Ever wondered what it would be like to go back in history and experience the world in a different era?
I know what you’re thinking; there’s museums for that. Yes, I concur but you need to truly immerse yourself in a place where the heritage is nearly untouched since.
Luckily for us, South Africa’s Western Cape is perfect for such an adventure. South Africa, in its tender democratic age holds beautifully preserved architecture that has been transformed into the most captivating experiences open for us, the public, to enjoy. Follow me as I show you my favorites.
Favorite Spots in the Western Cape
The Castle of Good Hope
We have to begin where it all started. The Castle of Good Hope holds the key to understanding life during the colonial era. Built by the Dutch Indian Company during the 17th century, the Castle has now become a provincial heritage site and is still considered the most preserved example of a Dutch India Company Fort. To really get a feel of how Cape Town began, you should sign up for your tour now.
What you can do in the Castle:
1) Watch the Castle military guards perform their duties.
2) Visit the Castle museum and learn about the historic significance of the building.
3) Watch a live demonstration of a cannon-firing on the lawn.
4) Enjoy delicious foods at the resident restaurants.
5) Explore the Castle’s past function and the impact it had on what it is now Cape Town.
Jambo Guest House- Green Point, Cape Town
This Victorian style home, owned by Barry and Mina Thomas was first opened to the public in 1995. It was originally built circa in 1885. They’ve created a guest house fit for the avid traveler looking for a home-away-from-home atmosphere combined with luxury and comfort and a touch of the past. The home is located near the V&A Waterfront and is within walking distance from the beach.
Here’s what you’ll find at Jambo:
1) Individually styled rooms to suit your mood and level of luxury.
2) Jacuzzi, English style bar, games room, Barry’s private bar and so much more.
3) Mina is a registered tour guide and can even offer you advice on how to really get the best out of your stay.
4) Enjoy the surrounding garden with different themes along with homemade food that will make you want to move in and call it home.
Dorp Street, Stellenbosch
I can’t help but feel warm and fuzzy when thinking about breathtaking Stellenbosch, affectionately known to locals as “Stellies”. Located about 50 km east of Cape Town, Stellenbosch’s Dorp Street is a local treasure. The street is lined with oak trees and unique styled cafes and restaurants behind Dutch style buildings. The street is filled with a charm that is sure to take you back in time. Most of the buildings date back to 19 th century. Simply put on your walking shoes and take a stroll down the street. Take in the beautiful Dutch style architecture and stop at the local boutiques for a look around. The small town of Stellenbosch has the longest rows of surviving historic buildings than anywhere else in Southern Africa. Stellenbosch is one of the earliest established towns during the colonial era. With hospitable locals along with surrounding fields of vineyards stretching as far as you can see, this is definitely a trip worth taking.
What you can do in Dorp Street:
1) Stellenbosch is home to hundreds of university students as therefore, it accommodates a young, trendy market. You will find the most charming coffee shops and local pubs.
2) Visit the local Museum where it showcases the rich history of Stellenbosch.
3) Learn about the internationally renowned vineyards and go on, enjoy some local wine while you’re there.
4) The night life really comes alive in Stellenbosch; that is if you visit outside of examination finals of course. The students living on Stellenbosch University residence bring a fun air to the old time town. The two combined make for a memorable combination.
Home to the oldest wine estate in South Africa, Groot Constantia is considered a revered provincial heritage site in the Western Cape. After a series of unfortunate incidents, the grounds were restored in the early 1990’s. Today, the manor house has become part of the South African Cultural History Museum. An exhibition in the house is focused on rural slavery and the life of slaves during the early Cape colonial period.
What Groot Constantia offers:
1) Groot Constantia Manor House in all its glory. Providing insights into the life of a successful Cape farmer in the 18th to 19th century
2) Wine tasting tours
3) Museum on the history of slavery in the Cape
4) Scenic views of the wine estate
There is great wisdom and lessons to be learnt from the heritage and culture around us. Take this list into consideration for your next adventure and uncover classic beauty that even time can’t erase.