Napier (175km from Cape Town) is a quaint country village that evolved around the Dutch Reformed Church in 1838. The elders of the region couldn't agree where to build the local house of worship: Napier or Bredasdorp? So after much squabbling they decided to build two churches, one in each village. Sounds just like the big bad Old South Africa: two of everything and not enough of anything. Like its McGregor, Greyton and Stanford counterparts, Napier is fast becoming a magnet for our fellow compatriots on the run from parking attendants, shopping malls and N2 taxis.
Things To Do
- Follow the notorious Foot of Africa marathon route (you are allowed to walk) up the Soetmuisberg. On a clear day you can see all the way to the ocean; on a hazy one, a sea of wheat, cattle and sheep farms.
- The Dutch Reformed Church is a national monument and architecturally impressive. Check out the teak interior, the pipe organ, and the font made from solid yellow copper. Next door is Feeshuis 150, one of Napier’s oldest buildings and originally a slave quarter that later became a wine cellar – funny how religion, slavery and alcohol seem to go so well together.
- Visit the old Gold Mine, yet another “southernmost in Africa” that someone should submit to the Guiness Book of Records. Guided visits to the mine are held only once a month – pop into the Info office for an update.
- Napier has a lucky packet of other quirky attractions to fill a few hours. Pay a visit to the Toy Museum, where handmade steamboats, old toys and trains are on display. Down the road, the All Sorts Militaria Museum houses a variety of tin soldiers, militaria and chessboards.
- Napier's restaurant scene has come a long way, with a total of eight eateries/pubs now strung up and down main street.
- Visit the local brewery to get a taste of the real thing - a far cry from the SAB swill we've been fed since childhood.
- Head for the organic Saturday market for stalls loaded with local produce.
For starters let's dip into Driftwood's guest book. "I loved the single space cottage - decor fitted my personality. If I had a home like this I'd be the happiest person alive" (Adrienne from Pretoria...
Where You'll Also Find Us
Arniston (Waenhuiskrans) • Barrydale • Baviaanskloof • Betty's Bay • Bonnievale • Bredasdorp • Caledon • Calitzdorp • Cape Agulhas & Struisbaai • Cape Peninsula & Surrounds • Ceres • Citrusdal • Clanwilliam & Cederberg • Darling • De Rust • Elands Bay • Gansbaai • George • Grabouw & Elgin Valley • Greyton • Hermanus • Hogsback • Knysna • Ladismith • Malgas • Matjiesfontein • McGregor • Montagu • Mossel Bay • Napier • Oudtshoorn • Paarl • Plettenberg Bay • Porterville • Pringle Bay, Betty's Bay and Kleinmond • Riebeek West & Riebeek-Kasteel • Robertson • St Helena Bay • Stanford • Stilbaai • Sutherland • Swellendam • Tulbagh • Velddrif • Vermaaklikheid • Wellington • Wilderness • Worcester & Hex Valley • Yzerfontein