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BOSCHENDAL DIARIES: INTO THE GARDENS WE GO WITH DAVID DE WET

Written by Boschendal

For farm stay guests who love nature and want to explore the estate on foot, our Experience Guides are at your service to lead you into the multi-layered world that is Boschendal. Tours start at the top of the historic Werf area between the Farm Shop that once housed Mozambican and Malaysian slaves, and the livestock kraals with their thick white walls, a solid reminder of the past.

Boschendal dates back to 1685 and has a rich history, evidenced in the beautifully preserved buildings that define this iconic property. Experience guide David de Wet gives an animated tour through the estate’s enviable environment. A young man who hails from the Valley and who matriculated at Franschhoek High School, just around the corner, he is passionate about heritage, nature and sustainability. Being able to live and work somewhere that demonstrates a commitment to all three is something he cherishes.

Leading you through the organic veggie gardens and orchards below The Werf Restaurant and on through the forest, David will talk you through all aspects of the farm, from the importance of soil health to the uniqueness of the surrounding habitats, the experimental ‘model farm’ project that uses the resident Angus herd, Duroc pigs and free-range chicken flocks to work the land.

For the modern traveller who is in tune with all things eco, Boschendal is an apex experience and David, who alternates in his guiding duties with colleague Piwo Magqira, unpack it all with genuine enthusiasm. “It’s like being part of a green renaissance,” says David, who also takes guests, by request, on hikes up into the nearby Simonsberg mountain.

Together with Piwo, David is also part of the Tree House team that welcomes young people from age five to fourteen to the cool facility with its acorn hideouts, platforms, mushroom pods and bicycle pump track that’s open to all Boschendal’s young explorers. It’s a safe and nurturing space that reveals more about forgotten skills like wild foraging and responsible farming.

For all who visit, Boschendal is a journey into tranquillity. As Piwo enters the herb garden – her special place on the farm – she describes it succinctly: “Welcome to Paradise.”

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It’s amazing to have the opportunity to open up this natural world to kids, to have them focus on what’s around them for a few hours. To spend quality time in nature is so important in today’s digital world - they love being here and return time and again for the experience.

David de Wet, Experience Guide

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