It’s a little bit of a hidden gem, and to be honest, if someone hasn’t directly told you about it before, then chances are that you’ll probably never come across it on your own, simply because it is…, well a little bit unexpected. Stellenbosch just so happens to have its very own small aerodrome, and relatively tucked away, this particularly picturesque little airfield has a pretty decent clubhouse attached to it which as it turns out, is capable of producing some particularly delicious racks of pork ribs. The best part of this whole story? Well you don’t have to be a club member to pull up, take in the view, grab a cold beer, and tuck into those aforementioned ribs!
Taken from the official website: Established in 1973, the Stellenbosch Flying Club is a popular flying club among aviators and aviation enthusiasts from all walks of life, a proper traditional flying home for both the recreational and aspirant aviator. The airfield is also home to the well-established Stellenbosch Flight Training Centre (whom I’ve had dealings with before), and as a whole, with over 600 members and and 160 aircraft based at the airfield, the Stellenbosch Flying Club is now considered one of the biggest Flying Clubs in South Africa.
Mind you, with that many members, and those good ribs, it is no wonder then that the outdoor seating next to the airstrip can get PRETTY busy over the weekends, but if you get your timing right or don’t mind the crowds, then you’re in for a proper treat. Fresh air, interesting little planes continuously coming and going, and a lekker vibe, the Stellenbosch Flying Club makes for a surprisingly enjoyable lunch time venue!
As for this particular visit, well as you might be able to tell from the photos of the visit, we kind of lucked out given that it was a little later in the afternoon than what one would normally appear for lunch. Wonderfully quiet (in terms of people, not planes), delicious food, and then a surprise (and very rapid) incursion of mist over the fields. Spectacular!
BONUS: Also worth noting as a general aviation enthusiast, the Stellenbosch Flying Club has two interesting planes out as fixed exhibits, namely the De Havilland Vampire (the plane that pretty much ushered in the jet age for the South African Air Force), and more the more recent addition, an Angolan Bush War-era Dassault-Briguet Mirage F1 CZ!