Stellenbosch is one of the most beautiful towns in South Africa. Majestic mountains and bountiful vineyards surround the town with views guaranteed to inspire awe.
Stellenbosch is also known for its prestigious University adding to the vibrant atmosphere in town. The town is full of history, heritage, music, art and students, giving a feeling of warmth and excitement that’s almost tangible. Stellenbosch’s forefathers were encouraged to plant oak trees and so the town is also known as “Eikestad” or the village of oaks, due to its beautiful oak lined streets. The mix of modern and historical architecture is evident all around you, with the legendary Dorp Street boasting some of the oldest and best preserved buildings in South Africa.
The sidewalk cafes gives this town a distinctly European feel with restaurants to entice the most discerning palate, to student pubs and everything in between.
Stellenbosch and Vineyards
Wine is the lifeblood of Stellenbosch where your choices of wine far exceed any other region in the country. The Stellenbosch Wine Route, is the best known in the country and most visited. Wine farms range from traditional estates to glamorous boutique wine estates.
Many of these estates boast state of the art wine cellars, wine tasting facilities and some of the region’s top restaurants. Stellenbosch recently won the “Wine Town of the Year Award” for 2011 by the influential Swedish wine club Munskänkarna, the first time this award has gone to a wine region outside the European borders.
Sports and Wild life
Stellenbosch and Sport goes hand in hand, with Rugby the most popular sport in town. The very famous Danie Craven Stadium (named after Danie Craven maybe better known as Doc Craven) is home to the Maties Rugby Club – one of the oldest and biggest rugby clubs in the world. Maties produced more Springboks than any other club and claimed the Varsity Cup from inception in 2008 for three years in a row, missing out in 2011.
Thanks to the University of Stellenbosch, Coetzenburg Stadium – a multi sport stadium, offers world class sporting facilities which include Astro turf hockey fields, cricket fields, soccer fields, tennis courts, swimming pools, the list goes on. The Stellenbosch University Sport Performance Institute (SUSPI) is situated on the Coetzenburg grounds. Coetzenburg is highly rated around the world for team training camps as well as individual athletes, thanks to all the world class facilities.
Stellenbosch surrounds offer a variety of Wild life and Animal Rehabilitation Centres well worth visiting.
What To Do
Stellenbosch is best known for its award winning Wines with numerous wine tours on offer. Prestigious restaurants, cosy bistros, al fresco cafes and student pubs, Stellenbosch has it all, a food and wine connoisseur’s heaven. Have a picnic with the family; packed baskets are available for sale at numerous wine farms. Seasonal Strawberry picking is another favourite and for the more adventurous and active, a variety second to none.
- Mountain Biking,
- Hiking, Golfing,
- Sight Seeing,
- Fly Fishing,
- Quad Bikes…. its all here for you !
Visual and Art Exhibitions
Visit art exhibitions & galleries, theatres or join a tour of Stellenbosch on foot. With Stellenbosch as your home base, numerous day trips are possible, ranging from Shark Cage Diving to Rock Climbing, Abseiling, and Scenic Drives.
Stellenbosch University (Afrikaans: Universiteit Stellenbosch) is a public research university situated in Stellenbosch, a town in the Western Cape province of South Africa. Stellenbosch is jointly the oldest university in South Africa and the oldest extant university in Sub-Saharan Africa alongside the University of Cape Town which received full university status on the same day in 1918. Stellenbosch University (abbreviated as SU) designed and manufactured Africa’s first microsatellite, SUNSAT, launched in 1999.
Stellenbosch University was the first African university to sign the Berlin Declaration on Open Access to Knowledge in the Sciences and Humanities.
The students of Stellenbosch University are nicknamed “Maties”. The term probably arises from the Afrikaans word “tamatie” (meaning tomato, and referring to the maroon sport uniforms and blazer colour). An alternative theory is that the term comes from the Afrikaans colloquialism maat (meaning “buddy” or “mate”) originally used diminutively (“maatjie”) by the students of the University of Cape Town’s precursor, the South African College.
Stellenbosch University is the second-highest ranked African University according to the 2017-2018 QS World University Rankings.
The origin of the university can be traced back to the Stellenbosch Gymnasium, which was founded in 1864 and opened on 1 March 1866. The first five students matriculated in 1870, but capacity did not initially exist for any tertiary education. However, in the 1870s the Cape Colony’s first locally elected government took office and prioritised education. In 1873, four of the five 1870 matriculants became the institution’s first graduates by attaining the “Second Class Certificate” through distance learning, and the gymnasium’s student numbers rose to over a hundred.
In 1874, a series of government acts provided for colleges and universities, with generous subsidies and staff. A personal intervention by the Prime Minister in the same year ensured that Stellenbosch qualified, after initially being allocated to be purely a secondary school. Later in 1874, the institution acquired its first Professor and in the coming few years its capacity and staff grew rapidly. Its first academic senate was constituted at the beginning of 1876, when several new premises were also acquired. The first MA degree (in Stellenbosch and in South Africa) was completed in 1878, and also in that year, the Gymnasium’s first four female students were enrolled.
The institution became the Stellenbosch College in 1881 and was located at the current Arts Department. In 1887 this college was renamed Victoria College; when it acquired university status on 2 April 1918 it was renamed once again, to Stellenbosch University. Initially only one university was planned for the Cape but after the government was visited by a delegation from the Victoria College, it was decided to allow the college to be a university if it could raise £100,000.:290–1 Jannie Marais, a wealthy Stellenbosch farmer, bequeathed the money required before his death in 1915.:291 There were certain conditions to his gift which included Dutch/Afrikaans having equal status to English and that the lecturers teach at least half their lectures in Dutch/Afrikaans. By 1930, very little, if any, tuition was in English.