Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Kirstenbosch is South Africa’s world-famous national botanical garden, set against the backdrop of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, and home to more than 22 000 indigenous plants.
Kirstenbosch is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
Get close to nature
Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to protect the immense floral wealth of the Cape. Located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, this 528ha (1 305 acre) botanical wonderland is magnificent in any season. Paved paths make walking around a pleasure, and plaques and signboards provide information on the trees and plants. There is a free daily walking tour at 10h00, and visitors can enjoy golf cart tours every hour for R50 (additional to Garden entry fee).
The glass-topped conservatory is home to numerous plants – including an enormous baobab tree – from different South African habitats. If you’d like to go back in time some 3.2-billion years, the Gondwanaland Garden displays types of plants that were present when there was only one continent on Earth.
The Cycad Garden shows off a family of plants that date back some 200-million years and the Fynbos Walk takes one through vegetation unique to the Cape Floral Kingdom and the Western Cape. The Useful Plants Garden has a selection of medicinal plants used to treat a number of ailments.
Hike the gardens
If you’re a keen hiker, you’ll enjoy two popular paths, the Skeleton Gorge and Nursery Ravine, which wind their way up Table Mountain. You’ll need to be fairly fit, and to set aside the better part of a day for either of these hikes. Find out more at the visitor's information center at the gardens.
Enjoy a bite to eat at the Botanical Café (open from 08h00 to 17h30). The Moyo Resteaurant (open from 08h30 to 22h00, and contactable at +27 (0)21 762 9585) can arrange a picnic lunch and also serves breakfast, lunch and dinner.
In summer there are the popular Kirstenbosch Summer open-air concerts on Sundays, and it’s best to bring a loaded picnic basket and enjoy the gardens at your leisure, as you sip Cape wines. Get there early, as the concerts are particularly popular. Moyo Restaurant also hosts a popular winter concert programme. For a full list of this year's summer concerts or to buy tickets to the Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts visit Webtickets.
Walk the tree snake:
Ever walked along a Boomslang? That's the Afrikaans word for a tree snake and is the local nickname for the latest cool addition to the Garden , the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway.
Launched to the public on May 17,2014, it's already the go-to-spot for the best "views that go on forever" images. At 130m long ,curving between the trees and through the branches within the arboretum, it offers a 360 degree view of the Cape Flats and the Garden.
We tell you why this is our top new thing to do in Cape Town here.
The garden is open daily from 08h00 to 18h00 from April to August; and from 08h00 to 19h00 from September to March.
The free guided tours are done at 10h00 Monday to Saturday
Sunday concerts take place from December through to March from 17h30 to 19h00
Botanical Cafe hours are daily from 08h00-17h30, but may close earlier in winter and the Moyo Restaurant is open from 08h30-22h00, 7 days a week.
South African students (with card): R25
Children (6 to 17yrs): R10
Children under 6yrs: Free
Botanical Society of South Africa members: Free
South African senior citizens (with ID): free on Tuesdays, except on public holidays
- Phone: +27 (0)21 799 8783
- Website: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch
- Physical Address: Rhodes Drive
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