The drive from Cape Town into South Africa’s Garden Route has to be one of the world’s most scenic drives. We spent 3 days driving it, stopped at beautiful parks along the sea, wineries, and a cheetah sanctuary, and determined that 3 days on the Garden Route and one night in Stellenbosch was nowhere near long enough.
After our kayaking adventure, our next destination was Stellenbosch, located in The Cape Winelands, the wine capital of South Africa.
Remhoogte Wine Estate
The highlight of our visit to South Africa’s famous wine region was our stay in the beautiful guesthouse at the stunning Remhoogte Wine Estate. Overlooking a lake, the winery is home to zebras, wildebeest, impala and quite a few friendly dogs. If you spend only one night in Stellenbosch, stay there, and try to go for longer.
While there, we did a wine tasting, tried some of their in-house craft beer, and had a lovely morning hike around the vines. This is another place we would have stayed longer if we could!
The town of Stellenbosch is quite charming. A typical wine region town, like Sonoma or Niagara on the Lake, it’s pretty as a picture and has a lot of dining and drinking establishments. Since we only got there in time for dinner and drinks, it was perfect for our needs.
Our first stop in town was Wijnhaus. We went there with the intention of tasting a lot of local wines, and perhaps even having dinner. We almost didn’t stay for the wine the place was so understaffed, but our server hooked us up and we did enjoy the sampling.
Dinner at Fat Butcher. This place was packed on a Tuesday night, but we only waited a little while for a table on the back patio. As you can guess from the restaurant’s name, they specialize in meat. We bought some meat samplers, enjoyed them all, and had leftovers for our drive the next day.
We would have liked to visit a few more of the wine estates and vineyards in the region, but we did get to stay in a beautiful place and eat and drink well, so no complaints.
Brian learned there was a place to get up close and personal with cheetahs, so in the morning, before we left Stellenbosch, we visited Cheetah Outreach. The visit was nowhere near as quick as we thought it would be, but the long wait to pet cheetahs was worth it in the end.
At the entrance, you can decide if you want to pet an adult or a baby cheetah. We made different choices: Brian: adult, me: baby. The price is a little bit higher for the baby, but Brian thinks I got a better deal. I definitely got more time with my cheetahs, but he probably had more danger.
Since I was the only single person in my group, I got to pet two cubs at once. The others went in pairs and split the two cubs. They were pretty much sleeping the entire time I pet them, but it was nice. It reminded me of petting my cats, only with guards over me the whole time (for my protection, of course).
We loved our time and definitely recommend spending more than one night in Stellenbosch. Here’s hoping we get back there one day.