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11 Things To Do in Wolseley (As seen on SA-Venues.com)

Posted by Lorenzo Samuels on 03 June 2019 1:35 PM CAT
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HERE ARE JUST SOME AMAZING THINGS TO DO IN WOLSELEY

1. HORSE RIDING TRAILS IN TULBAGH

From personal experience over many years, horse riding with Horse About Trails and Adventures in comes Highly Recommended by the SA-Venues.com Team!

Saddle up and unwind while you explore the scenic Tulbagh Valley countryside on the back of a well trained horse. Our nature trails take a step back in time as you ride through vineyards and wheat fields to reach the contour paths at the foothills of the majestic Witzenberg Mountains. Enjoy the panoramic views of the valley and surrounding mountains.

We offer various trail options which can include local wine tastings or sample award winning olive oils, or simply join us for a leisurely meander amongst fynbos, vineyards and orchards while admiring the panoramic views of the Tulbagh Valley.

Our trail rides and out rides can be tailored to suit everyone, from supervised pony rides for the little ones to half day and full day trails. Tulbagh boasts a wide array of accommodation, from camping and cottages on working farms to luxurious hotels in the historic village.

Every trail ride includes instruction, a helmet and english saddle.

One hour scenic ride, enjoyed by all levels of rider, but particularly suitable for the beginner as well as the not-so-fit rider.

The two to three hour ride is for the more experienced rider who is fit enough to be comfortable in the saddle for a few hours.

Experience our spectacular Sunrise, Sunset and Moonlight trail rides.

If you are celebrating a special event, let us arrange a delicious picnic or pack a bottle of champagne to complete a magical day.

2. HORSE & PONY RIDING TRAILS

Horse About Trails and Adventures offer magnificent horse trails and equestrian activities in the Western Cape. Just over an hour from Cape Town, situated in the majestic Witzenberg Valley, we are conveniently located between the towns of Tulbagh, Wolseley, and Ceres.

Our trails take you through vineyards and farm lands to reach the contour paths at the foothills of the majestic Witzenberg Mountains where you can enjoy panoramic views of the valley. You can just sit back and relax on a well trained horse, accompanied by experienced guides as these horse trails are suitable for all levels and ages of riders.

There are various trail options on offer and should you wish we can include local wine tastings or give you the opportunity to sample award winning olive oils. The stunning sunset and moonlight trail rides are also worth checking out.

You can enjoy these trails with the whole family as we offer activities for children to interact with horses and ponies for fun, therapy or simply to enjoy an outride together making a prefect way to spend a family day out.

3. WAVERLEY HILLS ORGANIC WINE ESTATE

This estate is positioned opposite the original Waverley Wool dye-works where blankets were produced during the First World Wars and Anglo-Boer War. That’s where the name ‘Waverley Hill’s stems from and is owned by the Du Toit family who bring forty years of wine making experience with them.

A big decision in 2002 was when they decided to enter the organic wine market and thereafter saw the farm planting a total of 30 ha of vineyards and olives to be grown organically. When visiting the estate, you can enjoy wine and olive tasting in the tasting room or munch on a bit more in their restaurant with its views over the valley and rolling vineyards. The following grape varieties are grown on the estate such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Mourvedre, Shiraz, Viognier, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Semillon, Pinot Grigio, Grenache Noir.

They have grown their own plants since 2007, and boast a beautiful Fynbos nursery where the public can purchase plants. If you are looking for a more active afternoon, walk along their hiking trails or cycle along their biking trails. They have a Green Fingers initiative which was launched in 2010 and aims to provide children with a sense of pride of their living space and encourages them to create a greener environment.

To view more wine estates in the region see Tulbagh Wine Estates or see South African Wine Estates for a general overview and links to other wine producing regions.

4. MOUNTAIN RIDGE WINERY

Mountain Ridge Winery was first established as Romansrivier on 5 March 1949. The first harvest was in 1950 and all 3136 tons was delivered by 20 members. The Dry Red Cinsaut was the first wine bottled in 1976. The cellar’s first award was achieved in 1977 at the Cape Wine Show for the Clairetter Blanche, under winemaker Olla Oliver.

