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"Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail."
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

072Kirstenbosch lies about 13 km from the centre of Cape Town and only grows native South African plant species. What grows here is limited though, due to the damp winters with around 1 500 mm of rainfall, of which all of this occur in about 140 days in the year, during the winter months.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden was founded in 1913 by the botanist Henry Pearson, and is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape Flora. It stretches along the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and the estate covers 528 hectares, representing more than 20 000 different native South African plant species. What makes it so special and world known, is that only indigenous plants are cultivated here. Kirstenbosch was the first botanical garden in the world with this ethos.

073The gardens include a large indoor greenhouse where many plants from different regions are represented while outdoors, the focus moves to plants that are native to the Cape region, like the magnificent Protea species which is in full bloom between May and October.

One of the great features of the gardens is the hedge of wild almond trees that was planted by Jan van Riebeeck in 1660, to form the boundary of the Cape Colony. Sections of this hedge, called the van Riebeeck’s hedge, still exist today.

A row of fig trees were planted by Cecil Rhodes in 1898 and the arrangement of the flowers, shrubs and trees is such that there are blossoms to be seen throughout the year. In past days, the forests were harvested for timber and overgrown tracks where the timber was hauled out of the forest, can still be found today.

T071he best time to visit is during the spring months from August to September when the flowers are in full bloom, although there is always something beautiful to see, no matter when you go. This is a paradise of flowers, colours and magnificent fragrances. Being located just outside Cape Town, it is close to other attractions like Table Mountain and the V&A Waterfront.

Make sure to turn off and drop in. You won’t be disappointed and will easily loose yourself between the glorious plants for the whole day. Just relax and take in the beauty that surrounds you . . .


Cape Town Weather

Fair

23°C

Fair

Humidity: 38%

Wind: 24.14 km/h

  • 31 Oct 2014

    Sunny/Wind 24°C 13°C

  • 1 Nov 2014

    Sunny 28°C 15°C

Pretoria Weather

Partly Cloudy

32°C

Partly Cloudy

Humidity: 21%

Wind: 22.53 km/h

  • 31 Oct 2014

    Partly Cloudy 33°C 16°C

  • 1 Nov 2014

    Partly Cloudy 31°C 14°C