Stellenbosch is an idyllic yet vibrant city located in the western cape of South Africa, and is the second oldest city in South Africa after Cape Town. This city is situated on a magnificent mountain valley, on the banks of the Eerste River and is without doubt one of the prettiest cities in the country. Stellenbosch is also known as the city of oaks or Eikestad- in Afrikaans and Dutch because of the oak tree-lined streets throughout the city. It is a charming city which is rich in history and is home to many well preserved and beautiful buildings of the cape Dutch style. This beautiful city, surrounded by spectacular mountains, is the ideal destination for travelers who wish to explore Cape Town, the peninsula, and the many tourist attractions located in the area surrounding the city. Muslim travelers visiting the city will find it difficult to locate Muslim-friendly facilities in Stellenbosch, as it is home to a very small Muslim population. Although the city has prayer facilities, locating Halal food might be more difficult as there are a limited number of Halal restaurants.
Stellenbosch is the heart of South African wine industry and is home to many vineyards and therefore offers many tours in regards to this industry which would not be of interest to the Muslim traveler. Muslim travelers will however be able to find a plethora of activities and attractions that will interest them, in this diverse city. The city has much to offer its visitors with museums and galleries to visit as well as wildlife experiences and many outdoor activities such as hiking, mountaineering, mountain biking and horse riding to name a few.
Those visiting Stellenbosch could start off by taking a walking tour, and explore the city of oaks. Dorp Street is the old part of the town and its streets are lined with examples from the cape Dutch, Georgian and Victorian architecture. Tourists will also be able to enjoy fantastic views of the mountains, vineyards and orchards while walking in this area.
There are many family-friendly activities that will interest travelers, such as a visit to Butterfly World; which is the largest butterfly park in South Africa. The Giraffe House, the Toy and Miniature Museum, Mooiberge Strawberry Farm and the Drakenstein Lion Park are some other places to visit with the family.
Travelers could also visit the many nature reserves and parks found here, such as Jonkershoek Nature Park; to see some wildlife and to hike and fly fish, and can even enjoy a picnic. Wijnland Auto Museum is also a must visit when in Stellenbosch, as it is home to South Africa’s largest collection of classic and vintage automobiles.
The closest major airport to Stellenbosch is Cape Town International Airport, located approximately 35 kilometres from the center of Stellenbosch. This airport is the second busiest airport in South Africa and the third busiest in Africa and offers both domestic and international flights. Visitors can use the airport shuttle service or take a taxi from the airport to get to their destination.
There are a few Halal restaurants in Stellenbosch at which Muslim visitors can dine. Hungry Lion, Kauai, KFC, and McDonalds are some of the Halal outlets in the city. Muslims could also make inquiries at the mosque regarding Halal food in Stellenbosch. Another option would be to travel to close by cities where Halal food is available or to dine at seafood or vegetarian restaurants, after ensuring that non-Halal items are not added in the ordered dish.
Muslim travelers will be able to find prayer facilities in the city of Stellenbosch. Gujjatul Islam Masjid is the primary mosque in Stellenbosch. When travelers are unable to go to the mosque they could offer their prayers in their hotel room.