Named after the original Governor, Sir Benjamin D’Urban, Durbanville is an ever-growing suburb on the outskirts of Cape Town that was once a small town in its own rights. It was established in the early 1800’s when it became an important watering station for travellers, thanks to its freshwater spring. The actual village began when a Dutch Reformed Church was built here in 1825 by local farmers. From there, the expansion has never ceased.
Today, Durbanville is a suburb that boasts beautiful homes and breath-taking vistas of the Western Cape mountains all around. Despite being known as one of South Africa’s fastest growing suburbs, Durbanville has retained much of the village charm for which it is so loved. In fact, many of its permanent residents were once visitors from countries all over the world, who left their home countries to settle in these pretty surrounds. Today, there is a population of well over 40 000 people.
Due to its prime location, Durbanville is less than 30 kilometres away from Cape Town, which means that all of the Cape’s tourist attractions, amenities and facilities of this exciting hub are a short drive away. In addition, during the busy tourist season and times of special international events, when stays in Cape Town is less easily available, Durbanville is a fabulous alternative.
The infrastructure here is outstanding, with all of the necessary malls, roads, public services, accommodation, and dining facilities on hand.
Durbanville Wine Valley refers to the larger area, comprising 12 different wine farms. This area is laden with lush, green vineyards, which produce some of the world’s finest wines. Many of these offer tastings and tours and boast restaurants and shops.
Tyger Valley Centre is an enormous mall that promises hours of shopping glee, as well as a host of restaurants, coffee shops, and entertainment options. This is any shopaholic’s delight as stores range from major fashion chains to exclusive boutiques, and everything in-between.
The Rose Garden (situated in Durban Road) boasts about 500 different rose species and 4 500 rose bushes. The scent of these colourful blooms transports visitors to a magical tranquillity as they amble around the bushes and learn more about these species. The garden is open to the public every day and is suitable for wheelchairs.
The Durbanville Nature Reserve was established by the National Council of Women, and maintains the original goal to promote and protect the beautiful fynbos and endangered renosterbos of this area. Rare species found here include the Protea odorata Seruria brownii and Aristea lugens, the latter of which was once thought to be extinct. There is a herbarium, as well as lectures that promote an awareness of the history and import of this reserve.
Rust en Vrede showcases the unique architecture of the mid-19th century. Situated in Wellington Street, the building is a combination of Cape Dutch, Victorian and Georgian design, making for a beautiful icon of yesteryear. Today, it is home to the Durbanville Cultural Society, the Clay Museum, the Potter’s Shop, and the Gallery Café. There is also a tourist information centre based here.