Kirstenbosch, Cape Town, South Africa
Kirstenbosch Spring flowers
Established in 1895, it's the oldest and largest botanical garden in South Africa and one of the Seven Magnificent Botanical Gardens of the World.
This showcase of South Africa's rich floral wealth has an enormous plant collection, roughly 9 000 of the countries' 22 000 species. The fynbos section of proteas, ericas and restios is immense so it's a great place to see the abundant diversity of the Cape Floral Region if you don't have much time to jaunt around the Peninsula.
Dramatically set against the craggy eastern slopes of Table Mountain, its rolling lawns, glorious flowers and lush plantings blend into mountain fynbos and woody ravines. Here you can hike up the mountain along the well-trodden trails of Nursery Ravine or Skeleton Gorge.
Guinea fowl sentinel
For the less energetic there are meandering paths through interesting themed gardens. Stroll amongst a gathering of cycads, living fossil plants from the dinosaur age.
Amble past aromatic and textured plants in the Braille Trail and Fragrance Garden.
Have a lazy picnic on the rolling lawns or just enjoy the sweetness of doing nothing whilst sugarbirds flit from one protea bush to another.
To enhance the day's explorations there is a web of meandering paths with little signboards identifying trees and plants. There are also daily free walking tours and hourly golf cart tours for a fee. If you're into culture don't miss the Useful Plants Garden with medicinal, culinary and aromatic properties. A modern glass conservatory houses an impressive succulent collection.
Cycads along upper reaches
In summer try and get to the Sunday evening concerts. Take along a bottle of Cape wine, some nibbles and lounge back indulging in the sunset and sweet mountain air.
There are a variety of restaurants and coffee shops and it's a great place to have breakfast or lunch for the views alone.
Kirstenbosch summer concert
How to get there:
Drive along the De Waal Drive (M3) and turn into Rhodes Avenue (M63), close to Newlands.
Open daily Sept-May 8am - 7pm Jun-Aug 8am-6pm
Current Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts - surf to Newlands Events