Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens, Pietermaritzburg
One of eight national botanical gardens, Pietermaritzburg's Botanical Gardens occupy an ancient floodplain and hillside on the edge of a mist belt that creates an atmosphere, on days when the mists roll in, something like that of a Dickens novel. The city is not known as the City of Flowers for nothing, and private gardens and public parks here are filled with lush vegetation and seasonal blooms, particularly bougainvilleas that thrive in the intense heat of this part of the world. It is fitting that one of the most beautiful national gardens resides in its heart.
The Pietermaritzburg Botanical gardens were established in the early 1870s and essentially focus on conservation and propagation of rare and endangered indigenous plants, and the cultivation of east coast grasslands. There are some fantastic examples of northern hemisphere plants too, such as tulip and camphor trees, giant figs, magnolias and swamp cypresses. The birdlife, as a result, is magnificent with over 150 recorded species.
There is also a muthi garden of indigenous medicinal plants, displayed around a traditional Zulu hut, a series of lovely walking trails through grassland and indigenous forest, and a popular guided walk programme.
Contact Details and Opening Hours:
Address: Mayor's Walk, Pietermaritzburg
Telephone: +27 (0)33 344-3585
Hours Daily (365 days a year):
08h00 - 18h00 Summer (October to April); 08h00 - 17h30 Winter (May to September)
Guided Theme Walks: +27 (0)33 344-3585
Restaurant: +27 (0)33 344-2207 (Closed Mondays)
Plant Nursery: +27 (0)33 344-1044.
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