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TThe Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is the best-known of South Africa's nine national botanical gardens, thanks to its stunning scenery, diverse flora and themed gardens. These botanical gardens, part of a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are a must-see for anyone visiting Cape Town.
These botanical gardens are located only 13km from the Cape Town city centre and boast over 7 000 plant species, including many rare and threatened species.
Here you will experience Cape flora in all its diversity, something for which the garden is renowned. You'll also see a host of other indigenous plants, including rich collections of bulbs, alpines and ferns. All these species grow naturally in southern Africa and can be found in the main section of the garden, along with a massive baobab tree.
At the Fragrance Garden, you will be exposed to familiar and unfamiliar smells, while the Medicinal Garden will fascinate you with some of the diverse medicinal plants found in South Africa.
Don't miss the Water-wise Garden, where you can learn how to grow and maintain a garden with less water than is conventionally required. In the Botanical Society Conservatory you will see species from the arid areas of South Africa.
Also featured at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is the Peninsula Garden, which contains many of the 2 500 plant species found on the Cape Peninsula. Visit the Protea Garden in spring when the flowers are in bloom for a glimpse of South Africa’s national flower, the king protea.
With this wealth of biodiversity, it's not surprising the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is admired as one of the great botanical gardens of the world, aided by the fact that it is part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden:
Tel: +27 (0)21 799 8783
How to get there
Kirstenbosch is only 13km from Cape Town's city centre.
Best time to visit
Best time to visit is mid-August to mid-October, when the many varieties of proteas are in full bloom. The gardens are open 8am to 7pm (September-March) and 8am to 6pm (April-August).
Things to do
Kirstenbosch is the perfect place for a picnic and a walk. Check out the incredible Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway which takes visitors high above the canopy to appreciate the beauty of the garden from above. The botanical gardens also host events, like concerts and festivals throughout the year. Check out the events page on their website for more information.
What to pack
Bring a blanket and your picnic basket. Don't forget sunscreen, hat, camera and binoculars!
Where to stay
Kirstenbosch is close to the city centre so there are a variety of hotels, guesthouses and backpackers closeby.
What to eat