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The Olive Branch 

August 2017


Winter days in Prince Albert sparkle, the sky is a cooler blue but the sun shines and as the recent snow on the Swartberg melts it feeds the aquifers and our furrows bubble with water.  Women’s Day (9 August) falls on a Wednesday this year, perhaps a mid-week Winter break in Prince Albert is the way to celebrate it?

Catching up on local news, our Tourism Association Mandela Day “Clean our Town” project was enthusiastically supported by children from Albert College and people from various businesses. The Kweekvallei bazaar offered the usual delicious braai and puddings and the cookie stall and pancake-tossers did a roaring trade. Michael and Judith, our intrepid Cairo to Cape cyclists told some great tales at a fundraiser for the Fransie Pienaar Museum which kept their audience highly entertained and to everyone’s astonishment, Michael said he’d be willing to do it again! The Garden Club transformed a dull courtyard at the hospital into a sunny, sheltered garden which will be ‘handed over’ to Matron at their next meeting on 2 August.

Work continues on restoring the Swartberg Pass and we are as keen as everyone that the Pass be re-opened a.s.a.p. however... some people are trying to access the Pass from our side of the mountain and causing real problems for the construction crew. It is illegal to enter a construction site and every time someone does so the machines have to be shut down, costing time and money... and it’s obviously highly dangerous! The police are now patrolling the entrance on the Prince Albert side so NO Hiking, Biking, Motorcycling or Driving for the moment. We will let everyone know as soon as one-way traffic is possible.

The Swartberg Mountains needn’t be a barrier to your visiting us, the alternate route to Prince Albert from the Garden Route takes you through magnificent Meiringspoort, a tarred road all the way. Trygve Roberts has created three Mountain Passes of South Africa u-tube videos of the splendour you’ll see, starting on our side of the mountain range and taking you through to de Rust.  Here is the link to the first video. You’ll want to watch them all.


The first event of the month is the annual NG Kerk bazaar on Saturday 5 August, preceded on the Friday night by what is becoming a tradition - the potjiekos evening at the Agricultural Showgrounds - contact Ankies Marais 084 553 3907. Don’t miss this double event of Karoo food and hospitality as the congregation give thanks for another year of blessings. Saturday is the day to stock your freezer with meat and indulge in delicious home bakes, puddings and the braai.


Yondela Nqadala with a young visitorHiking in the Swartberg is not advised in Winter because of the possibility of snow but day hikes on the Bushman Valley trails are just the thing for a sunny Winter’s day. Ten trails offer views of fossils, riverine bush, Prince Albert from the mountain top, a dry waterfall and Bushman shelters,find out more here. You might just fancy a walk along Gordon’s Koppie overlooking the town, or a ramble along the Parkrun route. There are more walks and hikes on Kredouw Olive Estate - details can be seen here


Wolwekloof Nature Reserve's guided walks with Prof Sue Dean or Yondela Nqadala give you the opportunity to learn about the geology, botany, natural and cultural history of the area around Prince Albert from experts. Contact Sue on 082 770 0206 or e-mail:


A walk with a difference - and a delicious tea - can be enjoyed on 17 August when Die Letterhuis’ hold another Open Day, explore this wonderful space with letters carved into stone, hand lettered walls, calligraphic canvasses, land art installations, an introduction into the traditional and contemporary world of calligraphy as well as beautiful walks in the Poplar forest amidst the installations. R250 per person. Booking is essential: phone, sms or whatt's app 083 325 5757.


Louis Botha will be offering an Introduction to advanced photography from 17 - 20 August. Contact him on 0824535130 or e-mail for details. Find out about Louis book of portraits of Prince Albert people, Slow Down Look Again in this video from Kyknet.


There will be a Mindfulness and Relaxation Retreat at Dennehof from 24 - 27 August: find calm in the Karoo with relaxation, journaling, yoga, Karoo food and quiet. Contact Paul Bushell for details 073 200 7219.


The August line-up at the Showroom Theatre includes Prince Albert’s own local band Slam Jam (5th); Tonya Koenderman (12th) and Masala the Musical (26th). Visit the Showroom booking site for details and tickets.


Looking ahead, the Heritage Day weekend starts with the Moonlight Market on Friday 22 September. The Fransie Pienaar Museum staff are arranging a Heritage Bash, for 23 & 24 which will include a parade from the POP Centre to the Museum and there will be traditional food, stalls, participation from Leeu-Gamka and Klaarstroom and an US4US Concert.


From 7 - 10 September, ‘get on your bike’ rises to new heights in the Karoo GravelGrinder, an adventure stage race, a social, cycling and culinary experience you can share with a group of colleagues or friends. The routes are designed to accommodate gravel and cyclocross bikes, so you can choose to ride it on anything from a full suspension mountain bike to a hardcore endurance road bike. For more details e-mail


Here are more authors, poets, artists and journalists who’ll be part of what promises to be an exciting Prince Albert Leesfees from 2 - 5 November: Elza Miles, Daniel Hugo, Mike Nicol, Karen Brynard, Rudi van Rensburg, Anzil Kulsen, Bernard Odendaal, Bart de Graaff, Joyce Kotzè, Carel van der Merwe, Wendy Maartens, Dorothea van Zyl, Janienke van Zyl. Watch this space for other exciting news to follow…. Visit the Leesfees FB page here. Make your accommodation bookings soon!


Keep an eye on the on-line calendar, this newsletter and our Facebook page for all our forthcoming events.  

