Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town
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.
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).
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.
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.
Peninsula garden displays some of the 2 500 plant species found in the Western Cape.
The Water-wise garden Demonstrates how to create a garden which needs far less water and maintenance than a conventional 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 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 Station. 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.
Hours and fees:
The Garden is open 365 days a year.
Summer from 08h00 to 19h00 (September to March)
Winter from 08h00 to 18h00 (April to August).
Additional reading and photographs:
For additional information see our recent article on Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.
A History of the Gardens see History of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
To view photographs please see Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Photographs.
Accommodation nearbyRelated Links
Attractions / Activities nearby
A steel and wood canopy stands in amongst the trees of Kirstenbosch. Erected to celebrate Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden's centenary the 'boomslang', as it has become known, rises from the ground at a gentle incline to carry visitors out above the trees to views over... more information
Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts are a fantastic way to spend a Sunday sunset in Cape Town. The open-air amphitheatre concerts cater for all music tastes, from jazz, folk, rock to big band Swing and are a delightful way to enjoy the surroundings and unwind. Held in the breathtaking setting of the botanical gardens ... more information
A national landmark, Rhodes Memorial lies within the Table Mountain National Park and the views from up here are stunning, offering panoramic vistas of industrial Cape Town, out over the airport and the Cape Flats, and on a clear day, the Helderberg and Hottentots Holland Mountain range. Built on the ... more information
Rich in heritage & beauty, the Constantia Wine Route comprises of Groot Constantia, Buitenverwachting and Klein Constantia. Constantia was one of the first wine-producing areas of the Western Cape. Groot Constantia is one of the first and finest examples of Cape Dutch architecture. The homestead ... more information
Mosterts Mill is open to the public most Saturdays when volunteer millers operate the mill. If you would like to see the Mill in operation or purchase some flour, the "Millers" would be delighted to see you and show you around this delightful example of "Living Heritage". Tel: 088 129-7168 to see if open.