Onse Rus Guesthouse  

 

Prince Albert ~ Great Karoo ~ South Africa

+27 (0) 23 5411 380     +27 (0)84 8269 651

Things to do     Shopping      Where to dine     Info for travellers

After breakfast perhaps you would like to explore Prince Albert ...

Prince Albert is the definitive Karoo dorp: a living record of South African rural life over the last two centuries, during which well-watered orchards and colourful gardens have been patiently coaxed from the harsh African wilderness. Essentially a farming town, it is inhabited by people who live close to the earth. An excellent infrastructure and crime free environment preserves its history and natural beauty. There is a nameless quality of life here that has lured visitors from around Southern Africa and the globe to return to make it their home. Prince Albert and its surroundings offer attractions for everybody from hikers and bikers, to birdwatchers, stargazers and botanists. Artists & writers find themselves enthralled by the stark and dramatic beauty of the endless plains and the towering peaks. 

Prince Albert is a small architectural gem. The last 150 years of South African rural history is captured in its 11 national monuments and eclectic mix of Cape Dutch, Victorian and Karoo architecture. More than anything else it is a place to slow down, forget the hectic pace of urban life and rediscover the bare essentials such as sunsets & thunderstorms over the plains, clear morning air & night skies crowned with stars. The high wide sky and broad landscapes have infused the community with a peacefulness and patience which has equipped them to endure past hardships and prepared them to face any eventuality.

THINGS TO DO IN & AROUND PRINCE ALBERT

Prince Albert is filled with exciting and interesting things to see and do. There is something for everyone. As you will see, there is a lot going on here that is not always immediately obvious to those passing through too quickly. So why not stay a little while and surprise yourself?

Hire a Mountain Bike

We’ll arrange transport to the top of the Swartberg Pass and you cycle down in time for breakfast or late afternoon tea and cake. Or cycle round the streets to discover the town and all its charms.

Fransie Pienaar Museum

R10 per Adult; R2 for children; next to Tourism Bureau

This cultural historical museum depicts the history of Prince Albert and the district. Fransie Pienaar collected many of the historical items and the collection is still growing, due to further donations from past and present inhabitants of the village. It is now displayed in the house built by the Haak Family in 1906, which also served as a hospital from 1952-1978.

Hours: Mon – Fri: 09:00-12:30 and 14:00-17:00 Sat: 09:00-12:00

The Ghost Walk

Join Ailsa Tudhope for a 90 minute pre-dinner walk around the streets of the village, in the company of the Ghosts of Prince Albert. You set out at dusk and wander the streets as darkness descends. The stories include ghostly tales: some eerie, others amusing; and a few stories about individuals who have left their mark here. Booking is essential.

Prince Albert Gallery

Come and visit the Prince Albert Gallery, at Seven Arches, across the road from  the Fransie Pienaar Museum. See a variety of paintings and sculptures by local artists. Trading hours: Mon – Fri: 10:00-12:30 and 14:00-16:00 Sat: 09:00-12:00   

Astro Tours  Hans & Tilanie Daehne Tel: 072 732 2950

Star-gazing has become the hottest and most fascinating activity on planet earth. The observation of other suns and galaxies satisfies our inquisitive minds.  Hans and Tilanie Daehne of Astro Tours show the starry splendour over Prince Albert to all star enthusiasts.  Everybody admires the stars, but if you know and understand what you see, star-gazing becomes a fulfilling activity.  Astro Tours takes you on a tour through the celestial splendour of the Southern Hemisphere.  Enjoy the celestial “Big Five” of our dark sky in the Great Karoo.  Available most week-ends and during school holidays, booking is essential.  

SoetKaroo

SoetKaroo is a fortified dessert wine that comes from Prince Albert. The grapes are grown in a vineyard behind a thatched 1841 Cape Dutch house situated in the centre of town. It is one of the smallest registered wine estates in South Africa! Let us phone to make an appointment for you. 

Guided Historical Town Walk

Prince Albert is architecturally a small gem, with 18 National Monuments (in town and the district) and a very well preserved mix of Cape Dutch, Karoo, Georgian, and Neo-gothic and Victorian buildings. How old is the town and why is it called Prince Albert? Do you know about the gold rush here or the ostrich feather market boom in 1891? Why not ask Ailsa on one of her guided walks around the town.

Old Mill

The Albert's Mill wheel and millrace are accessible just outside Prince Albert on the left-hand side of the road towards the Mountain (before you reach the Pass turn-off).      

Bushman Valley

Three kilometers south of town on the tar road.  Bushman museum, rock shelters and daily tours.  1,200 Ha Nature Reserve with game often sighted.  Best hiking trails near town. Walk Bains’ original roadway to the Pass and see the 6km long stone walls built almost 200 years ago. Splash pools and rock pools. Ian & Barbara Uys Tel: 023 5411 322 or 082 452 8134

Massage

Treat yourself to a range of relaxing and rejuvenating holistic therapies such as Aromatherapy massage, Shiatsu, Reflexology, Reiki and Polarity Balancing in our calm surroundings.