“Prince Albert – Unfiltered Great Karoo”

For more information & accommodation bookings contact Henriëtte

phone: 023 5411 366      fax: 023 5411 788   e-mail:    or visit


The Olive Branch is compiled for distribution by the Prince Albert Tourism Association by Ailsa Tudhope, The Story Weaver



The Olive Branch 

July 2017


Welcome to our newsletter, written on a crisp, clear day in Prince Albert. Winter days are sunny and sparkling and after a hearty Karoo breakfast you’ll want to explore, so let’s start with a great new Prince Albert feature… our “Town Tour” a self-drive or -cycle route to interesting places where you can discover more about our innovative community.  From our Beadkidz project, PADS animal care, POP (Path out of Poverty) Centre and busy Karoo Handgemaak ladies, to our Karoo Parkrun circuit, there are inspiring things to see and caring and creative people to meet.   

PADS animal care was seen nation-wide on Kwela during June… click here to see their video.


Prince Albert is an ideal venue for groups and our latest guests flew into our little airfield for the last weekend of June. 22 small airplanes brought us 38 pilots from the Border Aviation Club who had planned to spend one night here, but once they realised what we have to offer, they decided to make a weekend of it.  Huge thanks to Hans Burger who took care of all the logistical arrangements and to the Municipality and police who co-ordinated safety and security at our airfield.  Local photographer Gita Claassen took some evocative photos as our visitors left us after their Prince Albert experience, which you can see here


Another large group will be visiting during July when a Probus Club from Cape Town will explore our olive and wine farms, dine at local restaurants and join our Story Weaver on her Ghost Walk.  We regularly host wedding parties, cycling groups, cookery course participants and trail runners and our on-line booking system and comprehensive website make planning a group visit a piece of cake. Our Tourism staff Henriëtte and Melinda are just a phone call away if you need additional advice or suggestions on where to stay or what to do. 023 5411 366 or


What’s on in July…


Our Garden Club use Winter meetings to work on community projects and this month they are transforming a courtyard at the local hospital into a welcoming garden for patients and visitors. Watch our Facebook page for photos. You can find out more from Sue Goosen 023 5411 558  e-mail: If you are here on Wednesday 5 July join us at 2.00pm at the hospital - visitors are more than welcome to lend a hand and there will be a picnic tea once the planting is done!


African Relish are thrilled to have Nina Timm back in their Karoo kitchen in July. Details about her fun-filled creative My Easy Cooking weekend 7 - 9 July can be found here.


Our local retirement home, Huis Kweekvallei will hold their Bazaar on Friday 14 July 2017 from 10am – 12 noon. Contact 023 5411 626 for further information.


Prince Albert’s carefree couple Michael and Judith Treloar who cycled from Cairo to Cape Town, 11 200km through 11 countries for 4 months on bicycles, will present a Tour d’Afrique retrospective on their crazy cycling, courageous climbs and curious countries as a fund raiser for the Fransie Pienaar Museum on Thursday 20 July. R30 tickets from the Museum and at the Showroom door, includes light snacks and cash bar.


Other July events at the Showroom Theatre includes Chris Chameleon (1st); Bottomless Coffee Band (7th); Elvis Blue (14th); 3 Tons of Fun (29th). Visit the Showroom booking site for details and tickets. Elvis Blue will be performing the title song from his latest album 'Die Brug’. Listen to it here.


Looking ahead, here are some dates for your diary…


The first weekend in August brings our annual NG Kerkbasaar - a Karoo bazaar experience. From the potjiekos evening at the Showgrounds on the 4th to the morning street market on the 5th, with everything from meat bargains & braai to ‘bazaar poeding’ to White elephants, this is a community event that’s not to be missed. 

There will be a Forrest Yoga retreat in the Karoo arranged by Simply Saffron from 21-24 September 2017. For details e-mail


Heritage Weekend (22 - 25 September) offers a good excuse to get away to Prince Albert - Unfiltered Great Karoo!


The Indie Karoo Film Festival runs from 29 September to 2 October - click here for more


Our annual Agricultural Show takes place on 20 & 21 October. Farmers and stock, tractors, horses, entertainment, dancing, great food - yet another Celebration of Karoo hospitality in Prince Albert. 


Remember the Prince Albert Leesfees: 2 - 5 November… Johan Myburg, Cas Wepener and Nicol Stassen, Nick Charlie Key (Jump on the Bant Wagon), HemelBesem/Simon Witbooi and Paige Nick (Unpresidented), will all be there… visit the FB page here.


Remember, the Showroom film club meets every Wednesday, our Market and Parkrun are held every Saturday, the Full Moon Cycle ride is a monthly feature (contact Arno on 083 395 9038) and our Art Galleries host periodic exhibitions…  keep an eye on the on-line calendar, this newsletter and our Facebook page for all our forthcoming events. 

“Prince Albert – Unfiltered Great Karoo”

For more information & accommodation bookings contact Henriëtte

phone: 023 5411 366      fax: 023 5411 788   e-mail:    or visit



The Olive Branch is compiled for distribution by the Prince Albert Tourism Association by Ailsa Tudhope, The Story Weaver



Here's an encouraging response to April's newsletter:

From: Marilyn Scott []
Sent: 01 April 2017 09:01 AM
Subject: Congratulations!


So well done on your super museum being awarded ‘Museum of the Year’.   It is so true that visitors are made very welcome and aren’t in a hurry to leave.   I can’t wait to visit again …

I was surprised to read in the Olive Branch that your Library had also won an award.  Wow – you chaps really work hard – there’s a lot of competition out there.

Living in PA is on my bucket list.   Every month I read the newsletter I become more determined that this is the place that has stolen my heart.   Ailsa does an amazing job writing the Olive Branch – it must go a long way to driving the passions in people who find the goings-on in PA irresistible.

The residents of the town of the Prince must be commended on their co-operation with those who promote its well-being.  Without the working-together of everyone in every corner of the town PA would be just another little Karoo town.   Interesting but not awesome!


Marilyn Scott