Rainbow nation in the pink

No holiday in South Africa is complete without a visit to Cape Town, the rainbow nation’s first and largest city.
And no visit to Cape Town is complete without a visit to the Western Cape wineries.  And then, no visit to the Western Cape wineries is complete without  a visit to the town of Paarl.

Set in a beautiful valley at the foot of the Hottentot Mountains just 90 minutes’ drive from Cape Town, Paarl is the perfect base from which to explore  this fascinating area in more depth than a day trip from Cape Town can offer.  

Apart from the “God’s own country” scenery there are other historic towns to explore, such as Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.  

But the main course is the food and wine that the area offers.  

This is where you will find the world’s second oldest vineyards – much older than those in the USA, South America, Australia and New Zealand.  

They were planted by the French Huguenot refugees who began arriving at the Cape in 1671.

There are numerous hotels and guesthouses in which to stay, but it’s hard to beat the Grande Roche Hotel which is a working vineyard hidden below Paarl  Rock, a huge rounded granite outcrop.

The Grande Roche is just one of the many historic buildings in the town.

It is a beautifully restored Cape Dutch farmhouse and the old slave quarters have been converted to luxuriously appointed rooms.  

You can even get married or renew your vows in the charming little chapel.  

Even if you don’t stay a night or two, at least drop in for high tea or maybe a glass of the local wine.

Ucango On Safari call Peter 0449 689 447 or email peter.emery@ucango.com.au

Image: The Grand Roche hotel is evocative of South Africa’s colonial era.