David Blackie – will work with you in the comfort of your guest room. He practises FAT NAM RASAYAN – an experience of consciousness. 

Tourism Office

For postcards, books, The Prince Albert Friend, olives, olive oil, dried figs, fig jam, almonds etc.  Please visit the Tourism Office.  We also offer the following office services:  internet cafe, colour copying, faxing, scanning, laminating etc.  Tel: 023 5411 366.

Bushman paintings and Fossil & Rock art Tour

Judy Maguire (palaeontologist) and John Begg (geologist) of Scholtzkloof Farm can take you on a ‘fossil and rock art tour’ to see an archaeological museum, fossils and a rare rock painting on their farm 10 km out of Prince Albert , towards the Swartberg Pass. By prior arrangement only. Closed shoes essential, there is some scrambling and climbing to reach the rock shelter. Time: about 2.5-3.5 hours including travelling time.

By appointment only, visit fossils dated at 350.000 million years old on a farm in the Weltevrede Valley. 

Precious Gem Collection

To view the spectacular private Barrella precious gem collection, please phone Lydia. Cost: R5 per person.

Gordon's Koppie Ramble

For the more energetic: this walk along the hill behind the village takes at least one and half-hours. There is a well-defined path, which is steep at times. Walkers should wear sturdy shoes or boots, sun block and a hat and carry water. The route offers spectacular views of the Karoo plains, the koppies, mountains and the little village of Prince Albert.

Saturday Market

Next to the Fransie Pienaar Museum. Saturday mornings find the people of Prince Albert at the market to sell their goods, have tea and socialize. An interesting variety of local produce such as home-made goodies, fresh vegetables and fruits in season, Karoo Lamb, etc. are sold. So come down to the market and join the locals for a chat and a look-round. 

Farm Visits and Nurseries

Gay's Dairy/Cheese Tours

Gay's beautiful Guernsey cows produce an average 450 litres of milk a day for consumption in Prince Albert. Gay's Dairy also processes low-fat yoghurt's, cheese, amasi and fruit juices. Gay and her team have won numerous awards for their cheese including a bronze medal at the 2004 International Cheese Fair in London. The dairy is open from 07:00-08:00 and 17:00-18:00 daily including weekends. A must for those with discerning taste buds. Tours by arrangement.

Bergwater Vineyards

Stefaan and Heimie Schoeman's vineyards are situated in the exquisite Prince Albert Valley just outside the village of Prince Albert, the Bergwater farms comprise 3 farms totaling 1500 hectares of which 80 hectares of vineyards will be established (70 hectares to date), the remainder of the land is utilized as a nature reserve.  Wine tasting and wine sales are available to the public at the cellar during trading hours, no booking necessary.  Cellar times: Mondays to Thursdays 09:00-16:30, Fridays  09:00-16:00 and Saturdays 10:00-15:00.

Kredouw Olive Farm

Kredouw Olive Farm is situated at the foot of the Kredouw Pass in the picturesque Prince Albert Valley, and boasts an olive press for the processing of cold pressed extra virgin olive oil.  This oil is extracted from a selection of five varieties of handpicked Italian Olives, grown on the farm, and blended to achieve a unique flavour.  The farm shop selling olive oil, olive products as well as almonds and other farm products has a viewing window for the press and visitors are welcome to see the operation first hand.  Olive picking and pressing takes place from the end of March to the end of May.

Weltevrede Fig and Fruit Farm 

25km west of Prince Albert on the Weltevrede road (turn off at the cemetery in Christina de Wit street, near the old watermill). Sun dried Adams figs, fresh oranges and naartjies. Farm visits during the picking and drying season – January to April / May – can be arranged. 

Swartrivier Olive Farm

Situated 5 kms out of Prince Albert on the Leeu Gamka/Kruidfontein road. The Bothmas harvest between 50 and 80 tons of olives per annum. There are 3 000 trees, with Manzanilla and Mission varieties grown for processing and Leccino for oil. Twenty percent of their production is retained for local sales and processing, while 80 percent is sold to major processors in Cape Town. Tours and tasting by prior arrangement.

Olienhof Olive Press and Tree Nursery

Essie Esterhuisen presses prize winning olive oil and grows olive trees. Pay them a visit to taste and buy their oil and why not buy a Prince Albert olive tree to take home as a reminder of the village!

Renu-Karoo: Indigenous Nursery and Veld Restoration

Dr Sue Milton-Dean & Dr Richard Dean sell Karoo succulents, shrubs and trees and indigenous seed for Karoo veld restoration and offer a Karoo veld assessment & specialist ecological assessment service. Visit their nursery on the corner of Kerk and van Dykstraat which stocks their wide range of indigenous plants.  

Ask us for more details

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Shopping in Prince Albert

True Karoo Gallery

A treasure trove of art and crafts created by Trudi, Ana Maria and other local artists and collectables from furniture to clothing sources by Yolande. 

