GPS: S 33 13.421 E 022 01.790 pop. 1,500 | elevation 620 m/2,034 ft
Prince Albert is a small country enclave nestled beside the rocky Swartberg Mountains. The spectacularly steep Swartberg Pass, with its switchbacks supported by hand-packed stone walls, is a legendary challenge for Klein Karoo joy riders. Perhaps because this sleepy town has little to offer as far as mainstream attractions it is beloved by intrepid travelers searching for a break from the tourist mill. Church Street is lined with shops, galleries, antique stores and a handful of restaurants that make for a leisurely afternoon of poking around. But to truly appreciate the low and contemplative beauty of Prince Albert, you'll have to unwind here for a few days.
Fransie Pienaar Museum is a cultural history museum that depicts the history of the town with a variety of displays of typewriters, sewing machines, clothing, churches and military items.
African Relish is a recently opened restaurant and recreational cooking school. It is a fresh addition to downtown Prince Albert with a beautiful open plan kitchen overlooking a garden and surrounded by olive trees. Take a single or multi-day course and learn about South African culinary culture and the finer details of local cuisine. They also offer all-inclusive packages that include lodging (see below) as well as area excursions such as hiking and walks through botanical gardens.
Prince of Africa specializes in quality mohair products including colorful soft blankets, socks, scarves and hand knit sweaters. The shop is located beside the Swartberg Hotel.
Kuis House is an authentic old Prince Albert cottage that is now rented out as basic self-catering accommodation. The house has three bedrooms, a kitchen and a small living room. The huge backyard lawn and garden has a lounge area and a braai.
Saxe-Coburg Lodge is a historic Victorian B&B with spacious freestanding rooms surrounded by a plush lawn and garden with a swimming pool. The rooms all have TV, AC and a private patio. The hosts are avid hikers and are more than willing to take you out for a day hike in the surrounding area.
Swartberg Hotel was built for travelers in 1864 and remains the town's only hotel. It has a handful of rooms in the main building and five thatched two-bedroom cottages set behind the hotel in the garden. The hotel is home to The Coffee Shop & Victoria Room restaurant (see below) as well as a Ladies Bar.
African Relish offers some of the smartest accommodation in town inside individual cottages within walking distance of Church Street. These historically significant houses have received a recent facelift to set off their rustic charm with modern style and convenience, including a full modern kitchen and a private back yard and garden to relax in.
Karoo Kombuis serves homemade traditional South African food such as Karoo lamb, bobotie, and chicken pie with fresh veggies and dessert in their cozy and quaint dining room. They are not licensed so remember to bring your own wine.
African Relish is a recreational cooking school and restaurant specializing in regional Karoo dishes such as Karoo lamb, venison and ostrich, all with a focus on quality ingredients. If it is not from the organic garden behind the restaurant the produce and meat come from local farmers.
The Coffee Shop is one of two Swartberg Hotel eateries overlooking Church St. It serves all-day breakfast, sandwiches and light meals.
The Victoria Room is the more formal evening restaurant with indoor and outdoor seating and a small menu featuring traditional South African dishes such as oxtail potjie, bobotie and lamb.
Café Albert serves espresso and coffee as well as all-day farm fresh breakfasts and freshly baked pastries. The light meals are made from seasonal ingredients with an emphasis on Karoo flavors.