Prince Albert is a lovable country town in the middle of the Great Karoo, some 400 kilometres northeast of Cape Town. It is surrounded by a dramatic mountain landscape and in the south, are the towering (up to 2100 metres) Groot Swartberg mountains which separate the Great Karoo from the Little Karoo. A breathtakingly stunning road leads to the 1536 metre high Swartberg Pass and from there, further on to Oudtshoorn and to the Garden Route. The 72 kilometre long serpentine untarred road was built by the famous road constructor Thomas Bain from 1882 to 1887.
The most beautiful season in Prince Albert is spring, when the fruit trees are in bloom and the land is covered in millions of wildflowers. Summers are hot and dry while winters are pleasantly warm during the day, with an intensely blue sky, but the nights are frosty cold. Snow is often seen on the mountain tops.
Prince Albert loves celebrating. Every year in November a big Harvest Festival is held, with lots of dancing and music, a pageant and sports competitions. Just as popular is the Olive Festival in April, known throughout the entire country. And on Saturday mornings, there is a colourful street market in the market place next to the Fransie Pienaar Museum. On offer are products of the local farms like cheese, fruit and vegetables, delicious jams, cakes and bread as well as all kinds of arts & crafts.
Further information to be found on the blue INFO page.
Prince Albert lies 650 metres above sealevel and has 8000 inhabitants. It is both, relaxed and lively, with many beautifully restored Cape Dutch and Victorian houses. The main commercial activity is Merino sheep farming, however, fruit and olives are also cultivated on the mountain slopes. Some farms have years ago specialised in Angora goats. The Mohair wool of Prince Albert is known to be of the highest quality and very much in demand.
Prince Albert is a paradise for hikers and nature lovers with attractive destinations in the surrounding areas such as the Gamkaskloof Valley, Gamkapoortdam or the Meiringspoort Gorge.
Photo left: Prince Albert. Top right: Swartberg Pass. Centre right: Church. Bottom right: Crossing the Gamka River iin the Gamkaskloof Valley.