Rasta House. Image via Facebook

Travel South Africa: Explore the beauty of the Boland

Tucked around the Boland mountains of the central Cape Fold Belt, the Boland is a wine-making region of the Western Cape.


Rasta House. Image via Facebook

Sometimes also referred to as the Cape Winelands, the Boland is home to towns such as Worcester, Robertson, and Paarl and is packed with a plethora of interesting things to see and do.

Here are some fun and interesting (and non-wine) things to see and do in the region for the whole family.

Bobbing around the Boland

Visit the Rasta House in Mbekweni

A visit to this amazing piece of architecture and building is a must!

The awe-inspiring five-storey wooden house in Phinzi Street in Mbekweni, Paarl has been a labour of love for the past 20 years for owner and builder, Ras Juda Ngqoshela.

The former police officer says he started building in 1996, adding piece by piece over the years, and he hasn’t finished yet. The house has five open-plan rooms and no toilets, and he plans to add two more stories which he hopes will make his house a tourist attraction in the Boland town.

Every floor has its own function — the living room is on the ground floor, the kitchen is on the second floor, and the bedrooms are on the third and fourth floors. The fifth floor of the house is a church for the local Rastafarian community.

For a tour of Mbekweni with a knowledgeable local guide, including a visit to the Rasta House contact Nancy Cowie on 021 764 3442 or Mariette van Velden on 021 873 2967.

Stroll Through the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden in Worcester 

Set against the breathtaking backdrop of soaring mountains is the only succulent botanical garden in the southern hemisphere and on the African continent.

Originally established in 1921 near Matjiesfontein, the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden was moved to Worcester in 1945.

The garden is home to over 400 indigenous plants from the arid and semi-arid regions of southern Africa, as well as 70 different bird species and many small mammals. The Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is open all year round and well worth a visit to see some usual succulents.

For more information, visit

Try Locally Produced Gin at the Six Dogs Distillery

Nestled between the Breede and Hex River valleys, Six Dogs Distillery is a great little spot that produces three gins infused with hand-picked botanicals from the makers’ farm and the surrounding areas.

Located near Worcester, the distillery produce the three gins and celebrates a truly South African cultivar.

The three gins produced at Six Dogs Distillery on the Boschkloof Farm are Six Dogs Karoo, Six Dogs Blue, and Six Dogs Pinotage Stained.

For more information, visit

Take a Tractor Trip Around Protea Farm Near Montagu

Situated in the famous Koo valley, just outside Montagu in the heart of the scenic Route 62, Protea Farm is a fantastic place to visit with the family. The working farm produces apples and pears, and proteas grow wild on the surrounding mountains, but there is so much more to this beautiful farm than its delicious fresh produce and scenic splendour.

Protea Farm is famous for legendary tractor trips up the Langeberg Mountains, where you can soak up spectacular sweeping views of the Koo and Robertson valleys. After your tractor ride, you can tuck into traditional potjiekos around a roaring fire.

If you want to linger longer and enjoy hiking and mountain biking in the mountains, swimming in the lake, and relaxing in front of a crackling fire, the farm has four self-catering cottages that can be rented for overnight stays.

For more information, visit