South Africa Garden Tour 2014
Wednesday October 8th to Thursday October 23rd, 2014


October 16th Cape Town

After breakfast we transfer to the airport for our flight to Cape Town and once there to our hotel and the rest of the day is at leisure until we met later on for dinner. It was wonderful to have the same hotel for so many nights as you could relax, not worry about packing and each room had its own tiny kitchenette in case you wanted to prepare some snacks.

October 17th Cape Town

Our first visit this morning is an exclusive visit – Stellenberg Gardens - for a very special private guided tour. Among the internationally acclaimed gardens, Sandy Ovenstone’s Stellenberg Gardens in Kenilworth is most definitely on the map. Moreover, it was showcased by international gardening author and presenter Monty Don in his 2008 BBC television series, Around the World in 80 Gardens. This garden is usually open only one day a year and we have special permission to see it, so applauded our good fortune! One of the oldest properties in Cape Town, has been called home by several prominent families over the years. Fortunately, despite changes of ownership, the property managed to escape the 'Victorianization' many other homes in the region underwent and retains its classic 18th century Cape Dutch feel. While the house is off-limits to visitors, the main appeal is the property and gardens. It is divided into different gardens, each with their own unique characteristics: a white garden, a walled garden, a formal medieval garden, an herb garden, and more.

Then on our way to the Cellars Hohenort Gardens in the beautiful Constantia Valley...again very impressed with this visit... The gardens at The Cellars-Hohenort are acknowledged as one of the finest hotel gardens internationally and has been voted by Garden Design, a top American magazine, as one of the top 30 hotel gardens in the world. We enjoyed a private guided tour. Set over nine spectacular acres, in the breathtaking Constantia Valley, The Cellars-Hohenort gardens are widely regarded as one of the finest privately owned gardens in the world. These exceptional gardens – awarded the prestigious 2010 Relais & Châteaux Garden Award – are the result of Liz McGrath’s 20-year vision, which has been realized through hard work, dedication and love. The Cellars-Hohenort gardens highlight the history and heritage of this spectacular property. Trees, dating back to Simon van der Stel’s time, are surrounded by more recent gardens including the unrivaled Cellars-Hohenort rose garden; each designed to showcase the Table Mountain slope they call home. We enjoyed lunch here as well!

On our way back to the hotel we decided that today was the day to visit Table Mountain - what a view. ‘The proclamation of this new national park will be a South African ‘gift to the Earth’ ... Nelson Mandela. Table Mountain is part of a World Heritage Site and home to a unique yet endangered plant diversity known as fynbos.

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