01 April 2021 | Tourismus

Enter through a Hole in the Rock

By Christina Rockstroh

This inspiring stretch of road, built in 1873 where Cogmanskloof cuts through the majestic Langeberg Mountains, is another masterpiece by Thomas Bain. The forces of nature which folded the sandstone over 500 million years ago are very much in evidence. The peaks of the Langeberg wear dazzling snow caps in winter.

Charming Montagu is full of elegant accommodation facilities, cosy restaurants and magnificent Georgian, Victorian and Cape Dutch houses. Long Street alone has 14 national monuments to admire. Combined with those in Bath Street they make for an enlightening Historical Walk. The oldest residence, Joubert House (1853), is a museum which portrays the country lifestyle of the 1850s. Montagu Museum, also in Long Street, is housed in the Mission Church of 1908 and illustrates the town’s history.

Another attraction right in the heart of town is the Leidam. The vegetation around this body of water supports a large variety of indigenous birds and dozens of migrant species.

Montagu has so much to offer - take time to explore.
There is the abundance of fruit trees in the Koo valley. Go for a tractor ride with Capedry and see the orchards, the drying lanes and the plant. Or visit an olive farm with some 5000 trees, a protea farm, a dairy farm that seems transplanted from the alpine foothills of Switzerland, or an alpaca farm. Add a brandy distillery, a craft brewery and a winery… the all-time favourite is the Montagu Red Muscadel, a dessert wine.

Montagu’s original claim to fame, however, are the hot springs. They attracted visitors already well over a hundred years ago and certainly contributed to the town’s prosperity. The water comes to the surface at 43°C. The source is estimated to be at a depth of 3000 metres. The rate of flow has not even been affected by the worst of droughts.

The two spas are a short drive out of town. Avalon Springs consists of a hotel, apartments and mountain chalets, while Montagu Springs is an entirely self-catering resort in a tranquil tropical park setting, where the Keisie River runs through. The surroundings are magical.

“Expect the unexpected” is the advertising motto of Montagu Tourism. Indeed you should, and to your surprise you will find another resort to discover: Montagu Guano Cave with four pools, one of them a large beach pool with super tube and fast slides. Lots of activities are on offer. And yes, the adventurous can visit the Guano Cave with thousands of bats.

Just as unexpected is the “Passion for Ferrari” display at Squirrels Corner guest house. Owner Mike Steytler’s extensive collection of more than 2000 Ferrari model cars and collectibles can be viewed by appointment.

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