountains, the pass runs between Prince Albert and Oudtshoorn and slowly winds its way towards the highest peak at 1583 metres above sea level. This gravel road can prove to be a challenging drive when wet but is well worth the effort as it offers spectacular views over the Karoo.

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Eat

The following restaurants are open for lunch:

  • The Lazy Lizzard
  • Café Albert
  • The Coffee Shop and Food Store at the Swarberg Hotel
  • Lah-Di-Dah

The following restaurants are open for dinner:

  • African Relish
  • The Gallery Café
  • Karoo Kombuis
  • The Swartberg Arms Steakhouse
  • The Victorian Dining Room at the Swartberg Hotel

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Sleep

Upscale

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Keep Connected

Internet

Big cities and most of the popular places in the country usually have an internet café though they are not as abundant as in, for example, Asia or South America. It's also relatively expensive, usually 20-30 rand an hour, sometimes even more. Many of the accommodation options have internet access available, either wireless with your own laptop or by their own computer(s). Wireless access is also available throughout the country in more and more cafes and eateries, sometimes free and sometimes for a small fee. Note that you usually have to login anyway and agree with the terms and conditions. It is cheapest to buy a prepaid cell phone starter pack (less than R10) and access the Internet with GPRS or 3G. Generally R2 per MB for out of bundle data from most providers (50c for Virgin Mobile), but it becomes a lot cheaper if you buy a data bundle. In general coverage is good except the more rural parts of the northern and northwestern parts of the country (especially Northern Cape).

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

South Africa's country code is 27. Telephone numbers in South Africa are 10 digits, including the local area code. There are also some prefixes like 0800 (toll free), 0860 (charged as local call) and 0861 (flat-rate calls). The general emergency number is 10111, ambulance is 10177 and police is 1011.

South Africa has very good phone facilities, which are also becoming more and more competitively priced, now that more operators are active on the market. The main ones are Neotel and Telkom South Africa. Local phone calls are cheap (about one Rand an hour), domestic long-distance calls are about twice as expensive. International calls start at around 6 Rand an hour but can be (much) higher to less usual countries. Note that public phones are about twice as cheap as new private phone centres. Phone calls tend to be the cheapest during the weekend and during business hours (8:00am to 5:00pm) on weekdays and more expensive during the evening and nights at weekdays.

There are also good mobile-phone facilities, with GSM and 3G networks. There are five cell phone providers in South Africa: Vodacom, MTN, Cell-C, Virgin Mobile and 8ta. SIM card prepaid starter kits are available from R10. You will need a passport and a proof of residential address and it has to be registered before you can call or receive calls. You can buy credit for prepaid phones just about everywhere, remembering you will usually need cash to do so from service stations.

Post

The SAPO (South African Post Office) is the nation's postal service. They have a track & trace system for parcels as well. Post offices are open from 8:30am to 4:30pm from Monday to Friday, and 8:00am to noon on Saturdays. Domestic and international deliveries are reliable but can sometimes take up to several weeks. If you want to send something oversees of any value, try using one of the private mail services, like Postnet. Also international courier companies like TNT, UPS and DHL tend to be fast, very reliable and competitively priced.

Accommodation in Prince Albert

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This is version 14. Last edited at 11:08 on Jul 30, 15 by Utrecht. 1 article links to this page.

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