Last week beautiful Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden was rewarded “Garden of the Year” at the International Garden Tourism Awards. And it really deserves it! Those of you who have been there know what I’m talking about and those of you who haven’t really should make sure to have it on your list the next time you visit Cape Town.
Kirstenbosch is located on the slopes of Table Mountains and covers an area of 528 hectares and consists of landscaped gardens with indigenous plants and trees, as well as natural forest that stretches along the slopes. It has been estimated that there are 20 000 indigenous plant species in South Africa and of these you can find 4 700 at Kirstenbosch, and almost 50 percent of the flora at the Cape Penininsula is represented. There are plenty of paved trails that meander through the garden.
Although you may not have a big interest in the flora of the Cape, it’s still a perfect place to enjoy a picnic. That’s exactly what we did … We packed us a lovely picnic and headed off to Kirstenbosch on a wonderfully sunny morning just to enjoy all the beauty that the garden offers.
We laid our blankets out under a giant oak tree that offered much needed shade, albeit at the risk of being hit by acorns but it was worth it, and with geese and guinea fowl walking around next to us.
If you are interested in birds, you can have lots of fun at Kirstenbosch. Our goal was to see and photograph the Orange-Breasted Sunbird, the Lesser Double-collared Sunbird and the Cape Sugarbird. However, we had to settle with just hearing the Cape Sugarbird… Next time!
Recently the so-called The Boomslang opened at Kirstenbosch. This is a walkway that goes high up among the treetops and offers wonderful views of the botanical garden and its surroundings. If you visit Kirstenbosch on a Sunday, during the summer, there are concerts that are very popular.
Kirstenbosch is open until 19:00 in summer and 18:00 in winter. Entry fee is now R50 per adult and R25 for children under 17 years.