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.
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.
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. Afterwards you can refresh and replenish your energy at the Botanical Café (open from 08h00 to 17h30). The Silver Tree Restaurant (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 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. The Silver Tree Restaurant also hosts a popular winter concert programme.
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 Silvertree Restuarant 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
The Southern Suburbs are a tourist’s delight. The area, which stretches from the slopes of the Table Mountain range to the False Bay coast, offers natural attractions and a vibrant nightlife.
Just a little further on from Cape Town’s well-known Muizenberg beach is St James. Home to a cluster of well-known and oft-photographed bathing boxes on the beach, St James is a picturesque area that offers beachgoers respite from the westerly wind.
Only 18km from the Cape Town city centre, an arc of fine white sand gives away the secluded location of one of Cape Town’s most beautiful beaches, Llandudno.
The Macassar Dunes Project is located on the Cape Town coast adjacent to Macassar and Khayelitsha and is bounded by the Eerste River, Baden Powell Drive and False Bay.
For a tourism experience with a difference, visit the West Coast Ostrich Show Ranch. This family-owned ostrich business includes informative tours.
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