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Midway between Cape Town and the winelands region lies the semi-rural suburb of Joostenbergvlakte. Technically, Joostenbergvlakte falls under the Muldersvlei district of Stellenbosch, one of the Cape’s largest wine producing areas.
The history of Joostenbergvlakte dates back several centuries when a Swedish settler, Matthys Michaels, was granted the farmland in 1694. His original homestead was altered many times by later owners until a stone structure was built in Cape Dutch-style architecture in 1756. This house still stands, lovingly restored by the current occupants.
Apart from the original farm, Joostenbergvlakte consists of many smallholdings that are used for farming, agriculture and luxury wedding venues out in the country. The area is conveniently located alongside the main north-south highway, between 3 individual wine regions and overlooked by several mountain ranges.
Top 6 reasons to visit Joostenbergvlakte
1. Let the kids run amok at Bugz Family Play Park at the Cape Gardens Centre while the adults appreciate the diverse plants on offer at the nursery and enjoy a meal at the Bamboo Garden restaurant.
2. Stop in for a good coffee at Klein Joostenberg bistro and pick up supplies at their deli that sells farm fresh goods, home bakes and cut flowers from the famous Ludwig’s Roses on the premises. Their butchery is renowned for its fine cuts. A horse and cart is available for trips around the landscaped gardens.
3. Nearby Giraffe House is a small animal rescue centre, home to several mammals and reptiles. The star of the show is, of course, the giraffe. Thoroughly entertaining educational shows are held daily and the audience is given an opportunity to touch and feel snakes, frogs and tarantulas.
4. The Cape’s annual Cheese Festival is held towards the end of summer at the Sandringham Estate. Be sure to visit and sample the various cheeses (and complimentary wines and fruit) from surrounding farms.
5. Take your pick from 3 wine routes around Joostenbergvlakte; Stellenbosch is the forerunner and most established, Paarl wines are decidedly underrated and have some fantastic venues, while Durbanville is a relatively new route but the wines are as exciting as the other 2 regions.
6. Villiera Wines and neighbouring farms set aside 220ha to house a wildlife sanctuary. Visit the winery to take a 2 hour game drive to view the various antelope and small mammals in the reserve. End the visit with a wine and food pairing that includes a sparkling wine and variety of nougat.
The nearest airport is Cape Town International, 30km from Joostenbergvlakte. There are several car rental agencies located in nearby Durbanville, Paarl and Stellenbosch, however, you could rent a vehicle online. Shuttle service and tour companies offer transfers to Cape Town city, the winelands and airport. Metered taxis and Uber are available for direct one-off trips.
Did you know?
Joostenbergvlakte has a number of bush pubs, inns and restaurants to welcome guests to the suburb. These are great places to meet the locals and to get a sense of the place.
Cape Dutch architecture is unique to South Africa and the Joostenberg farmhouse has the earliest surviving gable dated 1757. The gable is generally highly decorative sections above the front door and at each house corner that makes this architectural style so unusual.