Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is acclaimed as the most beautiful gardens in Africa and one of the great botanical gardens in the world. It is a UNESCO World Heritage Site with well preserved flora and fauna and we were fortunate enough to visit this gem.
I had been to Cape Town a couple of times and had never visited Kirstenbosch for reasons that i can’t explain to myself. It seemed not a very good idea for me to visit a botanical gardens despite of the several recommendations from my friends who are both locals and visitors. At one point they even tried getting me to attend a comedy show at the gardens but i opted to hop in Longstreet. How jumpy can i get at times! Probably had i known what a gem it was i’d have made several trips by now.
Although we visited during summer, you can imagine how the gardens look during spring when the flowers are in all their splendor, fully blossomed and the surrounding is filled with warmth and color.
If you need a break from the city, then Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden should be in your plans. The well-marked trails, canopy walkway and the well manicured open ground overlooking the Table Mountain serves as a good picnic spot suitable for the whole family.
If you are not a fun of plants, you’ll probably love the flowers. If not, a leisure walk around the gardens and a beautiful view of the Table mountain would be something of interest to you.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden opening hours are ; Summer Monday to Sunday 8 am to 7 pm; Winter Monday to Sunday 8 am to 6 pm.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden charges R60 for adults, students pay R30 and children between the age of 6-17 pay R15. Children below 6 years enter free.
Senior citizens enter free on all Tuesdays except on public holidays.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden Location
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is conveniently located at Rhodes drive in Newlands, Cape Town. It’s easily accessible by car, Hop-on-hop-off Blue bus or public transport or part of the half day or full day Peninsular tour.
We visited as part of the Cape Peninsular tour and were given only an hour to explore the gardens, which is not enough. You need at least 3 hours to appreciate these beautiful gardens below the Table Mountain.
The ground hosts various open air concerts and events in summer which are available at their website. All these events are popular with the locals as with tourists so tickets often sell out pretty fast.
Kirstenbosch Boomslang’ Tree Canopy walkway
This walkway, cleverly designed to blend in the natural colors of the arboretum gives one the opportunity to experience part of the garden that would be usually difficult to access. The two benches on the deck offers a good platform for bird watching or just relaxing and enjoying what nature has to offer.
Nicknamed Boomslang by the locals meaning a tree snake, this canopy walk twists ad turns upwards between the knotted tree trunks
Being able to float on top of the tree crowns with a view of Table Mountain slopes is quite magical. There is no extra charge for walking through the canopy walkway.
After a rewarding nature walk and through the canopy walkaway, stop at the shop for souvenirs and books, and the tearooms for a snack. Visit the famous Moyo restaurant for a taste of the African continent or grab coffee and snack at the Vida e Caffè on your way out.
Grab your favorite Natural History and cultural publication at the Kirstenbosch Bookshop which is operated by the Botanical Society of South Africa. They also stock Flower guide books if you’d like to check against available flowers in the garden.
In many big cities in the world, uninterrupted nature is hard to come by therefore if you visit Cape Town you must not miss visiting these beautiful gardens.
- Give yourself 3-4 hours depending on how much you love plants and the time you have at hand.
- If you opt to use the Blue Peninsular Hop-on-hop-off bus, leave your hotel early as there are many fascinating attractions on that route. You don’t want to rush anything.
- If you visit during summer, get yourself a concert ticket. That will be like killing two birds with one stone. Bring your own wine and a picnic basket. As mentioned earlier in the article, concert tickets sell out pretty early so book in advance.
- If you don’t fancy walking, sign up for the free guided garden tours which depart at the visitor’s centre at 10h00, 11h00 and 14h00 on Mondays through to Fridays and 10h00 on Saturdays. A second departure centre is the Garden centre (gate 2).
- How to dress: Cape Town weather changes in minutes rather than seconds so whatever you decide, throw in a sweater in your bag just in case it gets chilly.
Eager to find out what other places you could visit during your trip to Cape Town? Here are the top 8 things to do
Whatever you do, don’t miss the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens on your next visit to Cape Town!
Carolina | My Global Attitude