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Prince Albert

Prince Albert

With a steady stream of mountain water, its vicinity to the Swartberg Mountain Pass, and its fine restaurants and shops, Prince Albert is a lush, green oasis amid arid and desolate Karoo moonscapes and a popular tourist destination.

Here’s a couple of mildly interesting historical facts. Prince Albert, founded sometime around 1762, was named after Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (later the “Prince Consort”), husband of British Queen Victoria. Secondly, the town grew out of a single farm, today home to the Dennehof guesthouse. Thirdly. At some point towards the end of the 19th century, a small piece of gold was found on a farm in the area. Inspired and encouraged by the “gold rush” that had absorbed Witwatersrand in the north of South Africa at that time, this find attracted a similar population boom. To no avail, however, as the gold that was found in Prince Albert has, to this day, been fairly minimal. Hence mildly interesting 😉

When you arrive in Prince Albert, you will notice that, unlike most other Karoo towns, Prince Albert’s main road is pleasantly lined with funky restaurants, decor shops and strolling tourists. South Africans seem to find refuge here, away from the cities, and while switching off the city buzz, bring with them a longing for good coffee, fine food and fine design – as city people do.

A large chunk of the local economy depends on tourism: accommodation, restaurants and tours. Other economic activities in the area include olive farming (Prince Albert Olives), wine making (Fernskloof and Bergwater) and sheep farming (Wolvekraal).


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