Although it’s called the “Winelands” for a reason, the Cape Winelands offers so much more than just wine. The restaurant scene is also something to brag about, with Franschhoek even being called the gastronomic capital of South Africa. There are also a number of activities in the area that don’t just involve wine and food. Take an architectural tour of Paarl, have a mountain bike adventure or visit some lions – there’s lots to do!
Wine farms in Stellenbosch
Why you should visit: With more than 150 listed wineries in Stellenbosch alone, picking a favourite is like being asked to choose one bottle from a cellar packed high with delights. Here is just a taste:
Vergenoegd Löw Wine Estate – Famous for its old (some of the oldest) vintage reds on the wine route, in addition to their Duck Parade.
Delheim Wine Farm – Try the vegan wines, fynbos cupcake and wine tastings.
Seven Sisters Vineyard – A black-owned winery and owned by seven (biological) sisters originally from Paternoster on the West Coast. Booking is essential.
Stellenbosch Hills – Move over wine and cheese, there’s an even better pairing on offer at Stellenbosch Hills. The Biltong and Droëwors tasting (pioneered in 2005) combines six premium wines with the best South African cured and dried meats.
J.C Le Roux – If you prefer your wine with bubbles in it, make a stop at the House of J.C Le Roux. Don’t miss the sparkling and Méthode Cap Classique wine and nougat tastings.
How much does it cost: The price of tastings differ (unlikely to be more than R100) but are usually free when you buy a bottle.
Skydiving in Wellington
Why you should experience it: For the ultimate thrill-seeking experience, Skydive Two Oceans offers tandem skydiving packages in Wellington. Jump out of a plane at 9 000 ft. and take in the serene vistas of the Paarl valley below.
How to get there: Skydive Two Oceans is situated an hours drive away from Cape Town at Diemerskraal airfield, Wellington.
How much does it cost: Packages start from around R2 850 per person
Lions in Paarl
Why you should visit: Established in 1998 to provide sanctuary for abused lions, the Drakenstein Lion Park in Paarl is one of the few genuine lion sanctuaries in South Africa that provide care to captive-bred lions.
How much does it cost: Entrance fees to the park are R90 for adults and R45 for children. Feeding times are at 16:00 on a Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Horse Riding in Franschhoek
Why you should experience it: What better way to take in the beauty of the fertile Franschhoek valley than by horseback? There are many credible companies that offer day trails that include use of horses, riding gear, hard hats and guides.
How much does it cost: A one-hour ride costs around R600 per person and is suitable for novice riders.