- Prince Albert
Gem of the Karoo Tourist Trail
Prince Albert is situated in the Great Karoo and lies in the shadow of the Great Swartberg Mountains which separates the Great Karoo from the Little Karoo, approximately 400 km north-east of Cape Town and just 72 km from Oudtshoorn.
This is a delightful little town, one of the prettiest in the country, blessed with an abundance of water, Prince Albert is your proverbial oasis in the desert (Karoo). Its beauty, tranquillity and charm has attracted a large group of artists, authors, retirees and academics and possibly because of this, Prince Albert is well-known for telling its story well with Museums, Festivals and word of mouth from the friendly locals.
For a small Karoo town, Prince Albert has many activities and is more than a quick stopover town en-route to the coast. Stay at the legendary Swartberg Hotel, explore the mountain hiking trails, roam the historic streets, admire the national monuments and beautiful architecture of the buildings and at sunset, hike to the top of the koppie on the western end of town, and take a few photos to remember the journey through this wonderful part of the Karoo.
Alongside Montagu, Prince Albert is most likely to share the title of “Favourite Dorpie in the Karoo”!
Although only a small town, Prince Albert has a wide selection of accommodation including B&B’s, Guesthouses, self-catering units and a Hotel.
Things to do and see
- Fransie Pienaar Museum
- Prince Albert Art Gallery
- NG Kerk Cemetery
- Prince Albert Ghost Walk
- Star Gazing Tour, “Astro Tour”
- Bloukop Hiking Trail
- Self-Drive Oudtshoorn to Meiringspoort
- Gamkapoort Dam
- Gamkapoort Nature Reserve
- Kredouw Pass
- Swartberg Pass
- Gays Guernsey Dairy
- Soetkaroo Wine Estate
- Bergwater Wines
- Prince Albert Farmers Market
- Prince Albert Country Store
- Lah-Di-Dah Farmstall
Prince Albert receives approximately 204 mm of rain annually with little rainfall all year round.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 12˚C and 30˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 2˚C and 21˚C.
As the early “trekboers”, or early European Settlers / Farmers, moved into the area during the mid-eighteenth century the inevitable conflict between them and the hunter gatherers, San or Bushmen, eventually resulted in the Bushmen moving away from the district into the vast open spaces of the Great Karoo to the north.
Prince Albert was founded on the farm called Queekvalleij, which had been on loan to Zacharias and Dina De Beer since 1762. The fertile valley fed by the streams flowing down the northern slopes of the Swartberg Mountains attracted many other farmers to the district and by 1844 the first minister was appointed to the Dutch Reformed Church in the village.
The town was originally known as Albertsburg and when it received municipal status in 1845 it was renamed Prince Albert in honour of the Queen Victoria's consort, Prince Albert. Further honouring the memory of her husband, who had passed away in 1861, Queen Victoria sent a book containing Prince Albert's speeches to the village in 1867 which is now on display in the Fransie Pienaar Museum.
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