North of Ceres on the R303, just below the Koue Bokkeveld Mountain Catchment area, sits the Boland town of Prince Alfred’s Hamlet. This tiny, quant town is remote and surrounded by mountains and virtually devoid of any accommodation. The town is a centre for deciduous fruit and potato growing, with substantial packhorses and railway facilities. Pears, peaches and plums are sent from here to many parts of the world.
Prince Alfred’s Hamlet is known as the gateway to the Gydo Pass, an incredible passage through the mountains with views that leave one breathless. Many people drive this route as an alternative to the N7 to Citrusdal, through the Koue Bokkeveld via an even tinier town known as Op Die Berg.
The Koue Bokkeveld or ‘cold goat country’ is one of the coldest places in the Western Cape and in winget you’re almost almost assured snow in the mountains or even on the ground.
A bird-watchers haven as it lies on the southern edge of the Tanqua Karoo. Karoo scrub, thorny river coerces and rocky gorges give rise to an array of birds that include the Karoo korhaan, the northern black korhaan, the Cape spurfowl, Ludwig’s bastard, the Namaqua sandgrouse, the fairy flycatcher and even a white-throated canary.
Prince Alfred’s Hamlet is also surrounded by nature reserves, the Witzenberg Nature Reserve is just near Ceres, whilst the Grootwinterhoek Wilderness Area and further Grootwinterhoek Nature Reserve is west of Prince Alfred’s Hamlet, closer to Porterville.
Aside from exploring the countryside on a myriad of walks and serious down time, a drive to Citrusdal through incredible scenery, will take you about an hour and a half.
For accommodation in Prince Alfred’s Hamlet click here.
Prince Alfred's Hamlet Climate
Overall, Prince Alfred’s Hamlet has a mediterranean climate, with hot dry summers days and cold wet winters.
The average summer (October to February) temperature is 27.9°C. To many March to April signal idyllic weather, summers heat subsides and the wind settles. Winter’s (May to July) temperatures range from 3.5°C lows at night and a comfortable 14.7°C by day. However, with the onset of spring (from August to October), the fast-retreating winter merges with the summer sun, bringing forth some of the worlds most spectacular wild flower displays.