In the past it’s Columbar Semi-Sweet Wine and Cabernet Sauvignon has been winners and favourites. After the cellar closed, it was re-opened in November 2002 with Francois Agenbach as winemaker and Nellis Thiart as Secretary and Accountant who both played key roles in turning it into the success it is today.

The core business is bulk wine, but Romansrivier started bottling wine under the Mountain ridge label in 2004 and later the winery changed its name to Mountain Ridge Wines in 2006. The style of the wine produced changed and more easy drinking wines were on offer together with oak matured red wines.

5. CERES SELF DRIVE ROUTES

Ceres is a spectacularly scenic part of the Western Cape, and is a fabulous destination for those wanting to explore the Cape via road. Although somewhat small, Ceres is divided into four unique areas.

The 1) Warm Bokkeveld is one of the most abundant in terms of natural agricultural resources. This area envelops Ceres and Prince Alfred Hamlet.

The 2) Bo-Swaarmoed is situated at the foot of the Matroosberg Mountain Range and is famous for its farms. The views of the Ceres Valley are breath-taking here. Visitors often visit Bo-Swaarmoed to pick cherries or to see the snow in winter.

The 3) Koue Bokkeveld is home to a small village, and is renowned for its apples, pears and vegetables.

The 4) Ceres Karoo is semi-arid, with breath-taking views and priceless natural resources.

6. MURLUDI HIKING TRAIL

The Murludi Hiking Trail consits of various walking trails in the northern part of the Tulbagh Valley. The wine valley is a stunning site, but especially from a height on the hiking trails.

Enjoy crossing mountain streams, drinking from fresh flowing water and taking in the beauty of the scenery surrounding you.

The route takes you across a variety of terrains and is always interesting and changing. If you are spending some time in Tulbagh, remember to walk off all the delicious wines and cheese platters with a meander on the Murludi Hiking Trail.

7. SELF DRIVE CAPE TOWN TO WELLINGTON

Route: Bloubergstrand, Philadelphia, Malmesbury, Riebeek-Kasteel, Nuwekloof Pass, Tulbagh, Bainskloof, Wellington 
Description: from the most recognisable view of Table Mountain north to the 'Land van Waveren' (the fertile valley of Tulbagh, Wolseley, and Ceres in the Cape's wine country) beyond the mountains 
Length: roughly 250 km 
Time: a day, at least (we would recommend doing this over two days) 
Overnight: our favourite towns are Tulbagh and Riebeek-Kasteel

The drive leaves Cape Town for what must be THE most recognisable view of Table Mountain, across the sea from Bloubergstrand.

From Cape Town's foreshore on Table Bay Boulevard (N1), take Marine Drive (R27), away from the city, driving past Milnerton, the lagoon on your left, and a little later Rietvlei on your right.

Take a left into Otto du Plessis Drive (M14) and head down to the beach, taking a left into Sir David Baird Drive, and another left into Stadler Road to reach the parking area on the beachfront.

Ons Huisie is a restaurant in a national monument right on the beach (perfect for fish 'n chips). A stroll on the wide beach is a must, particularly at low tide when you can walk across a sand bar to the outcrop of rocks.

Bloubergstrand to Philadelphia (28 km) 
Leave the beach, continuing on Stadler to meet Sir David Baird, where you turn left. At the second traffic circle take a left, following Otto du Pless Drive all the way up the coastline, alongside Blouberg Nature Reserve and Atlantic Beach Golf Estate, until Otto du Plessis curves right gently at Melkbosstrand.

At the intersection with Melkbosstrand Road, take Melkbosstrand (straight). This crosses the R27, and then finally intersects, about 8 km later, with the N7 at a t-junction. Turn left.

You now head through the rolling farmlands of the Swartland. Shortly after the Engen One Stop, take a left to the little village of Philadelphia. Lunch at one of the restaurants (De Malle Meul is a good bet) and explore.

Philadelphia via Malmesbury to Riebeek-Kasteel (55 km) 
Head back to the N7, taking a left in the direction of Malmesbury. After roughly 30 km, turn left onto the R315 into Malmesbury, the largest town in the Swartland with a vibrant community.

