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Things to do  

There’s no shortage of things to do and experience in Elgin (Grabouw) and it’s fast becoming a must stop and stay destination. Increasingly popular with outdoor adventurers, it’s also one of four members of the Green Mountain Eco Route. The other three are Botrivier, the Houw Hoek Pass area, and Villiersdorp. Right in the centre of the Cape Floral Kingdom, the Green Mountain Eco Route offers the ideal introduction to sustainable wine producing practices and biodiversity conservation.

Activities and attractions in Elgin (Grabouw)

  • Test yourself on some of the most demanding single track mountain bike routes

  • If two wheels aren’t your thing go quad biking, kayaking, or water skiing

  • Experience the indigenous flora, fauna and birdlife on a nature walk

  • Hike through masses of fynbos

  • Take a wine bus tour through Elgin (Grabouw) or self-select wine farms to do some wine tasting on your own

  • How about a sundowner barge cruise on the Palmiet River?

  • Visit the Elgin Apple Museum housed in an old shoemaker’s cottage

  • Discover how to make brandy at an award-winning distillery

  • Visit the Elgin Militia Museum

  • Take the kids to see the giant wooden tractor at Old Mac Daddy

  • Experience a musical event in an open air amphitheatre encircled by trees

  • Take home a basket of goodies from one of the farm stalls


 
 
African Bear Company
     
African Bear Company is an astonishing collection of handmade rare bears and toys – many for sale. It is definitely a hidden gem – go and have a look….

For a visit to the teddy bears contact Elize

Telephone number 083 3880 216
Elgin Valley Honey
     
Raw bluegum, orange blossom and fynbos honey produced sustainably in the Elgin Valley. Customers are welcome to bring their own containers when buying honey.

Wholesale and retail. Products area available from the Honey House.

Open Monday to Friday 08h00 - 17h00

Telephone number 021 8591597
Physical address Honey House, Hammermaart Road, Elgin Village
Email bradbee@iafrica.com

Green Mountain Trail
     
The Green Mountain Trail is a four day slackpacking trail around the Groenlandberg, part of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, in the Overberg region of the Western Cape of South Africa.
It traverses fynbos and fruit farms where accommodation is in four star country guesthouses. Delicious , farm produced meals are provided throughout.
Guided by accredited guides you learn about the biodiversity, the history of the area and enjoy the space and fresh air.

Telephone number 028 2849827
Email info@greenmountaintrail.co.za
Website www.greenmountaintrail.co.za
Hbk eco tours- hikes bikes kayaks
     
HBK Eco Tours is a registered tour operator supplying a novel touring option in bicycle, kayak, forest, wine & brandy tours.

Also catering for the trail riding market and we offer various hiking & biking trails to accommodate all aspects of nature exploration.

HBK Eco Tours taylor-makes tours and trips to suit your needs over and above our standard product listings.

We are based at the Elgin Grabouw Country Club nestled at the foot of the Hottentots Holland Mountains next to the Eikenhof Dam.

Telephone number 021 8591989
Cellular number 0822138899
Email info@hbkecotours.co.za
Website www.hbkecotours.co.za
GPS Coordinates 34°07`44``S 19°01`18``E

Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve
     
The Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve lies in the Hottentots Holland mountains, some 90km south east of Cape Town. The 42 000ha 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, high in Viljoen's Pass between Grabouw and Villiersdorp.
Activities

Hiking
Kloofing
Mountain Biking

Telephone number 08612273628873
Website www.capenature.co.za
Kingsway Hiking and Outdoor Club
     
Join the club for hiking, walking, backpacking, kloofing and other related outdoor activities.

Telephone number 0824487746
Email ibredell@telkomsa.net
Kogelberg Nature Reserve
     
Kogelberg Nature Reserve is often considered the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, because of the exceptional quality of its fynbos. The reserve lies within the southern stretch of the rugged Hottentots Holland mountain range, and has remained isolated and remarkably unspoilt. Its high mountain peaks, steep kloofs, valleys and several tributaries of the pristine Palmiet River create a sense of remote wilderness.

Accommodation
Three self catering accommodation units. Maximum six people per cabin. Situated in the heart of the Cape Flora. Experience the wilderness character of the Palmiet River Valley and explore the botanical wonderland of the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Three bedroomed timberframed cabins with one double bed and four single beds.

Activities

Hiking
Kayaking
Mountain Biking

Telephone number 08612273628873
Website www.capenature.co.za
Mofam River Lodge
     
We have the ideal setting for an outdoor lover’s dream getaway. We offer a variety of activities to suit all ages and groups. Our activities include:

- Waterskiing/Wakeboarding/banana rides
- Quad Biking
- Bass Fishing (boats include 2 electric motors, fish finder
batteries and a radio)
- Sunset River Cruises with drinks & snacks
- Hiking
- Canoeing
- Labyrinth

We also host the most stunning and unique weddings, corporate functions, team builds, year-end functions, summer ski camps etc.

Contact us for further information.
We also host the most stunning and unique weddings, corporate functions, team builds, year-end functions, summer ski camps etc.

Telephone number 021 8468345
Cell number 0835707971
Email info@mofam.co.za
Website www.mofam.co.za
34o 13.701" S 18o 59.305 E



Museum of militia in Elgin
     
A private collection and museum dedicated to the German Soldier of WW2, probably the most comprehensive and exclusive in SA. There is definitely nothing like this in South Africa.

To visit contact Jacques Fouche

Telephone number 082 5060160
Nature Discovery Tours
     
Quad Biking
Ideal family quad bike trails – 1hr from Cape Town. Discover the essence of nature with Nature Discovery Tours.

