Prince Alfred Hamlet, Breede River Valley

Lying barely north of Ceres on the R303, just below the Koue Bokkeveld Mountain Catchment area, the Boland town of Prince Alfred's Hamlet is just as it sounds - tiny, virtually devoid of any accommodation, quaint, remote and surrounded by mountains.

Despite this, the town comes with a rather lavish town sign that stands atop a hand made stone wall, its name in capital letters against a white-washed background.

Prince Alfred's Hamlet is known as the gateway to the Gydo Pass, an incredible passage through the mountains with views that leave one breathless. Many people drive this route as an alternative to the N7 to Citrusdal, through the Koue Bokkeveld via an even tinier town known as Op Die Berg.

The Koue Bokkeveld or 'cold goat country' is one of the coldest places in the Western Cape and in winter you're almost assured of snow in the mountains or even on the ground, depending on the season.

It is also a bird-watcher's haven, particularly as it lies on the southern edge of the Tanqua Karoo. Karoo scrub, thorny river courses and rocky gorges give rise to an array of birds that include the Karoo korhaan, the northern black korhaan, the Cape spurfowl, Ludwig's bustard, the Namaqua sandgrouse, the fairy flycatcher and even a white-throated canary.

You're also surrounded by nature reserves. The Witzenberg Nature Reserve is just near Ceres, whilst the Grootwinterhoek Wilderness Area and further Grootwinterhoek Nature Reserve is west of Prince Alfred's Hamlet, closer to Porterville.

Aside from exploring the countryside on a myriad walks and serious down time, a drive to Citrusdal through incredible scenery, will take you about an hour and a half.

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