Bonnievale is a great place for outdoor activities.
We are blessed with the surrounded mountain ranges and the ever flowing Breede river. There are many activities in and around Bonnievale but you have to know how to find them.
The Robertson Valley has lovingly been dubbed The Valley of Wine and Roses as a small testimony to its unadulterated beauty. Having been officially founded in the mid-19th century, this beauty is only enhanced by a deep sense of history and heritage. The natural splendour and variety of this area lends itself to outdoor activities. Hiking, walking, cycling and horse riding in the surrounding mountains, with the exquisite backdrop of vineyards and clear African sky, is an unrivalled experience.
The growing of grapes for wines, as well as of other fruits, began just after World War I and agriculture has remained a major industry for the Robertson area. Today, there are almost 50 million vines in the Robertson Valley Wine Route, which produce more than 200 000 tons of wine grapes every year. The most common wines found along this wine route are Shiraz, Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Methode Cape Classique.
The towns of the Robertson Wine Route are Montagu (also famous for its dried fruits), Bonnievale (also famous for its cheese), McGregor and Robertson. These towns are home to small, family-owned vineyards, successful wine farms and huge commercial estates. Well-known labels include Graham Beck, Van Loveren, Springfield, Major’s Hill and Bon Cap.
Most of these wine estates offer wine tastings and facilities to purchase goods directly from the producers. Some also offer tours of the cellars, enlightening visitors to the fascinating wine-making process. The Klipdrift Brandy Distillery is situated along the Robertson Wine Route, and guarantees something a little different.
Soekershof (‘seekers garden’) invites an element of ‘seeking’; discovering the mystery of all things through plants that sometimes strikes a chord as we uncover a similar mystery within ourselves.
If you’re looking for unusual and you have a ‘thing’ for fat plants (more commonly known as succulents, and who is not attracted by these water-retaining plants, some of which come equipped with water-saving features, and manage to survive in arid climates?) then Soekershof belongs on your list of things to do.
Just 10 kilometres east of Robertson, Soekershof lies in Klaas Voogds West – 10 hectares of amazing mazes, a cactus labyrinth, a tree of growing creativity, the world’s largest hedge-maze, a stone-age cinema, a fingerpointing maze, earth sculptures, succulents you didn’t even know existed, and a touch of magic.
As Herman van Bon, the outspoken and sometimes outrageous creator, together with his partner Yvonne de Wit, of this gem on Route 62, says: “no garden stimulates associative minds as much as a succulent garden.”
Essentially Soekershof is a small, private botanical garden that manages to be at once entertaining and educational. It is described by its owners as a sacred enterprise, based on the appreciation of nature, humour, play, creation, expression and respect for the land, and the growth and development of the people and plants that participate.
It is a place of mystery, peace and thrilling interactive discovery. There are over 2 500 different types of succulents, and a nursery too, for those who simply cannot leave without the hope of producing similar somewhere in a patch of their own garden, where you can get personal advice on how best to cultivate your newly acquired organically grown fat plants!
At 11am sharp on days when Soekershof is open – that rules out Monday, Tuesday (unless you’ve prebooked), the last two full weeks of Feb, and in July after the school holidays – there is a maze quest with an introduction by Herman.
Klaas Voogds West, Route 62
between Robertson & Ashton
Phone: +27 (0)23 626-4134
Wine in this region was initially produced by co-operative cellars that focused primarily on producing sweet wines in bulk. Today individual wine growers create award winning red, dry white and sweet wine varieties and there are some 23 cellars to visit and scenery to take your breath away.
Set in a part of the country known as the arid Robertson Karoo, the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve lies in the Breede River Valley, roughly 15 kilometres south of Robertson on the road to McGregor.
Given the name of the nature reserve – Vrolijkheid means happiness – this must have been the site of much gaiety in the past, and it certainly remains the focus of pleasure in the heart of the Little Karoo, where it gives much pleasure to visitors – the beauty of the landscape dominated by succulents, dwarf trees and shrubs like the melkbos. The valley is surrounded by high mountain peaks, often shrouded in mist, which makes hiking, walking or just general rambles through the rugged landscape a favourite pastime for all who come here.
A circular hike, known as the Rooikat Trail, meanders up around the Elandsberg Mountains and can take up to eight hours, whilst an even more popular, but strenuous, McGregor-Greyton overnight hike, known as Boesmanskloof Trail, also winds through the Vrolijkheid Nature Reserve.
The interpretation centre, close to the entrance of the Vrolijkheid Reserve, is accommodated in a former labourer’s cottage and worth an initial visit as it explains the area, its flora and fauna in some detail. Even if you’re only venturing forth for the day, the nature reserve has lovely picnic spots, and the views alone are enchanting.
Over 175 bird species have been recorded here, including the African fish eagle, and there is also the opportunity to fish for bass in a dam within the reserve. Vrolijkheid is home to klipspringer, grey rhebuck, grysbok and springbok and even the caracal or rooikat (red cat) makes the odd appearance.
