Otter’s Bend Lodge is not only situated in the heart of the Winelands, but nestles in an outdoor paradise, and is an ideal base from which to explore the greater Cape Region: 86 Km to Cape Town, 29km to Stellenbosch, a portion of a wine route, 23 km to Paarl, 45km to the Elgin Valley, 87 km to Hermanus along country roads, or take a leisurely round trip ride/drive over five majestic mountain passes.
1) Hiking - Franschhoek is surrounded by four mountain ranges, all of which are protected areas. Several well-known hiking trails, from half day to four day transverses are on our door step. Overnight cottages are available.
The owners of Otter’s Bend Lodge are involved in the design and auditing of hiking trails for Cape Nature, SanParks and private land owners and have a wealth of information available for you to browse through, or we will send it to you prior to your arrival. Drop offs and pick up can be arranged, and there are parking facilities at Otter’s Bend Lodge to leave your car.
2) Mountain biking – endless trails through the mountains, for both the casual family rider to the ultimate maniac. Some of the world’s top riders train in the area, which is also used as a leg of the Cape Epic.
3) Horse riding – Wine tasting on horseback, outrides and lessons are available on request.
4) Food and entertainment - Franschhoek is not known as the Gourmet Capital of South Africa for nothing, with over 50 restaurants to choose from, both in the village and on the wine farms. Many of them internationally renowned. Several are within walking distance of Otter’s Bend Lodge. There are also three well known pubs with regular live music.
5) Wine tasting – you can self-drive many estates, but we suggest a bicycle or take the Wine Tram, a unique service which is hop on hop off every hour: by tram, tractor and special buses, allowing you the freedom to stay over longer at the wine estates of your choice, relax and not worry about drinking and driving.
6) Festivals – please look at our calendar for the Franschhoek, Stellenbosch and Paarl festivals, which include the Champagne Festival, Franschhoek Uncorked, the Literary Festival, Bastille Festival and many more. Click here for the events page.
7) Shark cage diving and whale watching are available within a 75 minute drive to Hermanus and Gansbaai. It is a magnificent drive over the Franschhoek Pass and across the Overberg shale fynbos plains.
8) Bird watching – The Cape Winelands and the Overberg are a birder’s dream destination, with endemic and rare species such as the Cape Sugar Bird, Rock Jumper, Malacite Sunbird and the Cape Vulture amongst others. 87 species have been recorded at Otter’s Bend Lodge, with nesting Paradise Flycatchers, Cape Batis, Cape Eagle Owls, Gymnogenes, Swee Waxbills, Guinea fowls, masked weavers, and others waiting to be found.
9) Car Museum – over 200 vehicles from the oldest, to the latest Ferraris and McLarens.
10 Cultural museums
a) Solms Delta found Khoisan middens during building operations, so redesigned the project, built a museum and put a glass floor in the restaurant protecting the findings and making them available to the public to view.
b) The Huguenot Memorial Museum is known for its genealogical records – come and find out your true ancestry!
11 Beaches – Strand and Gordons Bay are approximately an hour’s drive away, along a round route taking you through Stellenbosch, Strand, Gordons Bay, Sir Lowry’s Pass, Elgin, Grabouw and the Franschhoek Pass.
Or just chill at Otter’s Bend Lodge, sip wine and read a book!