Pretoria NBG
Central Areas

The central are of the Garden has seen the most development over the last few years.

An artificial waterfall, which tumbles over rocks into a series of pools below, has created an environment ideally suited to the display of moisture-loving plants; from ground-covers to giant wild bananas such as Ensete ventricosa and Strelitzia nicolai.


Tea Garden

Adjacent to the waterfall is the Botanical Tea Garden, whose “taste of nature with a touch of class” is well worth sampling. The Botanical Tea Garden offers breakfast buffets, pub lunches, tea for two (or more!), picnic baskets, Sunday buffets, kiddies parties and much, much more.


Bigger functions and weddings can be easily accommodated in the lapa, which seats up to 200 people in comfort. Bookings are essential for functions and group events, but casual visitors to the Garden are welcome at any time for light refreshments or a quick snack.

The Tea Garden is open from Tuesdays to Sundays.
Tel./ Fax: (012) 804 4174

Aquatic, Cycad and Shade Gardens

Within a short walk from the Botanical Tea Garden, the Aquatic, Cycad and Shade theme gardens can be viewed.

In the Aquatic Garden, several connecting ponds create an aquatic habitat for indigenous wetland plants. Around the edges of these ponds a variety of emergent aquatic plants occur, the tallest of which is papyrus (Cyperus papyrus). This reed can be found throughout subtropical Africa, especially in the Okavanago swamps. Papyrus, one of the first forms of paper, was made from the pith of the plant, hence the name. In biblical times Moses was found among the reeds. The reeds are also home to several different birds. In spring, the Aquatic Garden ponds are a hive of activity. While weavers fly around busily creating their nests, large "clouds" of tadpoles and different species of Tilapia swim together among the submerged plants such as pond weed (Potamogeton pectinatus). The Tilapia, herbivorus, indigenous fish, have been introduced to maintain a balanced aquatic habitat.

The cycads represented in the Cycad Garden are part of a primitive group of seed-bearing plants. One of the oldest plant groups in the world, today’s cycads are remnants from prehistoric times when dinosaurs roamed the earth. Male and female cones are borne on separate plants. When this process is complete the plants usually go into a rest period that lasts for approximately two years, during which time they drop all their leaves.

Walking further westwards will bring you to the Shady Lane, a theme garden created specifically for shade-loving plants: plectranthus, clivias, scadoxus and other colourful stunners!


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