Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens would have to be one of the most famous world class gardens around. It would be one of the gardens to visit on any keen gardeners bucket list.
The first plant, a wild almond hedge, was planted at the Kirstenbosch National Gardens back in 1660 by the order of Jan van Riebeek. Sections of this hedge still exist today and have become a provincial Heritage Site. Since then the area has had a number of uses such as harvesting of timber, handover to the British colony, purchased by Cecil Rhodes which the area then farmed and fed large groups of pigs, bequeathed to the Nation in 1902 before being being chosen as a suitable site for a botanical garden in 1912. Henry Pearson began the formidable beginnings of the gardens we see today. The grandeur setting against Table Mountain eastern slopes make a fantastic photo backdrop. The gardens cover 38 hectares which merges with the Table Mountain National Park so allow plenty of time to explore.
A wide variety of indigenous plants or Fynbos of Africa are located in the Kirstenbosch National Gardens including members of the Protea, Ericas and Restios families. You will enjoy seeing the many unique and beautiful works of art and sculptures scattered throughout the gardens. The beautifully manicured and cared for gardens are only 15 minutes from Cape Town’s city centre making it a convenient and beautiful option for a day trip. Well laid out walk ways, bridges and a canopy walkway and the different sections through out the gardens allow you to explore as much as you wish based on your time here.
While in Cape Town, South Africa, ensure that you take the time to visit the spectacular Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. Many South African Safaris allow time to explore these historical and beautiful gardens which also offer great views over Cape Town. Often there are scheduled art exhibitions and summer concerts throughout the gardens featuring local talented artists.
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens are definitely worth visiting all year around but many of the proteas flower from Mid August to Mid October so can create a spectacular sight. Guided garden tours can be arranged at set times however the park is clearly signposted and many of the plants are labelled for easy identification. Although there is a café you are welcome to bring a picnic and even a wine to enjoy before garden closure at 7:00 pm.