Food, gifts, and décor – the best places to stop on the way to Namibia

December 22, 2022 (Last Updated: July 17, 2023)

Planning a Namibian trip soon?

Take your time on the N7 from Cape Town to the border and stop off here.

It’s exactly 678 kilometres from Cape Town to the Namibian border at Vioolsdrif on the Orange River. Plenty of opportunity then to enjoy the best of the Western and Northern Cape. The N7 is in excellent condition, there are no tolls, the traffic is minimal, even in season, and there’s a palpable sense of calm, soon as you hit the Swartland.

ALSO SEE: Exploring Namibia: 15 must-do activities and places to visit

1. For breakfast

Leave Cape Town so you hit the Desert Rose Farmstall at 8am (it’s open every day from 8-5pm) on the N7 near Koringberg. It’s an hour and a half’s drive. Their boerewors is epic, sit outside among the giant penguins, dinosaurs and trippy art and marvel at the succulent garden.

EXTRAS: They sell a wide range of well-priced leather bags and veldskoens.

Desert Rose,

2. For oranges and jam

Die Kleine Schuur, just after the Algeria turn-off beyond Clanwilliam is great for cheapie oranges in season (R20 a pocket) and has a shaded stoep for restful refreshments.

EXTRAS: The owner is something of a magpie, collecting scarves and shawls – find hundreds of them to buy here.

Die Kleine Schuur, tel: 084 6567566

3. For lunch

At Die Skoorsteentjie in Vanrhynsdorp, the chicken burgers are R60, there’s always someone interesting walking by who stops for a chat and the Coke comes with a lemon and a knife for you to slice your own. Just a wonderful spot.

EXTRAS: A delightful range of children’s books is on sale.

Die Skoorsteentjie, Namaqualand Road, Vanrhynsdorp. 027 219 1763.

4. For woollen waistcoats and bespoke clothing

Bitterfontein might just be the last place you expect to find hyper trendy outfits, but that’s exactly what’s on offer at Gerber & Co, just off the highway. If the name is familiar it’s because their main branch is on the R45 outside Simodium. They do decent coffee and lemon milkshakes too.

EXTRAS: The Tough Love clothing range includes a selection of hard-wearing, logo-ed T-shirts, very collectable.

Gerber & Co,

5. For coffee and memories

The old Kamieskroon Hotel is still a thing, untouched by time, cool slasto behind drawn curtains, reupholstered ball and claw, climbing delicious monsters. Sit on the stoep or in the warm breeze under the apiesdoorn and enjoy the silence of the ages.

EXTRAS: You can even stay over!

Kamieskroon Hotel,

6. For photographic brownie points

The astonishing Kamieskroon’s granite boulder landscape from Garies to Springbok is of course the highlight of the N7. Lost in the larger Namaqualand sell, it deserves a much higher profile. Why those hills aren’t on every visitor’s must-see list is beyond a mystery. The best granite ‘bubbles’ for pictures are at Bowes Dorp, 10km north of Kamieskroon, on the N7.

7. Springbok Lodge, for everything

The Kotzé family started this business in 1947 and truth be told it hasn’t changed much in 80 years. That’s a good thing; for those who haven’t had the pleasure, it is a lodge, restaurant, shop, library, museum, gallery and geology treasure trove all rolled into one very old-school, very red vinyl treat. The Boere breakfast alone is worth the trek from the Cape.

EXTRAS: The shop sells one of the best ranges of South African travel books in the country, at reasonable prices.

Springbok Lodge and Restaurant,

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Who has the best pie on the Garden Route?

By Peter Frost from Getaway

Feature image: vorDa via Getty Images

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