Jameson Park, Morningside, Durban
Did you know?
Jameson Park was once a massive pineapple plantation.
Durban's Jameson Park provides colourful evidence in support of the oft-asked question: Do roses really flourish in a humid, sub-tropical climate?
Formerly a fruit plantation, Jameson Park was subsequently transformed into an oasis of stunning roses. Today the small park showcases Durban's roses and boasts around 200 species comprising 600 rose bushes.
The park is situated in the well-established suburb of Morningside which still retains some of its former Victorian architecture.
If you look up from the park, a large home dominates the skyline. This is Elephant House, built in the early 1850s on the highest point on the Berea. It earned its name due to repeated attacks by elephants on their way up a well-worn path (now Florida Road) to drink at the Greyville marsh (today part of the the Royal Durban Golf Course). The house was declared a National Monument in 1978.
Although Jameson Park is open throughout the year, it's at its best when the roses are in bloom between September and November.
Every rose bush is well tended, and neatly manicured soft green lawns separate different displays. Lose yourself in the trails between the rose bushes and abandon your senses to the sight and smell of these special flowers that are an acknowledged symbol of love the world over.
Jameson Park is a wonderful photographic destination for obvious reasons, so don't forget your camera and picnic basket if you're in the mood for an alfresco lunch.
The park is named in honour of Robert Jameson, a councillor, chairman of the sanitary committee and later mayor of Durban from 1895 to 1897.
During his 30-year tenure with the Town Council, Jameson was instrumental in planting trees throughout Durban. More than a century after his death, residents and visitors continue to appreciate the beautiful flora in local parks that bear testimony to his forward thinking.
Travel tips & Planning info
How to get here
Jameson Park is located at 350 Montpellier Road, Morningside, a few minutes' drive from the city centre.
Best time to visit
Best time to visit is spring (September, October and November) when the roses are flowering.
Around the area
The Durban Botanic Gardens; the Hare Krishna Temple of Understanding; Mitchell Park with its spacious lawns and zoo; Pigeon Valley Park, home to many indigenous South African trees and birds, and finally the Amphitheatre Gardens, a mass of subtropical flowers and fountains.
Tours to do
The park is perhaps best experienced in conjunction with other nearby attractions such as Mitchell Park across the road – a perfect playground for children and ideal for picnics in the company of exotic birds, fish, monkeys, tortoises, fish, monkeys and species of small buck housed at the zoo.
Taxis and buses are available from the city centre.
What will it cost
Entrance to the garden is free.
Length of stay
Why not spend the morning visiting the roses at Jameson Park, then spend the remainder at Mitchell Park across the road, where there is a lovely restaurant and zoo.
What to pack
Take a cardigan or jacket for cooler winter evenings.
Where to stay
Directly in front of Jameson Park lies Florida Road which boasts the largest single concentration of restaurants in the seaside town.
What to eat
Florida Road offers Thai, Portuguese, Italian, curry and loads more really trendy and popular restaurants and coffee shops.