Leave Malmesbury on the R45 (Bokomo Road is a left off the N7 as you enter Malmesbury), and then, after you cross the Riebeeksrivier, take a left onto the R46 for Riebeek-Kasteel / Ceres.

About 11 km later you will reach the top of Bothmaskloof Pass, with beautiful views over the Riebeeck Valley, Winterhoek Mountains, and the Witzenberg a little further north east. The pass descends the Kasteelberg along a wide S-bend. Just down the pass is a viewpoint over the town of Riebeek-Kasteel.

Take the R311 left to visit the sister villages of Riebeek-Kasteel and Riebeeck West. They're only about six minutes' apart and both are worth a visit, if not an overnight stay (or two). We recommend Bar Bar Black Sheep Restaurant in Riebeek-Kasteel.

Pieter Cuythoff led an expedition from the Castle in Cape Town in 1661, intent on finding the legendary kingdom of Monomotapa. He may not have discovered Monomotapa, but he did encounter a great, isolated ridge that he then named Riebeek-Kasteel.

Riebeek-Kasteel to Tulbagh (38.3 km) 
Return to and follow the R46 until it junctions with the R44 at Hermon, take a left to Tulbagh.

About 8 km after passing the turn off to the Voelvlei Dam, you will cross the Klein Berg River in the Nuwekloof Pass, built by Thomas Bain in 1873. Take Tulbagh Road to the left off the R46 after crossing the Kleinberg River on coming out of the poort.

To fully explore the history of Tulbagh, you really need to stay overnight. But if short of time, at least park at the top end of Church Street and walk it to appreciate the town's restored 18th and 19th century buildings.

Tulbagh to Bainskloof (44 km) 
Leave Tulbagh via Van der Stel Street in the direction of Wolseley.

Alongside you for the next 13 km are the Witsenberg, Watervalsberg and Elandkloofberg ranges. Van der Stel joins the R46. Roughly 7 km later, take a right and drive through Wolseley. At the t-junction with the R43 take another right to Worcester / Wellington.

7 km later, and just before you cross the Breë River (also known as Breede River), pass the R43 to Worcester on your left. Just after you cross the Breë River is the start of Bainskloof, and a sharp left turn as the R301 now wends its way alongside the Wit River, right up against the Limietberg Mountain.

Bainskloof Pass is a 30 km pass built by Andrew Geddes Bain, and regarded as one of the most scenic routes in the Western Cape.

Roughly 7 km after the sharp left bend, you will pass Tweede Tol camp and picnic area, where a short walk under the road takes you to a cluster of natural swimming pools on the Wit River.

Head on, passing Dacres' Pulpit and Bishop's Arch (two prominent rock formations). At the crest of the pass is Eerste Tol, another campsite. The viewpoint offers superb views over Wellington and the Berg River Valley.

Bainskloof to Cape Town (80km) 
The R301 takes you directly to Wellington. Leave the town on the R44, continuing across the intersection with the R45 to Paarl and Malmesbury. Roughly 9.5 km later, take the R312 to Durbanville and then a left onto Klipheuwel Road, which takes you into Durbanville. From there follow the signs to the N1 to Cape Town.

8. HORSE THERAPY

The therapeutic powers of animals are explored and celebrated in the heart of the Witzenberg Valley at Horse About. This is a professional facility that is run against the exquisite backdrop of the Cape Winelands, the entire area of which is a tourist attraction in its own rights for the world-class wines that it produces and the vistas that are nothing short of breath-taking.

Horse About has a horse therapy programme that is designed to help those with emotional problems, physical disabilities or mental disabilities. The benefits of using horses for therapy are manifold.

In many cases, these horses have been rescued from abusive situations, or were considered too old to continue in their old ‘jobs’. Some of the people that take part on these therapy sessions can identify with the feelings of abuse, neglect or being discarded, sharing the emotions and trauma with the animals.

For young and not-so-young ones, learning to ride and interact with one of these powerful animals teaches discipline and confidence as well as leadership skills and how to develop friendships with others. Of course, there are also the physical benefits. Horse riding improves posture and balance, and plays a key role in strengthening the core muscles that are used to stabilise the body. This is great exercise for the physically compromised or disabled, particularly those undergoing rehabilitation. Please consult with a medical doctor before undergoing this kind of physical treatment.

