See & Do
Lalapanzi is perfectly located to take advantage of all that the Cape Winelands has to offer. Like every tourist destination it has its must-see's. Enjoy some of our favorites with this list of recommendations...
Cape Canopy Tours
Lonely Planet recently listed Cape Canopy Tour as the world's second hottest new tourism experiences for 2015. They are located in the Elgin Valley near Grabouw , scaling the rugged Hottentots Holland mountains in the Cape Nature reserve of the same name. We tried it out in September 2015 and loved it – even with a fear of heights! It about a 35 minute drive from Lalapanzi.
Kayak Gordon's Bay
Spend a few hours paddling around Gordon's Bay, it's a lovely way to experience this beautiful bay from a different perspective. We like to paddle to the old harbour with the kids, which takes just over an hour. If you're luck you might see the resident seal who live just off the main beach. You can rent the kayaks by the hour from 47 Gypsies on Gordon's Bay main beach.
THE RESTAURANT AT WATERKLOOF
We're incredibly lucky to have one of South Africa's finest restaurants as one of our neighbors. Perched on the top of the Schaapenberg this modern restaurant and wine tasting lounge has impressive views over False Bay. The real draw is the incredible cuisine prepared by French chef Gregory Czarnecki. Their wines are exceptional, and are created in the gravitational cellar which is an extension of the restaurant. A visit to Waterkloof is at the top of our things to do.
We're not golfers but we know that we have some of the world's most scenic golf courses on our doorstep. From what our guests tell us the best and most popular courses are Erinvale, Somerset West, De Zalze, Pearl Valley, Stellenbosch, Strand and Arabella. Most of them are within a 20-40 minute drive of Lalapanzi.
Five minutes from Lalapanzi is Blue Rock Cable Water-ski. When the weather’s good it’s a great place to spend the day. The resort offers cable water-skiing and knee-boarding which is suitable for beginners, along with diving facilities, volley ball, swimming, rock jumping and a kids playground. There's even a decent cafe/restaurant and bar.
Vergelegen wine estate
In Somerset West close to the Lodge is Vegelegen, one of the most historic and picturesque estates in South Africa. It's a 300 year old farm renown for it's Cape Dutch architecture, handmade wines, rich heritage, exquisite gardens and good restaurants.
On the farm next to Lalapanzi is Renaissance Equestrian Centre & Stables where you can take a scenic outride through the neighboring vineyards and forest. It's suitable for beginners or the more experienced rider and is a lovely way to take in the stunning views and nature we're surrounded by.
Stoney Point Penguin Colony
Stoney Point in Betty’s Bay is a land-based Penguin Colony about 30 minutes drive from Lalapanzi. It's home to the endangered African Penguin. The breeding grounds are fenced off with a boardwalk that hovers above the beach, this means that you can get close to the penguins without disturbing them or their nests. Its not as well known as Boulders Beach on the peninsula so is generally much quieter and a lot less commercialised.
Between July and November each year hundreds of Southern Right Whales visit our shores to mate and calve. You can see them all along the coast but one of the best place to view them is Hermanus which has been recognised by the World Wildlife Fund as one of the 12 best whale watching destinations in the world. If you have good sea legs we'd recommend a boat trip which allows you to get up close without disturbing them. Hermanus is approximately an 80 minute drive from Lalapanzi.
LEARn to surf
Son Surf School on Strand beach welcomes people of all ages to learn how to surf. If you're already a surfer you can rent equipment from them. Their experienced (and in our case, patient) surf coaches will teach you all you need to know. They're located in the Water World (super tubes) complex about 15 minutes drive from Lalapanzi.
Drive along Clarence drive (r44)
One of South Africa’s most scenic coastal drives is the R44 from Gordon’s Bay to Klienmond. The road winds along the coast with stunning views over the ocean. Watch out for whales, dolphins and seals. Worth while stop-offs include; Kogel Bay beach, Stoney Point Penguin Colony and Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens. Kleinmond is a good place for a light lunch with a reasonable selection of cafe’s, our favorite is the fish and chip restaurant overlooking the beach on Strand Street.
