Stellenbosch is the second oldest town in South Africa dating back to 1679. The then Dutch Governor of the Cape Colony, Simon van der Stel, named the town after himself. With its Oak-lined streets and peaceful atmosphere it is easy to understand why students love it so much. The town is alive with history. A wide variety of museums and other attractions are mostly within walking distance from the center of town.
Stellenbosch's location places it at the center of the Cape Winelands. Every road in and out of Stellenbosch passes various wine estates. Some of the more prominent estates are Neethlingshof, Zevenwacht, Morgenhof, Muratie, Kanonkop, Lievland, Lanzerac and Spier.
Stellenbosch University, previously known as Victoria College, was founded in 1918. The mainly Afrikaans university is one of the top residential and research institutions in South Africa. Its campus is interwoven with Stellenbosch's suburbs. 'Maties', as it is affectionately known, is well known for its quaint and relaxed environment and very active student life. In 2012 there were approximately 27 000 students and more than 900 lecturers. The university has 12 faculties: Arts, Science, Education, Military Science, Forestry, Agricultural Sciences, Medicine, Theology, Economic and Management Sciences, Law and Engineering.
This tour covers the highlights of South Africa and is ideal for first time visitors to the country. It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. This is the ‘southbound’ tour version that starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town.
Highlights: Panorama Route , Blyde River Canyon , Kruger National Park , Swaziland , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , Transkei , Hole-in-the-Wall , Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Knysna , Cango Caves , Route 62 , Cape Winelands , Cape Town .
This tour covers the highlights of South Africa and is ideal for first time visitors to the country. It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. This is the ‘northbound’ tour version that starts in Cape Town and ends in Johannesburg.
Highlights: Cape Town , Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Oudtshoorn , Route 62 , Garden Route , Oudtshoorn ostrich farms , Cango Caves , Knysna , Storm’s River Mouth , Coffee Bay , Wild Coast , Hibiscus Coast , San Lameer , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , Swaziland , Kruger National Park , Panorama Route , Johannesburg .
South African wines are rated with those from the other top wine-producing regions in the world. The majority of wine estates, over 100 in fact, are found in the Cape Winelands, which is within easy reach of Cape Town and makes for a great one-day excursion.
Franschhoek (“French corner”), a small town in the heartland of the Cape Winelands, is one of the very popular places to visit when in Cape Town. It is situated in the picturesque Franschhoek Valley, surrounded by magnificent mountains and vineyards. It is named after the the French Huguenots who settled here in 1688.
The best way to explore Stellenbosch is on foot as most of the architectural beauties are within easy walking distance of each other. You can do this using a tourist guide or the useful brochure/map titled “On foot through historic Stellenbosch”, available from the very professional and helpful Stellenbosch Tourism Information Office.