Experience unique Matjiesfontein, a colonial oasis in the African veldt 275-kilometres from Cape Town with CAPEFUNTOURS.
Matjiesfontein, an insignificant railway stop in the Karoo, was founded in 1884 by Scottish railwayman James Logan. The Railways had reached the Kimberley diamond fields. Ignoring all advice Logan persisted in finding water, a much needed precious commodity, which the railways paid dearly for. Dining cars were unheard of, and aware that travellers needed sustenance on those interminable journeys – Logan saw the potential of this remote Matjesfontein halt which became a fashionable Victorian health spa.
Matjiesfontein hosted the first test match between England and South Africa, attracting many distinguished visitors. Lord Randolph Churchill is still remembered for “borrowing” a hunting dog which he never returned. Olive Schreiner lived in a cottage for five years and published her bestseller “Story of an African Farm. Rudyard Kipling made a special journey to Matjiesfontein to visit her. During the Anglo-Boer War, 10,000 British troops and 20,000 horses as well as a base hospital, were located at Matjiesfontein.
Matjesfontein was declared a National Heritage Site in 1975.
Let CAPEFUNTOURS transport you back in time and indulge in the sumptuous surrounds of a bygone age:
- Soak up history in the Transport and Victoriana museums (you’ll need more time than you think)
- Take a trip on the Old 1958 London Bus (the shortest tour in South Africa)
- Explore the British Army’s Anglo-Boer War encampment (still plenty of rusting bully beef cans to kick about)
- Explore the vast veld on a mountain bike.
- Walk the Dwyka Trail looking for birds (over 50 varieties) and wildlife (Klipspringer, Duiker, Riverine Rabbit, tortoises, skinks and lots more) the walk is as long as you choose to make it.Visit the controversial grave of Major-General Wauchope and George Lohman, English cricket hero, as well as the final resting place of James Logan.
- Stroll the spacious manicured gardens and relax with a good book beside the crystal pool.
- Visit the Sutherland Observatory home to Africa’s Largest Telescope, S.A.L.T.
CAPEFUNTOURS can transport you in style to the Sutherland Observatory home to South African Largest Telescope, S.A.L.T. Sutherland was chosen for its dark clear nights which create the perfect star-gazing experience with no light pollution. Astronomers from all over the world come to gaze at the Southern Hemisphere skies. SALT can detect the light from faint or distant objects in the Universe, a billion times too faint to be seen with the unaided eye – as faint as a candle flame would appear at the distance of the moon. The telescope and instruments are designed to operate from the near ultraviolet to the near infrared (320 to 1700 nm), and offer some unique or rare capabilities on a telescope of this size.
Experience the universe with CAPEFUNTOURS let us book your star gazing experience.
Contact CAPEFUNTOURS for further details and your free quotation.