Participants will also be shown how to groom and care for the horses, which imparts an important sense of responsibility, teaching them to be answerable for their actions and showing them how their care positively influences the lives of others.

This is a volunteer project that focuses on the rural areas around Stellenbosch, Pniel, Franschhoek and Paarl. However, it is also a fantastic initiative for visitors from around the world to see.

Horse About is wheelchair accessible.

9. EQUINE INTERACTION

Horses are magnificent in their power and poise, their elegance and control. They have worked along with human beings for centuries, each imparting something special to one another in a uniquely symbiotic relationship. Horse About is a volunteer project that celebrates this relationship and uses it to improve the lives of both the animal and the human being; all set within the stunning Witzenberg Valley of the Western Cape.

Many of these horses are rescues, having come from bad or inadequate situations in which they did not receive the love and care that they deserved. Sadly, this is something with which so many people can relate. However, not all of those that can benefit from the horses are physically able to ride them. So, Horse About offers an interactive programme that simply enables participants to feed, brush and communicate with the animals.

n addition, you will learn many things about the care of these equine beauties, as well as their history, uses and the myths surrounding them. This is not only fascinating, it also adds a lot to the appreciation of the horses and their abilities, imparting courage and positivity to the people that get involved. Those that are able to are encouraged to lead the horses around, even from a wheelchair. These animals are accustomed to folk with all sorts of physical abilities, and are gentle and patient.

10. CERES RAIL COMPANY

Ceres is an exquisite valley in the heart of the Western Cape’s farmlands. Sprawling fruit orchards rise to meet the towering mountains of the Boland, graced by the clear sunshine of South Africa and tickled by the refreshing breeze of the countryside. There are a number of ways to explore the loveliness of Ceres, but none quite as special as the locomotives of the Ceres Rail Company.

This company has a history that spans more than a century, and promises visitors a unique experience of the beautiful surrounds. These locomotive trips are conducted between the Ceres Golf Estate and Wolseley, where the lush green of the countryside is rivalled only by the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity afforded by the authentic locomotives.

The vistas include breath-taking views of the valley from the elevated Michell’s Pass, which is also known for its incredible rock formations. During the winter months (June to August), the pass is often blanketed by stark snow, which makes it even more magical to explore. This is an especially stunning experience for keen bird-watchers, as there is such an abundance of species to be seen along the scenic route.

11. KLUITJIESKRAAL MTB ROUTE

Where: between Tulbagh and Wolseley, start at Kluitjieskraal Forestry Station 
Level: challenging 
Type of route: mainly gravel road and narrow jeep track over rocky terrain (lots of loose shale) 
Distance: 41 km, although it is adaptable to various routes (copy of the map from the 7-11 or Wolseley or Tulbagh tourism) 
Best: During the rainy season you will get your feet wet during river crossings; water is drinkable

Anyone who has cycled the Cape Epic is no stranger to the Kluitjieskraal kloof. In years gone by it has formed part of the route between Worcester and Ceres. Renowned for its incredible scenery and particularly challenging ride it is a steady climb to 400 metres above sea level with descents that will have the brain and the legs working together seamlessly, or you will find yourself coming a cropper.

The ride lies just west of Wolseley mainly through forestry reserve, and the initial 5 km climb has been described, even by hard-core cyclists, as a back breaking steady climb on gravel, the seven percent gradient up from the Wolseley Valley into the valley between Elandsberg and Wolseley beautiful nonetheless.

The forest in this usually inaccessible valley is available for the route, and during the annual Wolseley MTB race. Once on the plateau things flatten out through acres of pine plantation.

One descends into the Suurbraak Valley after which one again turns to re-visit the Watervalberg. This is where it gets a little technical, although the crossing above the waterfall, and the loop onto the mountain slopes, is incredibly beautiful with views of Tulbagh.

The home run is again through pine plantation and on contour path, so easier all the way. Watch out for the southeaster through the Wolseley Valley.

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