Stanford & Surrounds
Stanford Hills Estate is found near the quaint village of Stanford, which is situated on the banks of the Klein River. This village is only 1,5 hours drive from Cape Town and has retained most of its old world charm with its period houses and wide streets. Most notable is the common, where fairs and markets are often held. Residents will be the first to tell you life in Stanford is peaceful and tranquil.
The village name comes from Sir Robert Stanford, who bought the farm “Kleine Rivier Valy” in 1838. Stanford supplied the Cape with fresh meat, fruit and vegetables. The farm was sold by public auction to Philippus de Bruyn who subdivided the farm into erven for a new town in 1857. Presently there are between 3 000 and 4 000 people living in the town and Stanford has become a popular weekend destination.
Situated about halfway between Hermanus and Gansbaai, Stanford is the ideal base for exploring the many attractions of this region. From July to December, whales frolic in Walker Bay and can be seen from Hermanus and De Kelders. Gansbaai is the white shark capital of the world, so cage diving is available for the adventurous. Stanford is also near beautiful nature reserves.
A portion of the Walker Bay Nature Reserve stretches from the Klein River estuary to De Kelders at Gansbaai. This portion is ±1 000 ha and has a coastline of 17 km featuring a long beach, known as Die Plaat. A favourite among nature enthusiasts is Salmonsdam Nature Reserve, which lies 20 km east of Stanford at the foot of the Perdeberg Mountains. This reserve is well-known for its birdlife, mountain fynbos and beautiful waterfalls and comprises an area of 834 ha. Fernkloof Nature Reserve is situated just outside the centre of Hermanus and comprises nearly 2 000 ha of pristine mountain and coastal fynbos. Consisting of parts of the Kleinrivier Mountains, the reserve has a 60 km network of trails that accommodates all fitness levels.
Many restaurants are found in the village, with menus offering fine cuisine and award-winning wines. Art galleries, antiques and crafts shops line the main street of Stanford. The village offers a variety of accommodation, from guesthouses to a hotel. Reputable wine estates, micro-breweries and cheese farms, are within easy driving distance.
Stanford is the Overberg’s birdwatching capital. These feathery creatures congregate in droves along the shores of the Klein River and the indigenous Cape fynbos surrounding the village. The river is gentle with no rapids, making it ideal for leisurely boat cruises or kayaking.