Drive & Hike flowers are spectacular from now on!!!!! Bring a Camera!

Drive & Hike touring is providing something a little different. We KNOW you’ll like the concept.

Wine Bus Tours – Elgin Valley
Join us on an off road journey through several hand-picked wine estates, visiting a variety of wine producers who will offer you the unique opportunity to taste a wide selection of wines.

Corporate Team & Year End Functions

Nature Discovery presents a conference and team building day in a unique setting adjacent to Hottentots Holland Nature Reserve. With multiple activities.

Bass Fishing or just a family outing on the Lake

Hire your own motorized boat. Have a picnic lunch in the forest on the other side of the lake, approximately 1-2kms.

Kayaking
Hire a kayak per hour or for the day!
Instructor available! Great fun

Telephone number 021 8591989
Cellular number 0834614567
Email motorcycles@naturediscovery.co.za
Website address www.naturediscovery.co.za
GPS Coordinates 34°07'44" S 19°01'18" E
Oak Valley Mountain Biking
     
There are 3 marked routes: a 14 kilometre Green Route for the family; a 21 kilometre Red Route for stronger riders; and the 25 kilometre Black Route for more advanced riders

The biking trail takes the rider through beautiful natural scenery, including forests of ancient oak trees, through vineyards, through apple and pear orchards and across sub-clover/grass pastures, set against the stunning backdrop of the protected fynbos on the slopes of the Groenlandberg Mountain. The fee is R30 per rider, payable at the security office located at the entrance gate to the Estate. The trail has been described by expert mountain bikers as the best of its kind in the Western Cape - a 5 star experience!

Telephone number 021 8594110
Cellular 0767848911
Email wines@oak-valley.co.za
Website www.oakvalley.co.za
GPS Coordinates 34°9`2.44``S 19°02`55.5``E
Tea water and apple juice
     
Apart from the obviously beguiling mountains, farmsteads, vineyards, lakes and country lanes, this region is also home to South Africa’s apples. And the story of our an-apple-a-day-keeps-the-doctor-away industry which was established, interestingly enough, by a doctor, is a tale worth telling.

It started with a railway. Even the earliest settlers had recognised the agricultural potential of the Elgin region, so the Cape government built first a wagon trail and then, in the 1890s, a railway to haul the riches that were sure to come out of the valley. One of the local farmers was a Doctor Viljoen, a medical man who swopped patients for potatoes, and started experimenting with different crops. During the Boer War he went off to fight for the Afrikaners, was captured by the British but was then released on parole and allowed to go back to his farm after he agreed to pay the salaries of his two guards – ‘a unique way of being a prisoner-of-war!’, as TV Bulpin says in his travel book Discovering Southern Africa.

Viljoen decided, after a chat with the Cape Minister of Agriculture in 1902, to try apples. It was the beginning of an industry that would change the fortunes of the Cape forever.

He bought 24 apple trees from the famous Pickstone nursery, planted them on his farm Oak Valley, and awaited events. Ten years later the first fruit was ready to be picked. Viljoen organised a gala day of neighbours, family and friends and pronounced the apple harvest to be first class.

Viljoen and his son-in-law George Rawbone – a well-known forestry officer from the Cape - decided to farm apples on a large scale. The outbreak of World War 1 slowed expansion, and unfortunately Viljoen, who was knighted in 1916, did not live to see his first large-scale crop. But the apple industry was on its way.

There were lots of hiccups at first, of course. Viljoen’s neighbour, a Miss Murray, sent her first 25 boxes of apples to the Johannesburg market and sold them at R2 a box. But the market agent complained that the apples had been so battered during shipping ‘that it was hardly possible to find one good bite between the bruises.’

By 1923 a group of farmers had decided to pool resources and expertise and create a co-operative, and by 1931 the Elgin Fruit Company was formed. Technology and science improved crop yields immeasurably, and then an immigrant Italian farmer had a great idea. Edmundo Lombardi adopted the ancient Italian practice of palmette, where apple trees are planted close together, their branches grafted onto each other, and a continual wall of vegetation is produced. Production quadrupled.

A problem now arose because there were just too many of them little apples. What to do with surplus, low grade or untransportable fruit? Once again the industrious Italian came up with an answer.

Together with a Professor Luthi of the Department of Agriculture in Switzerland, Lombardi developed an apple juice that could be pressed, bottled and shipped without additives and preservatives, and in 1966 the world discovered Appletiser. The Elgin Valley is home to the Appletiser factory, which now supplements the apple juice with grape, pear and other juices, still using the same world-famous techniques.

Twenty years ago when you bought apples they were either Golden Delicious, Starking, Granny Smith or Ohinimuri (we used to call them Oh Henry Murrays). Nowadays there is a bewildering array of types all year round and from all over the world.

Other towns on the route include historic staging post Botriver, Caledon with its hot springs, South Africa’s oldest mission station at Genadendal (a Moravian mission dating back to 1738), Greyton with its thatched cottages and homestays. But mainly, it’s about the apples.

So after you pass Houhoek Inn, with its giant eucalyptus tree, its legends and its ghosts, take a left to the Theewaterskloof Cape Country Meander. It’s a turn for the better.

Niki Moore
“Reprinted from Tourism Update’.
The Elgin Apple Museum
     
Established 1972

Depict the industry from the days of cumbersome machinery to the electronic computerized methods in use today. This is shown by means of photographs or with old fashion machines and tools. The collection is housed in 2 separate buildings one of which contains a collection of old kitchen utensils and pictures of the pioneers of the industry.

Telephone number 021 8489060
Email touwen@telkomsa.net

 
 
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