Tulbagh, Western Cape, South Africa (Where Gumbo was #351)


This time Gumbo spent some time in the provincial town of Tulbagh, situated in a valley at the western edge of the Cape Winelands. Congratulations to George G and Roderick Simpson, who correctly guessed this week's destination.

Tulbagh is claimed to be South Africa's fourth oldest town – after Cape Town, Stellenbosch, and Swellendam. It has a sizeable number of well-preserved historic buildings, mainly in the Cape Dutch style. Tulbagh's Church Street, in particular, is famous for its splendid examples of this type of architecture. 

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Many of these lovely buildings are private residences, but some house restaurants or operate as B&Bs. A few offer short-term rentals. We were lucky enough to be able to rent one for a couple of days (at a very reasonable rate). The property, called 'Yellow Wood House', is shown below.

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The building dates from 1801 and started life as the residence of one Hendrick Lodewyk, a successful entrepreneur. Parts of it were used as a school during the early part of the 19th century. If you were wondering what these places look like inside, here are some glimpses:

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 We loved the antique furniture. On our living room wall was this framed poster showing other noteworthy properties in Church Street:

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Below are shots of some of these 'in the flesh'.

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The Tulbagh tourism marketing body uses the soubriquet 'Valley of Abundance' for the area, presumably because the fertile land supports all kinds of crops, from apples to peaches and grapes to olives. The surrounding countryside is dotted with attractive-looking farms and orchards and a leisurely drive along the almost empty roads is an absolute joy. Ginger Baker, Cream's drummer (if you need this explanation), apparently had a farm here at some time.

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There are also a few nice walking routes through the surrounding hillsides.

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It is a very unspoilt area. We were not particularly impressed with the signposting on the walk we went on, but the views were fabulous.

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You find more information about the Tulbagh region, including a well-produced video, on this website:



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