Cape Town’s (kinda) secret gardens

The gardens in and around Cape Town are a thing of magic – whether that’s manicured Victorian rose beds or the exotic fynbos of the Cape floral kingdom. Beat the crowds and check out some of these “secret” gardens.

The gardens in and around Cape Town are a thing of magic – whether that’s manicured Victorian rose beds or the exotic fynbos of the Cape floral kingdom. Beat the crowds and check out some of these “secret” gardens.

1. Montebello Design Centre

A stone’s throw from the world-renowned Kirstenbosch Gardens in Newlands, Montebello is a great place for a garden breakfast, lunch or tea. Meander through its garden and greenhouse, dotted with fanciful sculptures, artworks and majestic Camphor trees. Part gallery, artists’ studio, nursery and restaurant, this hidden treasure is ideal for personal reflection or relaxed meet ups.

2. Arderne Gardens

It’s a wonder more people don’t know about Arderne Gardens, a quiet haven off Claremont’s boisterous Main Road. Founded in the mid-1800s for timber merchant Ralph Henry Arderne’s eclectic mix of international flora, the garden is now home to one of the most diverse and valuable collections of exotic trees in all of South Africa. This is according to the non-profit group Friends of Arderne Gardens, which says the collection includes one of the largest trees in South Africa, the vast Moreton Bay Fig, and quite possibly the largest Aleppo Pine in the world.

3. Vergelegen Estate

Ok, we know this one isn’t really such a big secret, but it’s a garden of mythical romance nonetheless! Vergelegen Estate in Somerset West has 17 perfectly manicured gardens that seem straight out of a BBC period drama. It’s a perfect place for history buffs or the leisurely wanderer: pre-book a picnic, sample estate wines or leisurely stroll through its myriad of unique gardens.

4. Wild West Coast

If you’re hankering to get out of the city entirely, book your spring trip up Cape Town’s west coast to the West Coast National Park for a five-day flower tour in mid-August. The secret to these wild gardens? You never know exactly what to expect or when exactly this floral fantasy will happen, but when it does, it’s a dazzling display of Mother Nature at her finest.

Surf, sun, seafood and crazy-cool times at Malkop Rock Festival

Cape Town’s West Coast is spectacularly beautiful, largely under-developed, rugged and a little wild. So are the locals, who can party with the hardest. It’s no surprise, then, that the West Coast was chosen as the location for the annual Malkop (loosely translated as “crazy-head”) Rock Festival, which takes place each year in the December summer heat. Frantz Birkholtz, founder and organiser of Malkop, explains why the West Coast is the perfect setting for this new festival on the circuit.

The decision to launch Malkop happened by accident and then shaped very organically. We were a small group of friends sitting around the fire just outside Lambert’s Bay (on the West Coast) enjoying some drinks, when we started talking about music and how this spot would be perfect for a festival, seeing that there is a huge demand for live music and festivals on the West Coast. The idea became more and more attractive as we went along and the rest is history.

The best part of starting up a new festival is actually working with the artists, seeing how everything is falling in place and feeling the hype of all the people.

The culture on the west coast is very unique and raw. The people run that part of the coast like cowboys. The fishermen like referring to the party goers as ‘malkoppe’. We want the people to have a good time at the festival and to enjoy the culture of ‘malkoppe’ in Lambert’s Bay.

Malkop’s line-up will always be a brilliant combination of old and new. A surfing competition also takes place — the camp site is a mere 200m from the ocean and the world-renowned Muisbosskerm restaurant, where festival goers will enjoy a buffet seafood meal on the last day of the festival.

The inaugural West Coast Fat bike adventure took place in October 2015

A two day Fat Bike stage ride on The Cape west coast from Silverstroom to Yzerfontein with Gaanzekraal as the overnight stop.
The riders were treated to rare west coast single track and secluded beaches, an adventure not to be missed. Continue reading “The inaugural West Coast Fat bike adventure took place in October 2015”