NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN
Pietermaritzburg, South Africa
Mayor's Walk, Pietermaritzburg
PO Box 21667, Mayor's Walk, 3208
The beautiful and tranquil Natal National Botanical Garden specialises in the conservation of plants from the eastern region of South Africa and of rare and endangered species from elsewhere. Established in 1874, the Garden's Victorian past is evident in its magnificent specimens of northern hemisphere plants, such as the swamp cypress, tulip trees, camphor trees, plane trees, giant figs and magnolias. One of the finest features of the Garden is the avenue of London plane trees, which has been stunning visitors since 1908. Take a virtual tour of the Garden to see its highlights, or visit it season by season.
The focus of the Garden is to collect, display and promote the conservation of plants of the eastern grasslands, in particular the genera Kniphofia, Watsonia and Dierama.
A section of the Garden is planted specifically to attract birds which, along with other diverse habitats, makes the Garden rich in bird life, with over 150 species recorded.
A special feature of the Garden is a traditional Zulu hut, surrounded by indigenous medicinal plants which form the basis of a Useful plants garden.
The Garden has a series of exciting walking trails through indigenous forest and grassland. The popular guided walk programme gives visitors the opportunity to experience the Garden in a hands-on way. For further details on guided theme walks call (033) 344 3585.
New developments include a Grassland display area and Clivia collection.
There is a restaurant (Tel: (033) 344 2207) which is open every day except Tuesdays.
The plant nursery can be contacted on (033) 344 1044.
The Garden is open 365 days a year from 08:00-18:00 (October-April) and 08:00-17:30 (May-September). Entrance fees are R8 for adults and R5 for scholars, students and senior citizens. Botanical Society members have free entrance to the Garden. See route map for directions on how to find Garden.