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of gables, gardens and gourmands…

Thatched, gabled or flat-roofed – South Africa’s historic buildings bear testament to over three hundred years of history and form an integral part of the country’s diverse history and culture. Choose accommodation from our special selection of unique heritage hotels and houses, take a tour of some of the most beautiful gardens and sample the culinary delights and hospitality on offer in South Africa.

For many years I have spoken to fellow guest house owners with whom I have established an informal networking relationship about an idea to establish heritage routes.

Eventually I got the whole Benkenstein family enthusiastic about the project! We decided on naming it the GREENDOOR COLLECTION after a visit to Stellenbosch where we admired the many diverse front doors, many of them painted the traditional dark green.

We have chosen to put an emphasis on gardens, big or small, and historic buildings. Special mention will also be made of artisan suppliers supported by the establishments and restaurants.

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Desmond is a gardener and plant collector – even when the Benkensteins lived on the edge of the Namib desert he had a container garden where the plants were fussed over and pampered to thrive under those harsh conditions. He works as a medical doctor and enjoys the physical aspect of gardening – joking that he’ll join the gym and start golf when he retires from gardening. Before he started the garden at Fairview he used to enjoy painting and sculpting, but now all the creativity is plowed into this labor of love.

As a guest house owner, Philda will choose accommodation in historic homes and hotels, whereas Desmond will be guided in choice by a garden. It does not matter where our annual holidays are – there will always be at least one garden on the ‘must see’ list ; often the whole trip is planned around ‘open garden’ shows. And that is pretty much how the concept of the GREENDOOR COLLECTION came about!


Adin and Rita Walls head up the design, website and online marketing for Greendoor Collection through their business – Lithe Media. They are a dynamic entrepreneurial couple doing logo and corporate design, website building, online marketing and Rita is a full-time optometrist at Rita Walls Optometrist. They are also musicians and songwriters, recording and releasing music in South Africa.

Their belief in the Greendoor Collection concept has led to a partnership between themselves and the Benkenstein family. It is not just another client, but a labour of love.

You can find out more about Lithe Media here: Lithe Media


Food, to me, is just as much about the memories it evokes and the culture it shares…than the delicious flavours. I love the creativity and story behind the food we love. My passion for beautiful places and people fuels my desire to see more of this captivating world we live in…I hope to share some of my adventures with you…

Here’s my blog: