Our April issue featured Ron Swilling’s Kalahari Sushi and other Secrets, where he uncovers all sorts of fascinating things to do and see where, as he puts it, “a pocket of the arid Northern Cape opens into a generous smile along the Orange River”. Below are some of his recommendations: places to play, stop, stay and eat.
The Best Padstalle
1 Die Pienk Padstal in Kakamas has a wacky collection of pink paraphernalia and wise sayings, plus dried fruit, olives and jams. 054 431 1457
2 Akkerboom (between Keimoes and Kakamas) is so quaint, and has an outdoor seating area. 054 463 0066
3 Keimoes Information Centre and Padstal offers great moerkoffie and traditional food, and plenty of info on the area. 054 461 0004, 082 743 1736 www.sa-venues.com/attractionsnc/keimoes.php
Where to Play
1 See droves of quiver trees on the R359 from Kakamas to Keimoes. Turn onto the gravel road to Loeriesfontein/Kenhardt and follow the road to the left after the vineyards, towards Neilersdrif.
Keimoes Info Centre 054 461 0004, 082 743 1736
2 At Koms Kokerboom Nursery, 13km from Keimoes on the R359, Marina Bothma is propagating this protected plant. Look out for the signs and colourful flags marking the entrance.
054 464 0195, 072 374 9432, [email protected]
3 Visit Augrabies Falls National Park and hike, explore, and watch the thundering falls. 054 452 9200, www.sanparks.co.za/parks/augrabies
4 Riemvasmaak Ecotourism Project offers 4×4 adventures, bird watching and hiking. Meet the Riemvasmakers, soak in the hot spring, and overnight in the chalets. 073 383 8812, [email protected], www.riemvasmaak.co.za, Maxi Compion 054 461 0004, 082 743 1736
5 Pack a picnic for lunch away from it all on Blocuso Trust farmland. Blocuso is community-run project, just north of Keimoes on the N14. Contact Maxi Compion for the gate key.
054 461 0004, 082 743 1736
6 Enjoy brandy and wine tastings and a light meal in an idyllic farm setting at Bezalel Wine & Brandy Estate. 054 491 1325
7 Vrouenspan cheeses offers cheese tasting (including goat and sheep) by appointment, cheese-platters delivered to Augrabies Falls and a seven-course, tapas-style meal with traditional treats in the Visser home. Tiaan Visser says, “There’s nothing like watching the sunset from Moon Rock with a cheese platter and bottle of local wine.” 082 825 2704
8 Die Mas Wine Cellar and Brandy Distillery for wine tours and tasting. 082 931 5902
9 Orange River Cellars offers wine tasting at Keimoes, Kakamas and Upington. 054 461 1006, www.orangeriverwines.com
10 Crystal Spring Minerals for a selection of crystals and minerals. Look out for the turn-off at the Hartebees Kontant Winkel just before the junction to Augrabies. 054 441 0060
11 Paddle the Orange River with Kalahari Outventures. 082 476 8213, 083 600 2360
12 Soar above the rugged landscape and the Orange River with Augrabies Hot Air Ballooning. 079 888 9502
Where to Stay
1 The Falls Guest House (Augrabies) is a small, family-oriented, upmarket guest house with a beauty salon and coffee shop. 054 451 7021, www.thefallsaugrabies.com
2 Oranje Rus Resort (Kanoneiland, Keimoes) offers camping and chalets for a river stay with the family. 082 772 5896 [email protected], www.oranjerus.com
3 Ikaia (Keimoes) has a superb river setting with camping and self-catering rooms. 082 337 7575, www.ikaia.co.za
4 Ou Skool Guesthouse (Keimoes) has a courtyard setting in the middle of vineyards, with friendly staff and a relaxed atmosphere. 054 4640125, www.ouskoolguesthouse.co.za
5 Vergelegen Guesthouse on the outskirts of Kakamas offers an elegant atmosphere, and a restaurant and cocktail lounge. 054 431 0976 www.augrabiesfalls.co.za
Where to Eat
1 Oranje Rus, Keimoes, for a relaxed meal on the banks of the Orange River. 054 491 1010
2 Kalahari Sushi in the Kalahari Gateway Hotel, Kakamas. 054 431 0838
3 Vergelegen (Kakamas), an attractive venue for a Kalahari schnitzel. 054 431 0976
4 Die Werf (Keimoes) for lunch with a view of their springbuck and ducks. 054 461 1635
5 Yanuck Restaurant, Kakamas, for a pleasant setting and a light meal, toastie or breakfast. 054 431 0788 Contact
6 Keimoes Information Centre 054 461 0004, 082 743 1736 [email protected], www.sa-venues.com/attractionsnc/keimoes.php
*For the full story, see our April magazine, on shelf now.