Karoo Looms

Karoo Looms produce a magnificent range of handspun, woven rugs in a variety of sizes, designs & colours. They will make woollen rugs to particular designs upon request. As a service to guests they pack and post purchases abroad.

Prince of Africa: Cape Mohair products  Shop situated on the Swartberg Hotel Veranda

Do you know that 90% of quality Mohair is produced in Cape Mohair Country and its the highest quality mohair in the world! Visit Prince of Africa to view the super-soft mohair blankets in a variety of colours and sizes; comfortable mohair socks for all shapes and sizes; scarves; shawls and beautiful hand knitted jerseys. Credit cards accepted.  After hours service call 023 5411 454. Open 7 days a week, 09:00 – 17:00  

Lah-di-dah

This “fêncy padstal” has taken the term farm stall to new and exciting heights.  They offer typical farm stall fare:  local jams, chutneys, fruit and veggies in far from typical “plaas stal” surroundings.  The “fêncy” part overflows from the shelves:  gifts for any occasion including candles, teddies, gardening tools, ornaments, brightly coloured Wellington boots, oil lamps, curtain tassels, butterfly nets and much, much more….

Lazy Lizard

The Lazy Lizard started as a bus terminal.  Today it is a family owned business, offering a variety of services from wireless internet connection to coffee shop, bakery and delicatessen, curios and a health and fitness centre.  Come and visit Juan, Caryn and Alex, you won’t be sorry.

Trading hours: Mon-Fri 07:00-18:00, Sat 07:00-17:00 & Sun 07:00-16:00

Gordon’s Drinkstore 

The smallest bottle store with the biggest range of South African wines and spirits, beers and soft drinks.  A range of local wines especially for visitors to sample and enough ice in summer for everyone.  As most restaurants in Prince Albert are not licensed, please remember to buy your crisp white or mello red wine from Gordon’s for dinner.  Credit cards accepted.  Trading hours:  Mon-Thu: 09:00 - 18:00, Fri:  09:00 - 19:00 & Sat:  09:00 - 17:00. 

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Where to eat in Prince Albert

Café Photo Albert  

Sabine and Stephan Jaggy - Café Photo Albert combines the experience of a delicious meal, or simply a drink, with the viewing of photos from the area of Prince Albert and all over Africa. The restaurant, in the centre of town, is open for breakfast, lunch and dinner from Thursday to Sunday. Our menus consist of good local fare along with a distinct touch of Switzerland. Enjoy one of our fondues, the famous rosti, beef fillet or lamb on a plank or a Swiss pie with Biltong. Drop in at afternoon for a cup of real Italian coffee with a freshly baked waffle. Credit cards are accepted. We are not licensed yet; please bring your own wine.

Gallery Café

Brent Phillips-White - Seven Arches, Church Street.  Open for dinner.  The menu varies daily but certain dishes remain constant i.e. Kudu carpacio, lamb, chicken and vegetarian cannelloni.  Booking for dinner is essential.  Licensed.  Credit cards accepted.

Karoo Kombuis

Denise, Theuns & Michael - 18 Deurdrift Street –Bistro atmosphere, traditional Karoo meals, very special hosts Theuns, Michael & Denise are former SAA international flight attendants.  Open every night except Sundays.  Booking is essential.  Unlicensed, please bring your own wine.  No credit card facilities.  Vegetarian meals by arrangment.  Regret no children under 10 years.  

Prickly Pear

Take away meals available.  Delicious pizzas, selection of burgers, sandwiches & vetkoek.  Open daily from 07:00-22:00.  Credit cards accepted.

The Olive Branch

Seasonal flavours of home-grown herbs, fruit and vegetables cooked Mediterranean style. Advance Bookings only. Licensed. Regret no credit cards.

The Swartberg Arms Steak House

Chris van Zyl  - 77 Church Street,  next to the Swartberg Hotel.  For the best ribs and pizzas in town.  Open Monday to Saturday from 17:00 to 22:00.  Closed on Sundays. Fully licensed.  Credit cards accepted.

The Victorian Room at The Swartberg Hotel

Enjoy traditional South African fare.  Dinner is served in the grand Victorian dining room whilst breakfast and lunch are enjoyed in the  air conditioned Coffee Shop or alfresco on the shaded terrace.  Delicious buffet lunch served every Sunday from 12:00.  Fully licensed.  Credit cards accepted.

 

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General information for Tourists:

ABSA ATM Available 24 hours per day.

The BP National Garage is open 24 hours per day.

The village has a small airstrip contact us for information about the condition of the runway.

We have a doctor and pharmacy and a small hospital.

Climate: Mediterranean, dry sunny and bracing. Winter and summer rainfall 45 – 50 mm a year, mainly in April and November/December. Summertime highs average 35 deg C. Daytime winter lows 14 - 16 deg.C.

 

 


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