Western Cape Tourist AttractionsThe Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is world renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.
Where? Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
When? Open daily, 365 days a year.
Summer from 08h00 to 19h00 (September to March)
Winter from 08h00 to 18h00 (April to August)
How? Call +27 (0)21 799-8783
Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous South African plants. The Kirstenbosch estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest.
The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country. The Kirstenbosch Visitors' Centre includes an information desk and various retail outlets and a coffee shop. The Centre for Home Gardening has outlets for plants and other services to support the home garden.
On Sundays during the summer months from December to March, musical sunset concerts are held on the lawns at Kirstenbosch. Craft markets are also held at the Stone Cottages (opposite Kirstenbosch) on the last Sunday of every month (except June, July and August).
Volunteer guides conduct tours of the Garden from Monday to Saturday at 10h00 and 14h00. Group bookings and special interest tours can be arranged with the Information Office (Telephone +27 (0)21 799-8783).
A club car also runs daily mini-tours on the hour from the Visitors' Centre. (please enquire about the costs). Pre-booking is advisable, (+27 (0)21 762-9120).
A number of trails lead through natural forest and fynbos surrounding the developed garden. A map is obtainable from the Information Office for a nominal fee.
Attractions & Facilities
The Botanical Society Conservatory
The Botanical Society Conservatory enables Kirstenbosch to display South African plants which cannot be grown in the outdoor gardens. Here, under one roof, you will find plants from high mountain peaks, shady forests and hot, dry deserts. The main house, dominated by a large baobab tree, features succulents from the arid regions of southern Africa. Special collections of bulbs, ferns and alpines are displayed in smaller corner houses.
The Peninsula garden displays some of the 2 500 plant species found in the Western Cape.
The Water-wise Garden
The Water-wise garden Demonstrates how to create a garden which needs far less water and maintenance than a conventional garden.
The Fragrance Garden
The Fragrance garden features plants with interesting textures and scents.
Find out about the many medicinal uses of South African plants.
The Dell the oldest part of the Garden, featuring Colonel Bird's Bath, tree ferns and a variety of shade-loving plants.
The Protea Garden
Protea garden features members of the protea family (Proteaceae). This part of the Garden is most magnificent in winter and spring, when the proteas, conebushes and serrurias are in flower. Pincushions provide a colourful display in early summer.
The Restio Garden
The Restio garden focuses on the incredible variety of texture and form found in the reed family (Restionaceae).
Useful Plants Garden
The Useful Plants garden is an extension of the Medicinal Plants garden.
Van Riebeeck's Hedge
Van Riebeeck's hedge was planted in 1660 to protect cattle of the Cape colonists.
How to get to Kirstenbosch
There is a bus service to Kirstenbosch from Cape Town and Mowbray Stations. To check the latest times, call the Information Office for details. See numbers above. By car - Kirstenbosch lies 13 km from Cape Town city centre. From the city, take De Waal Drive (M3) in the direction of Muizenberg, at the first traffic light intersection turn right (southwards) into Rhodes Drive (M63) and follow the signs to Kirstenbosch.