Visit the beach
We're incredibly lucky to be blessed with such an amazing coast line with some of the countries best beaches. Our favorites include;
De Pad Se Gat beach (pictured above) – known to the locals as Kool Bay this is our favorite beach. It's a stunning, secluded beach about 10 kilometres from Gordon's Bay on the road to Rooi Els and just before Kogel Bay Resort. Not ideal for swimming though as the rip currents are very strong.
Strand beach – a long stretch of golden sand ideal for surfing, body boarding, frisbee, kite surfing and of course sun bathing. Also great for an evening walk to enjoy the sunset.
Gordon’s Bay beach – a family friendly beach with a gentle slope into the sea.
Bikini beach – a small, secluded beach popular with locals and beach volley ball players, only disadvantage in peak season is to find a spot to park your car. Next to the old harbour in Gordon’s Bay.
HIKE THE HELDERBERG
It's a hard, steep hike but the views from the top of the Helderberg are spectacular. The walk starts and finishes in the Helderberg Nature Reserve in Somerset West where there's an information centre, cafe and picnic spots. The nature reserve is around 20 minutes from Lalapanzi.
Two Oceans Aquarium
One of Cape Towns top attractions with over 3000 living sea animals, including sharks, fishes, turtles and penguins can be seen in this spectacular underwater nature reserve. The perfect activity for a rainy day. It's located at the Waterfront in Cape Town - around an hours drive from the lodge.
A lovely day out and one of the Cape's main attractions, the Cape of Good Hope Nature Reserve, at Cape Point is noted for its floral diversity and its wild flowers. The reserve boasts a spectacular coastline, with Cape Point possessing the highest sea cliffs in South Africa.
Table Mountain - a World Heritage Site and one of the seven wonders of the modern world. It has spectacular views of the city, ocean and Cape Peninsula. You can hike to the top in 2.5 hours or go via the Cable Car which takes 5 minutes. Open from 8am till sundown.
Robben Island, lies about 12 kilometres north of Cape Town, has over the years become synonymous with the anti-apartheid struggle in South Africa. Although the experience could do with a makeover it is a very insightful and thought provoking day out. Booking ahead is essential.
One of Cape Town’s biggest tourist attractions. The Waterfront is a huge entertainment venue with pubs, restaurants, speciality shops, craft markets, and cinemas set in the middle of the busy commercial harbour. If you're feeling adventurous take a cruise on a catamaran or a helicopter flight over the mother city. The Watershed craft and design market is worth a visit.
SEE CAPE TOWN
The easiest and best way to see the sprawling City of Cape Town is by the open top bus tour which drops you at all the main attractions. You can get on and off at will and choose between a variety of routes.
KIRSTENBOSCH BOTANICAL GARDENS
World renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora it displays and for its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain. It’s worth visiting just for it’s summer sunset concert series and it's also got some of the Cape's best picnics spots.
Quad bike in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve
Nature Discovery Tours in Grabouw offers quad biking tours through the Kogelberg nature reserve. The quad bike trails are designed together with Cape Nature Conservation to give an unusual and spectacular day outing in the Cape Town areas rarely visited.
spier WINE ESTATE
Spier is a beautiful wine estate just outside Stellenbosch with lots of attractions to keep you busy. You can have a gourmet picnic on their lawns, do a wine tasting, shop at the craft market, lunch at one of their restaurants or have an eagle encounter.
A historic town with pretty, tree lined streets at the centre of the Cape Winelands. Admire the beautiful Cape Dutch architecture, stroll around the quaint tree lined streets, visit the craft shops, enjoy the cafe culture and of course the good restaurants. Stellenbosch is a 40 minute drive from Lalapanzi.
This 'French corner' of the Cape is the food and wine capital of the country. It’s a pretty village surrounded by vineyards. Spend the day visiting galleries, boutiques, coffee shops and restaurants. And of course winetasting.
The drive to Franschhoek via Grabouw is stunning. It takes you through the fruit valley, nature reserves and over mountain passes. Drive back via Stellenbosch.