North West Tourist AttractionsThe North-West University Botanical Garden
The bird list alone reads like a veritable feast, and you can hope to see anything from a steppe buzzard and African harrier-hawk to a spotted flycatcher and malachite kingfisher in the North-West University Botanical Garden that graces the University of of the North West in Potchefstroom, the university city that lies on the banks of the Mooi River.
Where? Calderbank Avenue, Potchefstroom, North West Province
When? Summer: Mondays to Fridays from 08h00 to 16h30
Winter: Mondays to Fridays from 08h00 to 16h00
How? Call +27 (0)18 299-2753
How much? Entrance is Free; Groups by arrangement please
And then you begin to look at the over 1500 plant species, and this is where the garden outdoes itself. The three-hectare North-West University Botanical Garden is home to mostly indigenous plants, if you discount the odd exotic plant here for either botanical or medicinal interest.
There is a gorgeous natural veld garden on a constructed ridge, whilst the rest of the garden tends to give itself over to theme gardens that are more intensively managed such as a plant evolution garden, a vegetable and herb garden, a swamp garden and a contemporary indigenous garden and maze. There are also tropical and succulent greenhouses.
The North-West University Botanical Garden has a number of functions that include conserving rare and endangered plants, providing practical material for the university's students, and the education of local communities about relevant environmental issues. After a long history of lack of funding, a curator is back at the helm of the garden since 2003.
There are a number of reasons for visiting the North-West University Botanical Garden, particularly as the NWU Botanical Garden has its own version of interpretive labels, which give the plants common name, and their uses, making it more accessible than the traditional scientific labels.
You will find the garden next to the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University, open Monday to Friday 8am to 4.30pm in summer, and 8am to 4pm in winter.