Exploring town with a local - a great (and safe) way to get around
I’m sitting in the sun, enjoying a cup of coffee at the Stellenbosch Wine Routes’ office. Vuyo Mgijima arrives with his red bicycle and his smile lights up the day. I’m looking forward to explore the town with a true local. He was born and raised in Kayamandi and knows many gems, back roads and local cuisine. He will be showing me around town on a guided bicycle tour. Vuyo is a qualified tour guide and entrepreneur. He has received incredible guidance and support from Stellenbosch Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development (SEED), who has assisted him in a great way to get where he is today. He tells me how they’ve taught him how to run a business and market himself. They also assisted him in getting qualified as tour guide. The bicycles are an interesting story on their own. SEED sourced the bicycles from Europe through a charity and this has enabled Vuyo greatly in his journey as entrepreneur. Each unique bicycle is maintained by himself and his assistant, Xolisa Honono, who also dreams of becoming a tour guide one day. They both laugh as they tell me how they used to fix bicycle tyres by replacing the tubes with irrigation pipes years ago. The streets of Stellenbosch are flat and it is an easy ride for all fitness levels. Vuyo takes the lead and guides us all along the Eerste River, past the 150 old Paul Roos Gymnasium and onto a really special bicycle route that has been developed by the Stellenbosch Trial Fund (STF), a non-profit organisation that is doing a great job of improving the trails in and around Stellenbosch. Within minutes we are surrounded by green fields, indigenous trees and a peaceful river, following an age-old route around the town. We bump into some friendly STF staff, working on the trail, as we head to the university. Experiencing the hustle and bustle of the campus is a tourist attraction on its own. Cycling on campus is the best way to feel the energy that only students can provide – it is a great way to feel young again. If you think you will stay upright on a bicycle after a wine tasting, you can always ask Vuyo to take you to Lanzerac or Middelvlei – both wine farms are right on the edge of the town. On this occasion I only did a half-day cycling trip (R350*, bike rental included) but you can also do a full-day trip, that includes a braai in Kayamandi (R550pp*, includes bike rental). You won’t find anything more “local” than a braai in Kayamandi with a local. To book a trip, you can contact Vuyo at +27(0) 73 274 0741 or send an e-mail to: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also pop in at the Stellenbosch Wine Route's office in Church street. Either Vuyo or one of his colleagues will be at the SWR office if they are not out with a group (so the best would be to book in advance). You can also download their flyer. Visit the Stellenbosch Entrepreneur and Enterprise Development website: www.seedsa.org.za Learn more about the Kayamandi Creative Distict: www.facebook.com/VISITKCD www.kcd.mobi * Please contact them directly for the latest prices and packages.