Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Few gardens can match the beauty & grandeur of the magnificent setting of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. With Cape Town’s imposing Table Mountain as the backdrop, the gardens are now viewed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world.
The area used to be a run-down farm with pigs snacking on acorns. The current existing Gardens were established as long ago as 1913. The first part of the garden, now called “The Dell” was developed by Prof. Harold Pearson where he planted rare and slow growing cycads of which the caged Encephalartos woodii is already extinct in the wild (Source: Key to Cape Town).
Table Mountain alone has more plant species than the whole of the United Kingdom.
How to get there
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.
GPS Co-ordinates: E 18°26’06.48″ 33°59’15.76″ S Long 18.43209 Lat -33.99039
What to expect
Today the gardens cover 36 cultivated hectares and the peninsula garden contains over 2500 plant species. Here you will come across the Van Riebeek’s Hedge which was poisonous to eat and it was therefore planted in 1660 to demarcate the then limits of the fledgling colony.
Kirstenbosch is a great place to find out “the name of that one – the plant you have always liked so much”, but there is much more to this beautiful spot. The gardens offer a peaceful haven for walking or relaxing with a book for a few hours in the sun or birdwatching and it is of course also a perfect place for a romantic picnic. The Silvertree restaurant & Fynbos deli provide fancy picnic hampers or simply get a take-away from the Tea Room.
Adults: R37, SA Students (with card): R25, Children (6-17yrs): R10, Special Free entry for school holidays 27 June – 15 July 2011, Under 6 yrs: Free, BOTSOC Members: Free, SA Senior Citizens (with ID): Free on Tuesdays, except on public holidays.
Sep – Mar: Mon – Sun 08h00 – 19h00 / Apr – Aug: Mon – Sun 08h00 – 18h00 / Conservatory: Mon – Sun 09h00 – 17h00
Expert guides can take you through the gardens for free and these tours set off from the information centre at the main gate at 10am Monday – Saturday.
- In March Kirstenbosch holds a Garden fair where you can purchase plants at very good prices
- From December – March huge outdoor concerts take place in the gardens. Local acts like Freshly Ground and Goldfish have played there in the past as well as the likes of Elton John.
- In the winter, jazz concerts take place in the restaurant
- During holidays there are “art with plants” workshops, regular talks and eco-art workshops for children.
General enquiries: +27 21 799 8783, Ticket Office: +27 21 799 8782