About Van Riebeeck’s Hedge

Up on the banks above the stream at which children play, on the lower slopes of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, lies the magic forest - a haven for children who love to clamber in and on the several huge, ancient trees whose branches sprawl across the ground like the fingers of a gnarled hand.

Did you know? A section of the hedge that lies the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens was declared a National Monument in 1936.

These are the remains of Van Riebeeck’s Hedge - a series of indigenous wild almond trees (Brabejum stellatifolium) planted in 1660 by the governor of the Cape as a boundary to the settlement of Cape Town. Wild almonds have the tendency to grow horizontally as well as vertically and their branches intertwine.

Together with a series of thorny shrubs they formed a defensive barrier from the mouth of the Salt River, along the Liesbeeck River, up Wynberg Hill to Kirstenbosch. The intention was to stop the Khoikhoi from raiding livestock from the Dutch settlement, and it incorporated wooden fence and watchtowers.

The aim was to quickly grow a barrier that would prevent any cattle or sheep from getting through. Ironically the hedge became a hindrance to those who built it as some of the best grazing for livestock developed on the other side of the hedge from the settlement, as it quickly expanded.

For many the hedge is symbolic of the start of apartheid. It cut the indigenous Khoikhoi off from their traditional grazing land. It is not the hedge that is considered the barrier, but what came after the hedge.

There are two sections, each declared national monuments, of remaining hedge today, older even than the castle itself. One section is the trees on the banks of the stream at Kirstenbosch, available for all who choose to sit in their shade (on hot days this is some of the best shade in the garden).

The trees are not immediately visible from the lawns of the garden and there is no sign indicating their presence. Ask locals where you will find the ‘magic forest’.

The other section is in Bishops Court.

Need to Know

WhereVan Riebeeck’s Hedge, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Newlands, Southern Suburbs, Cape Town, South Africa

WhenOpen daily, 365 days a year. Summer from 08h00 to 19h00 (September to March) Winter from 08h00 to 18h00 (April to August).

Telephone+27 (0)21 799-8783

OvernightStay in Newlands Accommodation, Cape Town

Disclaimer

Please note, business details can change. While we endeavour to ensure all information provided by the service provider is correct at the time of publication, we do not assume any liability caused by errors or changes, such as price, cost, time, and location. Please check with the provider that the activity/business is still offered as described, before making any travel plans.

Feedback?

If this is your attraction, you can let us know if anything on this page is outdated or contains inaccuracies, by email. We regret, we do not have any other information, please contact the provider if you have questions.

In the vicinity

Hotels & other accommodation options in Newlands

Things to do in the area

Accommodation convenient to Van Riebeeck’s Hedge

FIND / South Africa Accommodation / Western Cape Accommodation / Cape Town Accommodation / Southern Suburbs Accommodation / Newlands Accommodation

Newlands as a destination

Want to stay overnight?

Dates

When would you like to stay?
Choose dates

Number of Guests

Why book with SA-Venues.com
  • Your card is safe with us; strictest card verification in the industry and we don't store card numbers.
  • No airy fairy service fees; you save!
  • We care. Service with integrity.
  • Multiple payment methods:
    credit card, SID instant EFT, bank transfer.
  • All Newlands property owners / managers are verified (our experience protects you from online fraud).
  • Secure your booking
Our Payment Protection Guarantee only applies if your deposit payment is made via SA-Venues.com

SA-Venues.com® has been assisting travellers with their South Africa travel plans since 1999, and is the largest, independent online travel guide for South Africa available in both English and German.

Never miss a deal

Subscribe for the latest special offers and travel inspiration.

And, we'll send you a R200 voucher to use on your next booking.