36 Hectares of exquisite breathtaking beauty, with the backdrop of the eastern slopes of the majestic Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden or commonly known as Kirstenbosch Gardens is a nature-lovers paradise to say the least.
Established in 1913 in aid of displaying and conserving the diversely rich flora of Southern Africa, Kirstenbosch is proud to be the first botanical garden in the world to be devoted solely to a countries indigenous flora. There is also the divine Botanical Society Conservatoryâ€™s custom-built glasshouse that houses the flora that originates from the arid regions and cannot survive outdoors.
Including the rare and heavily threatened species, Kirstenbosch has over 7000 plant species in cultivation, 125 bird species have been recorded in the gardens, there are also small species of animals that remain unseen either because they are nocturnal or shy. The rich insect life and incredibly beautiful butterflies is another wonder to behold at Kirstenbosch Gardens. Amongst all the wonders are several amphibian species including the critically endangered Table Mountain Ghost Frog, as well as angulate tortoises, various lizards and a variety of snakes that usually remain hidden.
Kirstenbosch is a fabulous idea for an exceptional fairytale weddings, rehearsal dinners, private parties, corporate events, meetings, classes or even as the most incredible venue for film shoots and photography. There are fully equipped kitchen facilities to enable you to provide your own professional caterer or Moyo Restaurant and Kirstenbosch Tea Room can do all the catering, there is a parking lot with shuttle services, wedding amenities such as a bride and groom dressing area, above and beyond there being beautiful accommodation on the grounds.
There are five hiking trails to explore the Kirstenbosch Gardens, the pathways are clearly sign-posted and very well maintained, consisting mainly of gravel roads or logged footpaths, the trails are marked with differing levels of difficulty, the trails are as follows:
- Braille Trail â€“
- 15 â€“ 30 minutes
- Self guided
- Lower fitness short trail
- Boekenhout Trail â€“
- 30 minutes
- self guided
- medium fitness as the pathway is short but steep
- Stinkwood Trail â€“
- 45 minutes
- Mild circular route, medium fitness required
- Silvertree Trail â€“
- 3 Hours
- Long circular trail crossing the entire estate. Medium fitness required
- Yellowwood Trail â€“
- 1 Hour and 30 minutes
- 3km long
- Steep in places but not a difficult climb at all. Medium fitness is required.
Above and beyond the exceptional beauty and calm that the gardens offer, there are quaint little shops, nurseryâ€™s and three wonderful places to catch a bite to eat:
- Kirstenbosch Garden Centre â€“ selling a wide range of plants and garden accessories. They do wholesale as well.
- Botanical Society Bookshop
- The Kirstenbosch Centre â€“ Gifts, homeware, clothing and beautiful curios, there is a free giftwrapping service and botanical society members get 10% discount on bought items.
- The Kirstenbosch Tea Room â€“ Situated at Gate 2, the menu is lovely serving breakfast, lunch, salads, sandwiches, soups and desserts.
- Vida e CafÃ© â€“ High quality coffee, pastries and treats. Situated close to gate 1, Vida e CafÃ© can be entered without paying entrance into Kirstenbosch Gardens.
- Moyo Restaurant â€“ An authentic African experience of epic proportions, with an excitingly delicious menu and the most imaginative cocktails Moyo is a must visit. Situated near the Visitors Centre at Gate 1.
Kirstenbosch Gardens is the first botanical garden to be included within a natural World Heritage Site, the newest addition to the Gardens is â€˜The boomslangâ€™, a tree canopy walkway that snakes through and over the tree tops, giving visitors a wonderfully different experience of the forests and trees native to Kirstenbosch Gardens.
Kirstenbosch Gardens tops the list of Cape Townâ€™s pride and joy, the absolutely pristine condition that the gardens are kept in adds to the beauty already present. A visit to Kirstenbosch is definitely a soul finding experience, a wonderful way to spend a day in the beauty of Cape Townâ€™s natural habitat.