NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
Worcester, South Africa
Van Riebeeck Park
(off National Road)
PO Box 152, Worcester, 6850
The Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is totally unique in that it is the only truly succulent garden in the southern hemisphere and on the African continent. One of the floral highlights of the year is spring, when thousands of annuals and brightly coloured vygies come into flower. This colour spectacle lasts from mid-August to the end of September. See the seasonal highlights pages.
A must for succulent lovers, the Garden lies on the outskirts of Worcester, 120 kilometres from Cape Town. See route map for details. Falling within the succulent karoo biome, which includes the Namaqualand flora so famous for its spring flowers, the Garden boasts some 400 naturally occurring species. The garden is also a haven for rare and endangered plants, with over 300 species being protected and propagated. Almost 70 species of birds have been recorded in the Garden, as well as a wide range of small mammals, such as the Cape grey duiker.
Approximately 11 hectares of the estate are cultivated, whilst the remaining 144 are kept as a flora reserve which has several kilometres of nature trails.
The Garden is open 365 days a year from 07:00 - 18:00, but the office/information and plant sales area close earlier. They are not open on the last Friday afternoon of the month. Entrance to the Garden is free with the exception of the three flowering months, usually August to October, when entrance over the weekends is R7 for adults and R3 for children and senior citizens. The garden is clearly sign-posted from the N1 just outside Worcester.
Take a virtual tour of the garden to see the special features. These include:
Khoisan kookskerm - An ethnobotanical garden displaying plants used by the people of Namaqualand.
Organised tours - Tours of the succulent collections are available by special arrangement (about 14 persons per group). Tours can also include slide shows and a tour of the Garden Maze.
Plant Maze - Porkwood Plant Maze
Plant sales - There is a well-stocked nursery with over 500 indigenous species and seed of over 200 indigenous species.
Shop - Botanical books, seed and curios.
Trails - Braille Trail, just under 1 km with information boards in Braille. Karoo Trail, illustrating the fascinating regions of the Karoo, such as the Little Karoo, Great Karoo and Hantam Karoo. Shale Trail, approximately 1,7 km in the natural karroid koppies and illustrated with information boards.