Western Cape DestinationsDurbanville, Northern Suburbs
20 minutes to the north of the city of Cape Town, Durbanville is one of the oldest municipalities in the Western Cape Province and originally called Pampoenkraal (pumpkin fold), after a meeting place for local farmers around some fresh water springs just beyond the Durbanville Hills.
Later named Durbanville, after Sir Benjamin D’Urban, governor of the Cape Between 1834 and 1838, this part of the world lies in a beautiful valley that is home to one of the most closely guarded secrets in Cape Town - the Durbanville wine route.
Wine farming began in Durbanville as early as the 17th century, when the first farms in the area were allocated and vineyards planted with Cape Madeira, the most popular white grape of the time. A number of these farms now form part of the Durbanville Route and award-winning wines, grown by generations of wine-makers and ranging across the red and white cultivars to individual cellar blends, can be sampled during the week.
The Durbanville nature reserve deserves a mention, as one can picnic in this area - originally cleared of Port Jackson and laid out with paths by the National Council of Women, who uses the nature reserve to promote, protect and further the interest in the unique fynbos that grows here.
The local craft market, held on the first Saturday of every month, is held at Rust-en-Vrede, in Wellington Road at the cultural centre, a Cape Dutch complex that dates back to 1850. The building, which deserves a visit in its own right, was originally a prison, a magistrate’s court, a school and finally a private residence. Today it is home to a coffee shop, a clay museum, with works by prominent South African ceramists, and a gallery that exhibits contemporary artists.