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Africa’s Only International Camellia Garden of Excellence

Vergelegen wine estate, a 322-year-old provincial heritage site is home to one of only 39 Camellia Gardens of Excellence in the world. Vergelegen’s camellia garden, and Melbourne’s Royal Botanic Gardens, are the only two camellia gardens in the Southern Hemisphere that enjoy this recognition. “Winter is the prime time to view these beautiful blooms against their striking green foliage,” said Vergelegen horticulturist Richard Arm. “We have over 1000 camellia bushes at the estate, comprising about 550 cultivars, from as far afield as France, Japan, America and South Africa.” Vergelegen’s exquisite gardens cover 10 hectares, within a cultural heritage area spanning 60 hectares. In addition, a 54-hectare arboretum is in development, with plans to plant about 7500 trees over ten years. Visitors can stroll through the camellia gardens at their own pace, or book the daily garden and heritage walking tour. This includes the camellias and other plantings, significant trees, the restored homestead, and historic library.