Albertinia - Home of the Cape Aloe

Private Property South Africa
Anna-Marie Smith

The small town of Albertinia lies in a central position at the foot of the tranquil Langeberg mountains, where Cape Aloes dot the vast distances of the region.

Located approximately 400 km from Cape Town and 50km west of Mosselbay, it makes for an ideal refreshment stop along the N2 highway. Viewed by many as a sleepy hollow, this industrious little town is often discovered by default, possibly while adventure seekers en route to the bungee jumping venue 30 km away need a stop off to calm their nerves before reaching the Gouritz Railway Bridge. As a result, many interesting tales of the dares of this adrenaline loaded activity above the Gouritz River are told during student and school vacations, when the area sees most of its visitors.

And for those with a preference for sedate activities of the natural kind, several industries originating from local plant species make for fascinating discoveries. The town’s commercial focus is on the Aloe industry, where large quantities of aloe related products, such as health and beauty products are produced. The wondrous medicinal qualities of the indigenous Aloe Ferox or Cape Aloe that grows prolifically in this area, are known and recognised by the bitter-tasting sap drained from the leaves and used for health and skin remedies. The Aloe plant has a reputation among health gurus who promotes its use in juice and gel form, that provides a remarkable treatment of all sorts of burns.

Another product generating commercial activity in the area is the famous Albertinia thatching reed, commonly known as Dekriet, that can be seen growing in dense stands around the Southern Cape. The Thamnochortus insignis is the only restia species that grows in large enough quantities for commercial purposes, and as a result has become a valued source of employment to the local community.

Also located in close vicinity is the Garden Route Lodge, where the big five can be viewed, and the beautiful coastline and beaches of Stillbaai, only 27km away. Residents can enjoy many other elements of the relaxed Western Cape lifestyle, such as the Klein Karoo Wine Route that stretches from Montagu, and ending in Albertinia. Known for its dry climate, organically cultivated vineyards against the mountain slopes produce a variety of quality wines. Other recreational activities in the area include hiking through the Reins Nature Reserve in Gouritzmond, or golf at one of two nearby courses at the Albertinia Golf Club or the Stilbaai Golf Club 35km toward the coast.

This town offers its residents an agricultural lifestyle and entry level properties ideally suited to first time homeowners or young families, with average municipal values of freestanding homes of around R535 000. Falling under the Hessequa Western Cape Municipality , it has several coastal neighbours, namely Witsand where average freehold properties currently stand at R1 326-millionm, Gouritzmond at R 1 261-million, Still Bay West at R1 184-million, and Still Bay East at R655 286.

Another entertainment activity popular with visitors and residents from neighbouring areas is the Albertinia Aloe Festival in September, an exhibition of a large collection of local produce as well as musical and cultural entertainment.

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