Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden lies on the lush eastern slopes of Table Mountain which forms the magnificent backdrop to arguably the world’s prettiest garden! Whether it’s to see the floral delights, take a walk in quiet space, picnic on the lawns or use Kirstenbosch as a gateway to the summit of Table Mountain, there is something for everyone.
Located on the West Coast Way Cape Way Route
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is the South African National Biodiversity Institutes crown jewel and dates back over a century to 1913 when Harold Pearson’s vision came to fruition. Home to a mix of indigenous and exotic floral species, the 7000-plus plants found in the garden mean that you’ll always have lots to see, and smell!
There is a wonderful network of little paths and roads through the 528 hectare estate, too many to experience in just one visit. Make sure you get to some of the gems such as The Dell & Colonel Bird’s Bath located adjacent to Cycad Amphitheatre, the Otter Pond, The Botanical Society Conservatory and the Camphor Avenue (Old Rhodes Drive). Many benches scattered around the property provide comfort with a view whilst Cape Spurfowls or Helmeted Guineafowls wander bye.
As a hiking access for trails such as Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge it provides the most beautiful start to a summit ascent. To make the ultimate day out head through the botanical garden gates early and hike up the steeply forested Skeleton Gorge all the way to overlook Cape Town before jumping on the cable car down. You’ll tick off three highlights of the city within a time of approximately 6 hours, and walk away with an incredibly memorable experience.
The Tree Canopy Walkway, commonly referred to as The Boomslang (Tree Snake), is the latest addition to the garden and affords incredible views over the historical heart of the property, The Dell. You’ll find The Boomslang in the Arboretum area.
Between November and April, there are regular concerts on lawns and these are massively popular with Capetonians and visitors to the city. It’s more than just the excellent music. It’s a total experience. Laying down the picnic blankets and sharing a glass with friends as the bands warm up. Before long you’ll be dancing away to magic tunes under the trees as the sun dips behind Table Mountain.
There’s even an open-air theatre experience, The Galileo Open Air Cinema, which screens a wide range of films under the stars. A nursery for those with green fingers, a number of shops with a wide assortment of garden-related goods, The Kirstenbosch Tea Garden and Moyo Restaurant provide good food options in a lovely setting and there is also a Vida e Café located outside the main entrance if you’re just looking for a dash of caffeine!
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is located on the West Coast Way Cape Way Route