Stanford was chosen the Best Village in the SA Destination Awards.
The picturesque village of Stanford is one of the Cape’s best kept secrets. Just two hours away from Cape Town and 20 minutes from hermanus, it is fast becoming a favourite weekend getaway and the ideal stop-over en route to Cape Agulhas and De Hoop Nature Reserve.
For sport enthusiasts and eco-adventurers alike there are a number of 4x4 and hiking trails to explore, a choice of golf courses at nearby towns, horse riding and mountain biking among the vineyards, fly fishing in the river and dams, shark cage diving in Gansbaai, Local Breweries, Kayak Rentals, Picnics at the Klein Rivier Cheese Farm, 5 Star dining at Springfontein Wine Farm and much much more. Stanford is also well-known for its superb birding.
Take it easy on a river sunset cruise, spot the whales in Walker Bay, enjoy the excellent local wines and sample the best produce from the area at one of the many village eateries or surrounding area. Shop for collectables along the main street and stock up on delicious goodies and fresh produce at the monthly Friday evening and weekly Saturday morning markets. Accommodation ranges from five-star lodges to family-run B&B's and self-catering cottages.
Stanford is very proud of its Cape Victorian and Edwardian architectural heritage and is regarded as one of South Africa's best preserved villages. The original market square dating back to 1785 is still pristine and part of the original village was awarded heritage status that exudes a charm of yester-year.
Look a little further and you’ll find excellent local wines, beer and cheeses, award-winning restaurants and places that just surprise and delight.
Amazingly, the Klein River is the river with the world's shortest distance between its origin and its mouth.
The source of the Klein River starts in the Hemel en Aarde Valley in Hermanus on a farm called Diep Gat. It then flows all the way behind the Klein River Mountains, turns near Caledon, flows through the rich Akkedisberg Pass, into Stanford and 15km later joins the lagoon of Hermanus where it eventually reaches the sea.
As the Klein River passes through Stanford, it offers sport enthusiasts and eco-adventurers alike an array of activities including boat cruises or personalised boat trips, kayak, canoeing and bird watching. Stanford is well-known for its superb birding, and proudly presents an annual September/October Bird Fair weekend, with a clutch of top-class birding experts. Or if you decide to rather relax and picnic along its banks, stock up on deli - goods, fresh produce and local wines at the monthly, Friday Sunset and weekly Saturday Morning markets. Life here is slower than in the city, so it’s no surprise that many ex-urbanites now call this village with a river at its heart, home.
There was a lack of indigenous trees along the Klein River in the areas used by the public for recreational purposes. A local nursery offered to assist Stanford Conservation to establish trees between King and Quick Streets along the river bank. The results are some huge indigenous willows providing shade for picnickers. Water Berries, Swamp Cyprus, Corral Trees and Wild Peach were also planted.
The Klein River features more than 127 kinds of birds as well as a variety of salt and fresh water fish, including bass. Otter's, terrapins and various other indigineous animals are also found here. One of the earliest accounts of the Klein River is the journal kept in 1707 by Jan Hartog, head gardener of the Dutch East India Company (VOC). On a barter trip to the Overberg they grazed cattle at the river then only known by it's Hottentot name, the 'gonuka goggo' the 'little river', or in Dutch the 'kleine rivier'.
The Overberg is an incredible area, with beautiful skies, colourful farmland, yellow, gold and green fields, horses, sheep, blue cranes and in Stanford, a beautiful river that connects you to a magnificent lagoon, a most appealing retreat from the nearby beaches.
Come enjoy the birds, the tranquility and be mesmerized as our beautiful Klein River Mountains change colour while the sunsets over our paradise.