The world is a beautiful place, filled with a multitude of natural wonders of which botanical gardens magnificently display throughout their grounds.
Imagine stepping into a world bursting with colour. In Cape Town, South Africa; Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens preserve the best of nature – and welcomes hundreds of thousands of visitors per year. Acclaimed as one of the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens needs to be on the bucket list of all visitors to Cape Town.
Kirstenbosch was founded in 1913 and was established to preserve South Africa’s unique flora and indigenous plants, giving modern visitors a glimpse into Cape Town history and its horticulture. The gardens become a popular cultural attraction that is well known for hosting family-friendly music festivals during the summer in Cape Town as well as multiple exhibitions ranging from art to bonzai trees.
Kirstenbosch is a great way to escape from the city, unwind and enjoy all that nature has to offer. Situated along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town, the garden spans over 36 hectares and is home to more than 7,000 species of plants. From picturesque flowers to diverse plant life, Kirstenbosch is sure to astonish its visitors, especially during the summer when flowers are in full bloom. If you want to immerse yourself in the wonder of nature, be amazed by the intriguing shapes and colors of exotic plants, and learn about the roots of local history, head over the Kirstenbosch.
You will find many rare and endangered examples of flora throughout the garden, making a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens enlightening and essential.The garden is home to kilometers of pathways and offers 528 hectares of only South African indigenous plants, an arboretum and restaurants for visitors to relax in the silence of nature.
Restaurants at Kirstenbosch:
Moyo is nestled inside Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and situated at the foot of one of the 7 wonders of the world, Table Mountain. Moyo Kirstenbosch, situated near the Visitors’ Centre (Gate 1), offers relaxed dining surrounded by luscious lawns and towering trees. Open from 11h00 to 18h00 Monday to Thursday, Friday from 11h00 to 23h00, Saturday and Sunday from 09h00 to 18h00. Dinner is served on Friday evenings only and patrons are advised to book a table for dinner.
The Kirstenbosch Tea Room serves breakfast and lunch, at the Centre for Home Gardening (Gate 2). The tea room has a relaxed atmosphere and also caters for groups and is open every day, except Christmas Day, from 08h30 to 17h00.
Inside the gardens:
One of its most breathtaking attractions is the “Boomslang”, meaning “tree snake”. This 130-meter-long tree canopy walkway was inspired by a snake skeleton and gives incredible panoramic views of the park, the Cape Flats in the distance and the gardens below. The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway was built in 2013-14 to celebrate the centenary of Kirstenbosch in 2013 and opened to the public on 17 May 2014.
Situated along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town, the garden spans over 36 hectares and is home to more than 7,000 species of plant. The gardens also feature several hiking and mountain biking routes along the slopes of the mountain. The gardens feature sub-gardens dedicated to proteas, vygies, fynbos, ericas and even a water-wise garden. The “fragrance garden” and “useful plants” section is especially famous for it dives deeper into the lives of plants and how they interact with humans.
Art is also found along the many trails throughout the gardens, the likes of which have been constructed by some of the most renowned artists. Whether you have an interest in plant conservation, the origins of flora or beautiful art or just a relaxing day out in nature, Kirstenbosch allows us to reconnect with mother nature and find our inner peace.
A bust of Nelson Mandela stands beside the pepper-bark tree that Nelson Mandela planted on his visit to Kirstenbosch on 21 August 1996. The bust was sculpted by John Francis Gardner and donated to Kirstenbosch by the sculptor in January 2010. It portrays Nelson Mandela during the pivotal years of his presidency and captures his radiance and generosity of spirit the world has grown to love. Mandela’s bust and tree can be found just inside the Visitors’ Centre entrance to the Garden, at the bottom of the main lawn.
You will find many rare and endangered examples of flora throughout the garden, making a visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens enlightening and essential. Offering various school visits and tours throughout the year, Kirstenbsoch provides the perfect environment for you to absorb both knowledge and beauty. Kirstenbosch gardens is a wonderful space for plant lovers who wish to spend their day meandering around one of the most interesting spaces in Cape Town. Kirstenbosch is one of the world’s most famed botanic gardens due to its large collection of flora and fauna.
At Kirstenbosch, there is so much to explore, I feel one day might just not be enough. It is amongst the greatest gardens in the world, and well worth a visit. Enjoy a picnic with friends, or simply take a walk through the gardens enjoying its extraordinarily rich and diverse flora. The Kirstenbosch summer concerts can be booked through Webtickets and promises to draw thousands of visitors to these events annually.
The Kirstenbosch mission is to champion the exploration, conservation, sustainable use, appreciation and enjoyment of South Africa’s exceptionally rich biodiversity for all South Africans.
Garden entrance fees:
South African Students (with student card): R40
Scholars/Learners (6 – 17 years): R20
Children under 6 years: Free
Botanical Society members (with membership card): Free
South African Senior Citizens (with ID): Free on Tuesdays except on public holidays
Buy garden entry tickets online: webtickets.co.za
Regret no group discounts
Garden opening times:
The Garden is open every day from 08h00 to 19h00 during summer (Sep-Mar), 08h00 to 18h00 during winter (Apr-Aug).
The Conservatory is open every day from 09h00 to 17h00.
By Car: Kirstenbosch lies 13 km from Cape Town’s city centre, well signposted on all major roads.
From the city, take De Waal Drive (M3) in the direction of Muizenberg, at the Rhodes Drive (M63) traffic light intersection turn right (west/towards the mountain) and follow the signs to Kirstenbosch. Free parking is available at Gates 1, 2 and 3.
For more info visit the SANBI Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens official website.