This coffee stop had it all. The forever beach in the cool of the morning was a delight, even though there were no whales to be seen. Over the road from the parking area, Africa Vibe provided good coffee, free wifi and friendly locals. A great start to a great day.
On the Road
The Garden Route delivered on its reputation with a wonderfully scenic drive on a stunning blue-sky day. The Wilderness was a particular standout, incredibly beautiful despite bustling with holidaymakers. At George we headed inland through the Outeniqua Pass towards Oudtshoorn and in no time at all swapped lush greens for Karoo browns, amazed at how quickly the landscape and climate changes.
The Swartberg Pass
We arrived at the Cango Caves too late to join the last tour of the day. Deciding we really didn't feel like backtracking to Oudtshoorn, we thought we would try for Prins Albert - which on the map didn't look too far if we travelled over the Swartberg Pass. The info lady assured us that the road, although gravel, was good. By the time we began to doubt the wisdom of our choice we had passed the point of no return. A spectacular, and at times, terrifying drive. If we had known what we were in for I'm not sure we would have had the courage to do it. So glad we did.
Overnighted at: Olienhof Camp Site
Located: On an olive farm on the outskirts of Prince Albert.
How we found it: “Camp and Caravan”
Road Access: Some dirt roads.
Amenities: Cape Dutch cottage-style bathroom, roomy and decorated like a home rather than a camp ablution; braais and power on site.
Cost: NZD16 / ZAR160 for two adults
The camping area at Olienhof farm is small with only 5 to 6 sites. An elderly couple was there already set up in a large, multi-roomed tent and a younger couple arrived after us in a 4 x 4 safari camper with a fold-out tent on the roof. Although an intimate space, we still had privacy and we placed our tent for shade and a view of the olive grove. The owners were very friendly and helpful, it felt like a farm experience, quite different to a conventional campground.
Soundtrack: Birds, five hungry cats, sporadic hammering, tractors driving around, digging, mowing etc in the morning (its a working farm).
Highlight: Finding this haven at the end of an incredibly hot day (40+ degrees), stopping off at the olive factory the following morning and buying tins of olive oil produced on the farm as gifts.
Lowlight: Huge mosquitoes hanging out in the shower curtains.