Simondium is a little hamlet, barely more than a suburb. However, it remains one of the constituents of the world-renowned Cape Winelands. As such, it welcomes many tourists – both from around South Africa and abroad – to enjoy its scenic backdrops and explore its many hidden gems. Being as centrally situated as it is, Simondium benefits from the many attractions and activities of the larger towns around it such as Paarl, Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.
Due to its positioning, encircled by the lush green mountains of the Cape, Simondium can become extremely hot in summer and cold in winter. Therefore, the best times to visit for those that want to hike, walk or cycle would be in spring (September to November) or autumn (March to May).
During your time in Simondium, be sure to check out the following attractions:
1. Le Bonheur Croc Farm
Home to more than 1 000 Nile crocodiles (as well as a few very cute babies) and one albino croc, Le Bonheur is a fantastic way to spend a day with family and friends. Young and old alike will love learning about this prehistoric-looking animal, which reaches impressive sizes and is capable of acrobatics quite unbecoming of its enormous dimensions.
There is a tannery on site, allowing visitors to see and purchase all sorts of beautiful goods that are made from immaculate crocodile hides. There is also a restaurant that serves a number of dishes made using crocodile meat, as well as plenty of other options for those not feeling quite that adventurous. The farm is open daily, and tours are conducted every 30 minutes.
2. The Festive Ideas Festival
Every year, Simondium hosts Festive Ideas, which is an exciting event that is focussed on the arts, crafts, ideas and innovative goodies hailing from this area. Around 70 exhibitors gather to showcase their creations, which makes for fantastic browsing and even better shopping. Some of the exhibitors also host interactive workshops that are aimed at sharing their knowledge and ideas so that those who feel creative can take away something valuable and special.
3. Kooperasie Stories
There are few things that will whisk one away from the ‘real world’ as much as antique shopping. Beautiful pieces from yesteryear transport those who appreciate them into a historical wonderland, where their origin and life stories are often left up to the imagination. Kooperasie Stories, situated along the R45 has a collection of wonderful antiques, some of which have been brought in from abroad.
4. Anura Vineyards
This family-owned wine estate was established in 1989, but only supplied their immediate neighbours with their delicious wines until 2001, when their first formal vintage was produced. Since then, this estate has been producing and selling a wide range of wines, thanks to their varied soils and their position up the slopes of the Simonsberg Mountain Range, which means a naturally unique irrigation system.
All of their grapes are picked by hand to ensure that they are preserved in their best condition. To date, they have won awards for their Merlot Reserve, and are gaining widespread acclaim for their one-of-a-kind flavours.