Contact Cape Nature
Phone: +27 (0)21 659-3500
We offer guided horse trails and game viewing. The horse trails are catered to individual experience and requirements. Our horses have been chosen for their specific temperament and our groups are kept small and intimate. We offer picnics during the trail with prior arrangement. photo
Daily game drives on arrangement. Our game drives are designed per individual group and includes refreshments. Minimum of four guests. Picnics, breakfasts or lunches can be offered with prior arrangement. photo
The Bonnie People Project offers a creche for children agen three to six with a feeding scheme for children of the area. Many of these children are not able to attend school because their families live hand-to-mouth. To be able to provide them with just one meal a day is a blessing. The project also offers early Childhood Development and After School Care.
Contact: 071 362 0156
The course is maintained in top condition and the layout is level and very user-friendly. Golfers used to playing on very busy courses are particularly struck by the relaxed and unhurried atmosphere to be found here.
Tel: 023 616 2613
4 x 4 routes and hiking trails against the mountain slopes of the Langeberg with a breath taking view over the Breede River Valley (available to day visitors if you are staying in a guesthouse in the Bonnievale area). Booking essential.
Cell: 082 413 4021
Tel / Fax: 023 616 2482
This unique game was developed by ourselves. Played on a nine hole par 3 course, this is the no.1 game to improve your short game. Stretched out between our fish production ponds, this is truly a course for the adventurous.
Tel: 023 616 2444
Excursion to waterfall. Sightseeing and lecture over: Indigenous trees, nearly extinct Breede River Redfincarp, old leopard trap, rock formations, historic stonewall and black eagles nest. Swimming in water pools.
Phone: 023 616 2482
A large variety of fish species are kept in our well stocked ponds. These include largemouth bass, carp, barbel, blue kurper, blue gill and grass carp.
Tel: 023 616 2444
Daily Trips available subject to the weather. Celebrate a birthday, office party or small conference etc with THE RIVER GOOSE any time of day. Special events, Vegetarian and Halaal catered for on request. For a totally different experience, THE RIVER GOOSE is also available for wine tasting. Bookings essential.
Phone: 082 759 5727
The Breede River is arguably the most scenic river in the Western Cape. The river is gentle enough for first timers, and with enough small rapids to make it exciting. Includes a picnic lunch on the banks of the river and lots of swimming to keep cool.
With amazing mountain scenery and abundant bird life, river rafting on the Breede River is an experience for the whole family.
We run trips for 2 people as well as larger groups. Advance booking essential.
Rafting Route 62 is the only registered rafting company operating in Robertson since 2004.
Contact: Kevin or Lynda
Phone: 0236261280 or Cell: 0724475991
Address: 4 Dordrecht Ave, Robertson
Join us for a fun-filled way to explore the Breede River Valley. Tours on horse & carriage to wineries for wine tasting Outrides through vineyards and along the banks of the Breede River. Join us for a fun-filled way to explore the Breede River Valley.
Contact: Corné or Sanet
Phone: 0722917631or Cell: 0824027088
Address: R317, Robertson, www.robertsonridingschool.co.za
We offer wine tastings and 1 hour boat cruises. The boat trips usually start at 12h00.
Create your own picnic from our delectable items on our Deli Menu. This may be enjoyed on the boat, on our riverside deck, alternatively indoors at the warm fireside.
Please note that booking for boat cruises is essential. View the DVD of our family farm in our theatre style movie house. Enjoy a game of petanque/boulle on the family court. Wheel chair facilities.
Contact: Lilandi Terblanche
GPS Coordinates: S33º 52’ 8.4” E19º 59’ 13.6”
Address: R317, between Robertson and Bonnievale
The Kolgans cruises slowly down the Breede River whilst you enjoy authentic Afrikaans cuisine.
You can take in the wonderful scenery, throw a line into the water for carp, barbel or bass, twitch the many bird species along the bank or just chill out and enjoy the unique experience.”
The Kolgans runs two or three trips daily (breakfast, lunch and the popular evening “booze cruise”). Times vary according to the season and special times may be arranged in advance.
GPS Coordinates: S 33° 50′ 10.4″ E 19° 44′ 8.5″
Address: 20km from Robertson, Goree/ Vinkrivier Road
Dirk Jordaan – 082 298 6342
Skydive Robertson is situated at the Robertson Airfield, a touch to the east of the picturesque and historic town of Robertson. We are 147km from Cape Town CBD and at the heart of the scenic world renowned Wine Route – “Route 62”.
Phone: 083 462 5666
Christopher Forrest Rigg was the founder and first owner of Bonnievale. He saw the potential prospect of creating an irrigation scheme from the Breede River in Bonnievale, and therefor bought most of the valley. He then divided it into plots which he sold to farmers, who cultivated Lucerne and grapes.
Mr. and Mrs. Rigg had three children, but two died in infancy. Mary Myrtle was the youngest and the apple of her parents’ eyes. She did voluntary work and when she died in 1911, her father built the church in her memory. Read more on the history page
Bonnievale has the “Littlest Museum” in South Africa, originally an initiative of Oom Daantjie le Roux.
The collection started many years ago on the farms Kapteinsdrift and Angora Stud where Oom Daantjie grew up and farmed.
From childhood he was an ardent collector of interesting things.
Main Street, Bonnievale, Western Cape.