Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Cape Town is in full bloom – the dams are glistening with water, beaches are bustling with tourists and nature around the Cape Peninsula is putting on a splendid display of colour and abundance in the wake of the blessing of wonderful rains over the past few months. One such a place that is an absolute must for a million different reasons is the breathtaking internationally known Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens.
In 2008, Kirstenbosch flew the South African flag as high as the Springboks when they won the coveted Gold Medal at the Chelsea Flower Show for Most Creative Display as well as the President’s Cup which established South Africa as a front-runner in horticulture. Ever since that first Gold, Kirstenbosch has won 29 further Gold Medals in 33 appearances, a brilliant example of passion and dedication.
Acclaimed as one of the premier botanical gardens in the world, there are few gardens that can match the shear grandeur and splendour of Kirstenbosch. Situated a mere 13 kilometres from the Cape Town city centre against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, these gardens encompass a 528-hectare estate hosting more than 7000 different plant species, and include a Braille trail, a medicinal garden, a fragrance garden, a Protea garden and a cycad amphitheatre. The last one is a must if you have little ones, especially if they are fans of dinosaurs. In-between the cycads there are life-sized, anatomically accurate sculptures of dinosaurs.
A relatively new addition to the gardens is the “Boomslang”. Loosely translated it means tree snake, but in actual fact it is the name of the centenary tree canopy walkway that takes visitors from the forest floor into and through the trees and bursts out above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and the garden.
With so much space, it is the perfect place to bring your family and friends and spend an entire day lazing away under the shade of an oak tree. You can choose to bring a picnic basket or purchase eats at the kiosks there. The on-site restaurants cater for every taste and can feed from the merely peckish to ravenously hungry with ease.
Summertime is without a doubt the best time to visit the gardens – not only for the beauty of the garden and the colourful exuberance of nature, but also for the incredible line-up of Sunset Concerts on Sunday evenings and open air Galileo Cinema on Wednesday evenings. Tickets are hard to come by, so be sure to watch the presses for the details as soon as they are released. The 2019/2020 summer line-up is a bucket list must for sure!
Carols at Kirstenbosch
One of Kirstenbosch’s oldest traditions, Carols at Kirstenbosch is being held on 12, 13, 14, and 15 December 2019. It is a magical event that sees people from all walks of life join in song over this special time of year, solidifying what the Boks did only a moment ago, reminding us that we ARE stronger together.