Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, a World Heritage Site, is a place to spend the day, explore the magical gardens manicured by over 100 gardeners, with a changing daily display of the local indangered Cape Floral Kingdom. The Largest Garden in Africa extends all the way up the slopes of Table Mountain, restaurants and Sunday Summer afternoon live music concerts (SEE PICTURES BELOW OF OUR HOME BREW / BRU CAPE TOWN BAND "FRESHLYGROUND" IN ACTION IN PICS BELOW - they have been selected to perform "WAKA WAKA" with Shakira at FIFA 2010 Kick Off Celebration Concert on Thursday 10th June 2010. The music video for this song will make history as the first every 3D Music Video!). These Sunday Summer Concerts draw thousands of locals, this is a favourite haunt for families - for picnics, birthday parties and celebrations of all kinds.
Take a Golf Buggy Tour of the gardens, or join a free guided walk at 11h00 every day, buggy tour fees and entrance fees applicable, discounts for students and pensioners. Phone to book the Golf Buggy Tour, it leaves hourly and is one of the best ways to appreciate the enormity of the gardens, it will take you on a circular route up the slopes and round the top. You will enjoy spectacular views, strange and fascinating plants which are divided into different planting areas, streams, birds, picnic lawns like you could only dream of and a wonderful place for children of all ages.
See local press for news of regular events in the conference hall, includes art exhibitions, floral displays and a daily selection of what is flowering in the gardens during the time of your visit. Inside the Gardens you will find a huge very special Succulent Glass Hot House which protects the succulent plants which grow in hot dry areas to the north of the Cape Fynbos region. Find the South African Vegetation Maps at the entrance , behind the lower Ticket Office, between the Conference Hall and the Public Rest Rooms, this has been developed by the University of Cape Town who host regular Plant Identification weekends with their students to continue research on the Cape Fynbos - they are still discovering new species! See the daily display of the flowers that are flowering at that particular time of the year, then look out for them on your journey through the maze of paths inside.
Be sure to spend some time walking the Camphor Avenue planted by Cecil John Rhodes, and the old hedge which goes back to the time of the first Dutch East India Company settlers. The gardens have many bird species nesting, and if you are lucky you may even see the resident owls during the day - they have even been seen in the midst of the Sunday Summer Concerts. There are also performing Guinea Fowl who prance and dance accross the lawns in big groups, the wildlife is seemingly undisturbed by us visiting their home!
Inside the valley of the gardens you will find the Braille Trail & the Medicinal Plant Trail - with herbs planted specially to give Sight Impared folk a sensory explosion - the smell of the local Cape Fynbos plants are very potent and in many cases they are used medicinally - this and other trails in the Gardens explain the uses of just some of the medicinal plants that occur uniquely in Southern Africa. Do not touch the Blister Bush, looks rather like Celery - causes blisters on the skin when exposed to sunlight. Keep away from this plant!
Open daily. September - March 08h00 - 19h00, April to August 08h00 - 18h00. Admission fee payable. Restaurant, gift shop, garden centre, guided walks, musical concerts on Sundays in summer.
PLEASE BE WARNED - THE UPPER RIGHT HAND SIDE OF THE GARDEN IS PRONE TO ATTACKS ON HIKERS USING THE SKELETON GORGE AND NURSERY RAVINE HIKING TRAILS. THE LOCALS KNOW TO HIKE IN GROUPS OF MORE THAN 4, AND CARRY A PEPPER SPRAY / or a can of RAID WASP SPRAY FOR DEFENCE! SEE HIKING AND SAFETY TIPS, and take warm clothes when attempting to climb the mountain from any route.
Rhodes Drive (M63), Newlands.
Ph: (021) 799 8783. Fax: (021) 799 8792
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