An absolute must-do for people travelling in South Africa is to experience and explore the amazing range and diversity of our indigenous gemstones. One of the most popular and convenient places to discover this amazing beauty and variety is at the popular Scratch Patch outlets at the V&A Waterfront, Simon’s Town and the Cape Town Ostrich Farm.
These complexes collectively feature the Scratch Patch, Mineral World, Cave Golf, Rock Shop and the Topstones Factory.
The Scratch Patch has become world-famous as a place where you can have loads of fun “scratching” for your favourite gemstones from hundreds of thousands of colourful tumble-polished stones that quite literally cover the floor. This is a truly original concept that has been copied in other parts of the world. According to how many gemstones you wish to take home, visitors have a choice from a small bag to a large cup container.
At the Mineral World factory shops, you can see an incredible range of gemstone items including stone carvings and other “art” pieces; high-quality “investment” gems (like Tanzanite and Diamonds); jewellery of all kinds; and lots of inexpensive gemstone items that make ideal take-home-gifts.
The Cave Golf mini-golf courses are simply great! The V&A one is perennially popular and despite being relatively short and compact, the 18-hole layout is great to play and well-designed and challenging enough to be enjoyed even by regular golfers. The Simon’s Town 18-hole course is longer and it meanders down through a series of underground areas that feature rock walls, cave and mine obstacles, underground waterfalls, a UV light section, and fabulous mineral displays that are embedded in the surrounding rock.
At the Rock Shop, you’ll discover a large range of beautiful mineral specimens, rough gemstone pieces and fossils that will bring out the geologist in you!
The Topstones Factory is one of the world’s largest gemstone factories and here you can watch how gemstones are tumble-polished and crafted into many interesting and varied products.
V&A Waterfront (1 Dock Rd, 021 4199429): Scratch Patch, Mineral World and Cave Golf
Simon’s Town (Dido Valley Rd, 021 786 2020): Scratch Patch, Mineral World, Cave Golf, Rock Shop and Topstones Factory.
Both centres open Mon / Fri: 8.30am to 4.45pm. Weekends / Public Holidays: 9am to 5.30.www.scratchpatch.co.za.