Where to Stay - South Africa
 

We decided to use the Victorian village of Stanford as a base for exploring the area.  We had Dudley, our miniature Schnauzer with us so we booked pet-friendly accommodation on the outskirts of the village. We stayed in a cottage on a working vineyard and ended up spending 4 nights there.

Stanford is ideally situated to explore Hermanus and the surrounding areas as well as Gansbaai – the Great White Shark Capital of the World. Stanford itself is one of the few villages in South Africa where the village market square has been retained and is still used for community events.  The Klein River offers excellent bird watching opportunities, as well as lovely walks along the banks of the river. There’s an excellent choice of restaurants, shops and wine tasting available and there is also a microbrewery worth visiting.

River Walk in Stanford

River Walk in Stanford

We found an amazing Italian restaurant La Trattoria, situated on the main street through Stanford, which said we could bring Dudley into the lovely courtyard at the back of their restaurant. The restaurant makes their own pasta and has a wonderful selection of Italian wines.  Our meal was sublime and set the bar for the rest of our stay.

On one of the days on our trip we set off on a scenic drive to Hermanus which is only 20km away.  Hermanus is most famous for the best land-based whale watching in the world and is only 120km from Cape Town. The town boasts 12km of cliff walks and over 45km of walks in the nature reserve and on the beaches.

Amazing cliffs in Hermanus

Amazing cliffs in Hermanus

The cosmopolitan town has something for everyone and we found the cafés and restaurants very accommodating for pets – always bringing out a bowl of fresh water for Dudley. Of course, he thoroughly enjoyed the winding cliff walks and cooling down in the water.  Do lookout for the signs indicating if the beaches are dog-friendly.

There’s a host of beaches to pick from – these include: Grotto, Kammabaai and Langbaai, Voelklip, Sandbaai Beaches, Onrus, Vermont, Plankhuis, Hawston and Fisherhaven.

We stopped off at Onrus for our lunch and would highly recommend eating at Casa Beira-Mar@ Bamboo Beach.

Food mmm

Food mmm

Another day was spent exploring Gansbaai and De Kelders.

The Harbour in Gansbaai is one of the few commercial fishing harbours in the country. There’s a pub / restaurant within the harbour and we recommend walking along the harbour wall for some great photo shots.

Gansbaai Harbour Wall

Gansbaai Harbour Wall

We stopped for coffee and decided to have breakfast as well and we were pleasantly surprised by the quality of the food and the coffee!! Unfortunately, we didn’t get a chance to try the pizza or pasta but will do so on our next trip.

We loved this area and would recommend spending at least a couple of days to explore and take in the magnificent surroundings and beaches.

For options on Hermanus accommodation please click here:

For Western Cape accommodation please click here:

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We’ve often travelled through Swellendam on our way to Cape Town or other areas within the Western Cape however never actually stayed there. (Swellendam is about 220 kms from Cape Town). However on our last trip, we decided to put this right and to spend a couple of nights in which to explore the town and the area and aren’t we glad we did this! So a bit about Swellendam – it’s the third-oldest town in South Africa being declared a magisterial district in 1743.  The town is at the foot of the Langeberg Mountains and is well known for its fascinating past, great outdoor life and its eclectic architecture. Swellendam is just one of a number of great places to explore in the wider Overberg Region of the Western Cape.

Swellendam Town

Swellendam Town

We stayed a few kilometres outside of Swellendam at a pet-friendly, self-catering chalet, at Kwetu Guest Farm.  We bought all our supplies in Swellendam as there’s an excellent choice of shops.  For those opting for B&B / Guest House or other – there are loads of places to stay in Swellendam and of course, a variety of places to eat – definitely something for everyone.

Swellendam Mountains

Views of the mountains

The view was amazing from our chalet and can I can honestly say we really looked forward to our sundowners as we had the most amazing multi-colour sunsets with the backdrop of the mountains. The accommodation is Pet-Friendly but they do have buck roaming on the farm so you may need to keep an eye on your loved one.

Sundowners in Swellendam

Sundowners

You are spoilt for choice when it comes to activities and things to do. About 7km from town is the famous Bontebok National Park – a world heritage site; the Drostdy Museum which has a collection of 18th and 19th century Cape furniture; Dutch Reformed Church with its eclectic architectural features including Renaissance, Gothic, Baroque and vernacular Cape elements. Marloth Nature Reserve is on the southern slopes of the Langeberg Mountains and the reserve has an abundance of wild flowers and fynbos.

Swellendam Sunset

Swellendam Sunset

As for activities – you can pick from abseiling, canoeing, hiking, horse riding, kloffing, walking, whale watching trips and mountain biking. The area is well known for great hiking and mountain biking trails such as the Whale Trail and the 4 – 6 day Swellendam Hiking Trail.

For accommodation options in the Overberg Region please click here Overberg Accommodation


This weekend we took a road trip up the Wild Coast to stay at Umtendwe Beach Cottages located on the Eastern Cape coast between Haga Haga and Morgan’s Bay. The drive down to our self-catering accommodation on the Wild Coast took us along dirt-roads and through a private reserve before we arrived at our destination.

self-catering accommodation on the Wild Coast

Umtendwe Beach Cottages

Umtendwe Beach Cottages are two privately owned holiday cottages and we were staying in one of them – Milkwood Cottage. Aptly named with all the Milkwood trees nearby. The cottage was perfect with three good size bedrooms and three bathrooms. Inside was a fully-equipped kitchen plus a nice size scullery area. The thatched roof, outside deck with table and chairs for six people and braai were all we were looking for. The very large fridge and freezer in Milkwood Cottage is ideal and more than adequate for those thinking of a longer self-catering stay of 5 to 7 days. READ MORE


Many of us enjoy going away on holiday and the last thing we want to do is leave our beloved pet behind. Fortunately there is a good selection of Pet Friendly accommodation available throughout South Africa but finding a place that takes your dog is not the end of your holiday considerations. Here are our top 10 tips to remember when going on holiday with your pet.

1.    Once you have found your pet friendly accommodation make sure you check with the owners before you book that they accept all sizes of dogs. Some venues have restrictions on the size of dogs that they accept. READ MORE