Cape Town: the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

If you plan to travel to Cape Town for your next holidays, don’t forget to go to the magnificent Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. It is the perfect place for a picnic with friend or family, go hiking, see the whole diversity of the South African vegetation and, of course, have a rest in the sun.

A relaxing place

Only 20-minute driving away from Cape Town, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is located at the foot of the Table Mountain Range, just next to the Table Mountain National Park. However, the park is a part of the Cape Floristic Region, also named Cape Floral Kingdom, itself listed as UNESCO World Heritage.

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In the Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, you can discover the typical vegetation of Cape Town called Fynbos. You can also observe flowers from all the country like the famous South African national flower: the King Protea. Its names means “who can change his form freely”, what you will easily understand when we will see its impressive arrangement.

History

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The name, Kirstenbosch, means “Kirsten’s Forest” but remains a mystery. However, we suppose that the area belonged to a Kirsten’s family member who gave his name to the land.

After belonging to many different owners from the colonization to the end of the 19 Century, it became the property of the government in 1902. It is only from 1903, with the arrival of Harold Pearson, first chair of Botany at the South African College, that the idea to make this area a botanic garden arised. He claimed that Cape Town needed a botanic garden, and so I created one with the help of Neville Pillans who knew the area well. Finally, Kirstenbosch is a botanic garden since 1913, so more than 100 years now!

Activities

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Whatever the season, tourists and local people love to come to the Kirstenbosch Nation Botanical Garden. For your first time, don’t miss the Tree Canopy Walkway. It overlooks the garden with mountains on the left and even offers a view of Cape Town by far. It is wonderful and very impressive!

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The regulars often come to picnic on the grass and spend the afternoon with friends or family. Kids will be delighted to be able to run in the large stretches of grass! During the summer (December to March), you can also enjoy concerts from different places in the park. They always attract a lot of people.

If you are a flower lover, the best season to come to Kirstenboch is during spring (August to November). Flowers appear and the garden is covered with a carpet of colours. It is so inspiring! It is no accident if people say that it is the most beautiful garden in South Africa…

Whenever you have decided to travel to Cape Town, the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a must-see that will delight young and old alike. This discovery can also be a part of the Cape Peninsula tour, among other stunning stops.

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