Prince Albert Ghost Walk, Western Cape
Did you know?
Prince Albert's original 1912 village cinema is now the village theatre.
When Queen Victoria agreed in 1845 that a tiny village in the Karoo should be named after her consort – his Royal Highness, Prince Albert – she could never have guessed that one day he would also give his name to the Prince Albert Ghost Walk.
The Prince Albert Ghost Walk is one of South Africa's loveliest, because not only are the ghosts all amiable and approachable, but you'll also walk through little streets unchanged over the centuries, past buildings full of history, amid the beauty of this Karoo village.
Ailsa Thudhope, your guide, is an expert on the friendly phantoms, and will introduce you to the doomed bride, killed in a cart accident on the eve of her wedding, who flits happily around the parlour of the house that is now the Fransie Pienaar Museum.
Be sure to wave back if you see the elderly gentleman who greets pretty ladies from the veranda of a house in Mark Street. When new owners took over the house and filled the veranda with bookshelves, our ghostly geriatric threw books on the floor in disapproval. When the owners politely remonstrated with him, he politely desisted.
Another sociable spirit haunts the house of Dr Mearns, who in 1901 treated Boer Commando Gideon Scheepers, after he was wounded by a British bullet during the Anglo-Boer War. No one is quite sure why, but a young lady in a white nightie, with lace at her throat and tiny buttons down her front, bounces on the bed of Mearns House, the former home of the distinguished doctor.
Was it a ghost or UFO that was sighted northeast of the village between 1940 and 1960? There are still some folk alive in Prince Albert who saw that mysterious 'eye' and tell tales of the ghostly encounter.
Travel tips & Planning info
Who to contact
Prince Albert Ghost Walk
Tel: +27 (0)23 541 1211
Gay's Guernsey Dairy
Tel: +27 (0)23 541 1274
How to get here
Prince Albert lies in the Central Karoo, 400km north of Cape Town and 170km south of Beaufort West on the N1 highway. The closest airport is in George on the Garden Route, a two-hour drive away.
Best time to visit
Any time is good, but some roads and passes around Prince Albert become inaccessible or difficult to negotiate during the rainy season.
Around the area
Don't miss the spectacular Swartberg Pass and Swartberg Private Nature Reserve.
What to pack
Comfortable walking shoes and a sense of adventure.
Where to stay
There's a range of accommodation in the village and on local farms in the area.
What to eat
Prince Albert boasts a number of award-winning cheese and olive producers.
The Prince Albert Olive Festival takes place annually in April
Cheese from Gay's Guernsey Dairy, olives, locally produced wine and mohair goods.