Top 10: Botanical gardens
1Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Western Cape
Part of the Cape Floral Kingdom World Heritage site, this world-renowned garden grows only indigenous South African plants and is one of 18 biodiversity hotspots on the planet.
2Free State National Botanical Garden, Free State
Just outside Bloemfontein, the botanical garden consists of woodlands and grasslands dominated by wild olive and karee trees.
3Harold Porter Botanical Garden, Western Cape
This garden is found in Betty’s Bay in the very heart of the Cape’s fynbos region, some 100 km from Cape Town.
4Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden, Western Cape
This garden in the town of Worcester is unique as it is the only truly succulent garden on the African continent.
5KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden, Pietermaritzburg
This garden specialises in the conservation of plants from the eastern grasslands region of South Africa. Take a walk down Plane tree avenue, planted in 1908.
6Lowveld National Botanical Garden, Mpumalanga
Explore various types of African Rain Forests, and see 600 of South Africa’s 1000 tree species in this lovely garden situated in Nelspruit, not too far from the Kruger National Park
7Nieuwoudtville National Botanical Garden, Northern Cape
Described as the ‘bulb capital of the world’, this 6300 km garden on the Bokkeveld plateau is a biodiversity hotspot, and conserves endemic and threatened species.
8Pretoria National Botanical Garden, Gauteng
Close to the city centre, this botanical garden, founded in 1946, offers a glimpse into a variety of indigenous biomes - savannah, forest and fynbos. There is a special collection of medicinal plants and the birdlife is fantastic.
9Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, Gauteng
Set against the backdrop of a magnificent waterfall, this garden is known for its musical concerts, walks, succulent plants and its pair of nesting Verreaux eagles.
10Botanic Gardens, Durban, KwaZulu-Natal
These are the longest surviving botanic gardens in the country. Visit the orchid, cycad and bromeliad house, and there is a trail for sight-impaired visitors.