It’s known as the Versailles of South Africa, where every owner of Vergelegen has left a mark on the wine estate’s world-class heritage gardens…

Dutch governor Willem Adriaan van der Stel built the walls surrounding the octagonal garden east of the main house at Vergelegen high enough to keep out lions, as this was where his cattle were kraaled for safety each night at the turn of the 18th century, outside what is now Somerset West.

By the time Sir Lionel and Lady Florence Phillips were in residence some 200 years later, the kraal was a lovely (certainly well-fertilised) formal garden. The lady of this grand estate added a couple of marble urns picked up on a trip to Italy, as well as a couple of antelope sculptures, which are copies of a buck found at the base of Mount Etna, perfectly preserved in the volcanic ash.

“She had an eye for beautiful art,” comments Vergelegen’s horticulturalist, Richard Arm, on one of his entertaining tours of the gardens of the renowned wine estate, now owned by Anglo American and maintained as a heritage site that reflects the layered history of our country.

Each owner has added a touch to the garden, which tells the story of the grand estate and feeds the soul. Wandering its paths, you can’t help pondering the changing times, right from when commercial agriculture was first established at the Cape under the controversial Van der Stel.


Read more about the worlf famous Vergelegen Wine Estate close to Erinvale Golf Estate

Cape Town is currently regarded as a very popular destination among European tourists, according to Tal Muscal, head of group communications for the Middle East, Africa and Southeast Europe for Lufthansa.

On December 2, 2016 Lufthansa will offer direct flights between Frankfurt and Cape Town

Commencing on December 2, Lufthansa will offer direct flights between Frankfurt and Cape Town, Dr André Schulz, Lufthansa's general manager for Southern Africa, announced in Cape Town on Friday.

Flights will depart from Frankfurt every Wednesday, Friday and Sunday

According to Schulz, Cape Town is one of the most important markets for the Lufthansa Group in Southern Africa after Johannesburg.

"This connection extends the Lufthansa Group's flight offering to Cape Town, complementing the seasonal services of Lufthansa from Munich and Zurich with Swiss leisure carrier Edelweiss," said Schulz.

"The new gateway will offer our customers access to some 200 destinations from the Frankfurt hub. It also unlocks new tourism opportunities for those coming in from Germany."

During the South African summer season Lufthansa operates up to seven weekly flights between Munich and Cape Town, while Edelweiss offers two weekly flights.