A few years ago I shared a post about a unique experience I enjoyed in Stanford – a cruise on the Klein Rivier in Stanford This was such a memorable experience that I often would think back to this peaceful summer’s day cruising along this beautiful river with my kids and a family of friends.
Recently I had the opportunity to enjoy this river cruise in Stanford a second time and I jumped at the chance to take another trip aboard The Lady Stanford.
This time around the season was entirely different. A combination of bright yellow fields of canola against a backdrop of snow-capped mountains confirmed that although spring had sprung, winter was still in the air!
Fortunately, despite a prediction of rain, we were greeted by bright blue skies and some sunshine when we stepped aboard, but the fleece blankets were still very welcome!
The Lady Stanford is a modern, eco-friendly river boat with a quiet, four-stroke engine and two decks. Manned by a qualified skipper and interactive guide who knows the river intimately, this is a very special way to enjoy the scenery of Stanford.
Klein Rivier, is certainly one of the most scenic in South Africa. With towering green mountains dripping with waterfalls and verdant village views, the river cruise winds its way gently along the tranquil river from Stanford Village towards the Hermanus Estuary.
The highlight of this river cruise is most certainly the bird life. Never before have I seen or heard so many beautiful species within such a short space of time! The region has more than 250 bird species, of which 120 can be spotted around the river and the village.
Common sightings include the majestic Fish Eagles, Greater Flamingos and the Blue Crane and you may also be lucky enough to spot Giant Kingfishers, Red Bishops, African Darters, Grebes, Herons, Osprey or the African Harrier-Hawk. Looking back through my photos I feel that we may have spotted all those mentioned here… and more! I’m not a traditional twitcher, but this trip might inspire a new hobby.
We were lucky enough to enjoy snacks and drinks on board and this really is a wonderful way to spend an afternoon with family and friends. Sit around the table on the lower deck and soak up the countryside setting and scenery with a glass of wine, or head up on to the upper deck with your binoculars to make sure you don’t miss any bird sightings. Other attractions you can keep an eye out for include otters, terrapin, fish, bontebok and horses and donkeys grazing on the fertile river banks.
The Lady Stanford accommodates up to 26 passengers which makes it perfect for special occasions, social events and family gatherings. It runs daily trips for individual passengers and is also available for exclusive charter and is equipped with various birding books and checklists, binoculars, blankets and a chemical toilet. There are five scheduled cruises per day, depending on the season and cruises can be booked on a per person rate or exclusively.
So often we head home from a weekend away without a moment’s pause to soak in the experience and allow our bodies and minds time to readjust back to the pace of real life and this pleasure cruise was just what I needed to continue that holiday feeling for just a little bit longer before heading back to Cape Town. I highly recommend spending a few more hours soaking up the beautiful country air by adding this experience to the end of your stay in the Stanford region or at any of the other properties that form part of the Cape Country Routes collection.
The Lady Stanford Reservations
Cost: R225 per person or R 3500 for exclusive use of the entire boat (max 26 people)
Tel: 0663749386 or 028 341 0358
Address: Slipway at the corner of Church and Du Toit Street.
Directions: On entering Stanford take the first right on to Daneel Street; turn left onto Du Toit Street; follow Du Toit Street until you reach the slipway – Lady Stanford Boat is on your right.