Things To Do in NewlandsKirstenbosch Tree Canopy Walkway
Where? Find it close to the Enchanted Forest or van Riebeek's Hedge at Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
When? The Garden is open 365 days a year as follows:
Summer from 08h00 to 19h00 (September to March).
Winter from 08h00 to 18h00 (April to August).
How? Call +27 (0)21 799-8783
How much? Free
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 the eastern slopes of Table Mountain across the Cape Flats to the Hottentots Holland Mountains in the distance.
Though shorter than originally intended, the canopy's 130 metres length encompasses a carefully planned route through the arboretum, taking the slope, existing pathways, mature trees and their longevity into account.
Despite the almost 20 tons of steel, 5.36 km of steel rod, 12 columns and 23 sections of walkway that went into making the canopy, people still manage to miss it, so well is it disguised.
There are over 400 trees in and around the walkway, in line with the intent to bring those on the boomslang as close as possible to as many different trees and plants as possible. Around you are Cape saffrons, hard pears, white stinkwoods and a grove of tall forest myrtle quince. The forest below and around the walkway is young for a forest at twenty-five years of age.
The walkway has a fair amount of give that can feel particularly daunting if you are not used to it, but this is all part of its design and nothing to worry about.
From underneath its snake-like design is even more clear, the curved railings acting like the ribcage of a snake, the pipe that runs along its length its spine. Even the diamond-shaped steel mesh suggests a snake's skin.
The canopy walkway is free to visitors inside the garden, wheelchair friendly and safe for all ages.