Franschhoek Attractions

Franschhoek Motor Museum

If you are even vaguely into cars, then the Franschhoek Motor Museum is worth a visit. Over 400 vehicles that range from the Beeston Motro Tricycle (1898) to the 2003 Ferrari model, there is something to make everyone drool, even if you’re not an ardent fan of the automobile.

Museum it might be, but forget the idea of dusty exhibits behind glass cases. Situated just outside the beautiful wine route village of Franschhoek, the museum is housed in a very long Cape Dutch style warehouse at the foot of the Groot Drakenstein Mountains, just off the R45, and on the grounds of the L’Ormarins wine farm of Johann Rupert, heir to one of the largest fortunes in the country. The cars remain in mint condition. Henry Ford’s classic model T stands in pillar box red, reminiscent of the daring drive by Toad of Toad Hall in Wind in the Willows, and said to be easy to drive despite all the obvious mechanics.

There are the obvious favourites: the 1940 Packard 120 convertible, the little Wolseley year 1960, still sometimes in evidence on our own roads, an Austin-Healey from 1956, old model Mercs, an Alfa Romeo spider, a typical Chev from 1976, Volksies, Studebakers, Porches, Jaguars, MGs and Aston Martins lie alongside Humbers, Ferraris and Hupmobiles – it’s a sight for sore eyes.

To keep them in mint condition the cars are all regularly started up and driven. That means cars worth literally thousands of dollars regularly take to the roads around Franschhoek, placing them in more than a little danger of joining the millions of ‘right off’ results of car accidents, but since this doesn’t happen too often, you can rest assured that most of the cars will be there for a follow-up visit.

Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve

Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve lies in the Hottentots Holland mountains, some 90 km south east of Cape Town. The 42,000 ha Reserve stretches from Elgin in the south to beyond Villiersdorp in the north, and from the Stellenbosch mountains in the west, eastwards to the Groenland mountains. The entrance to the reserve is at Nuweberg, situated high in Viljoen’s Pass, between Grabouw and Villiersdorp. The terrain is rugged and very mountainous, with altitudes ranging from 500 m to 1 590 m. The annual rainfall may be as high as 3 300 mm on the Dwarsberg plateau, and the winds are frequent and strong. Summers are generally mild and dry. Weather conditions in the mountains can be unpredictable and dangerous!

The Hottentots Holland Nature reserve is important for the conservation of mountain fynbos with approximately 1 300 species occurring here, including several rare and endemic plants. Small populations of grey rhebuck, klipspringer, common duiker and grysbok occur, and leopard frequent these mountains but are seldom seen. Approximately 110 bird species have been recorded on the reserve, amongst them several species of raptor.

The Hottentots Holland section of the Boland Hiking Trail traverses the reserve. This trail has two overnight sites (each with two huts), and various routes of one to three days, covering distances of between 5 km and 50 km. Routes can be planned with a 1:50 000 map of the Hottentots Holland section of the Boland Trail. The reserve office serves as the starting point for the trails, and has toilet and change facilities. The overnight huts are provided with bunks, mattresses and water. Fires and braais are strictly forbidden except at demarcated sites, because of the high risk of veld fires. For reservations – Telephone +27 (0)21 483-2949/51.


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