Cape Town, South Africa

Rhodes Drive, Newlands
Private Bag X7, Claremont

INFORMATION OFFICE: (021) 799 8783/8620 weekdays: (021) 7614916 weekends

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is world-renowned for the beauty and diversity of the Cape flora it displays and for the magnificence of its setting against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain.

Kirstenbosch grows only indigenous South African plants. The estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country. It was founded in 1913, read about the History of the Garden.

The Visitors' Centre includes an information desk and various retail outlets and a coffee shop. The Centre for Home Gardening has outlets for plants and other services to support the home garden. For details of all the retail outlets at Kirstenbosch see Shopping at Kirstenbosch.

There are also several Restaurants at Kirstenbosch.

On Sundays during the summer months from December to March, musical sunset concerts are held on the lawns. Craft markets are also held at the Stone Cottages (opposite Kirstenbosch) on the last Sunday of every month (except June, July & August). See the What's On pages for events taking place in the Garden.

If you would like to know more about our flora try one of our Theme Walks. Volunteer guides conduct tours of the Garden on Tuesdays and Saturdays at 11:00. Group bookings and special interest tours can be arranged with the Information Office (Tel: (021) 761 4916). A club car also runs daily mini-tours on the hour from the Visitors' Centre. The cost is R20 per person and R15 per child. Pre-booking is advisable, (Tel: (021) 762 9120).

A number of trails lead through natural forest and fynbos surrounding the developed garden. A map is obtainable from the Information Office for R1.

Hours and fees
The Garden is open 365 days a year from 08:00 - 19:00 (September -March) and from 08:00 - 18:00 (April - August). The entrance fee is R20 for adults (R22 as of 1 December 2004) and R10 for students with student cards. Fees for school children (6-18 years old) are R5. Children under 6 years old and Botanical Society members have free entry. SA senior citizens have free entry on Tuesdays, if it is not a public holiday.

How to Get There
By bus - There is a bus service to Kirstenbosch from Cape town and Mowbray Station. To check the latest times, call the Information Office for details. See numbers above.

By car - Kirstenbosch lies 13 km from Cape Town city centre. From the city, take De Waal Drive (M3) in the direction of Muizenberg, at the first traffic light intersection turn right (southwards) into Rhodes Drive (M63) and follow the signs to Kirstenbosch.

Special Features

The Botanical Society Conservatory - enables Kirstenbosch to display South African plants which cannot be grown in the outdoor gardens. Here, under one roof, you will find plants from high mountain peaks, shady forests and hot, dry deserts. The main house, dominated by a large baobab tree, features succulents from the arid regions of southern Africa. Special collections of bulbs, ferns and alpines are displayed in smaller corner houses.

Peninsula garden - displays some of the 2 500 plant species found on the Cape Peninsula.

Water-wise garden - demonstrates how to create a garden which needs far less water and maintenance than a conventional garden.

Fragrance garden - features plants with interesting textures and scents.

Medicinal garden - Find out about the many medicinal uses of South African plants.

The Dell - the oldest part of the Garden, featuring Colonel Bird's Bath, tree ferns and a variety of shade-loving plants.

Protea garden - features members of the protea family (Proteaceae). This part of the Garden is most magnificent in winter and spring, when the proteas, conebushes and serrurias are in flower. Pincushions provide a colourful display in early summer.

Restio garden - focuses on the incredible variety of texture and form found in the reed family (Restionaceae).

Useful Plants garden (UPG) - the redevelopment and extension of the Medicinal Plants garden

Van Riebeeck's hedge - planted in 1660 to protect cattle of the Cape colonists.


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