Results 1-4of 4 Reviews
Oxford, United Kingdom
October 17, 2009
From journal Visiting the Cape Peninsula
April 16, 2006
From journal Cape Town: First World to Third World
Cape Town, South Africa
November 22, 2005
Together with Table Mountain and Robben Island Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is one of the top attractions of Cape Town.
This beautiful garden is situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, and is world renowned for its beauty and diversity of the Cape flora. Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens cover 528 hectares and was purchased by Sir Cecil Rhodes to preserve the area. With his death, Rhodes handed Kirstenbosch over to the government.In 1913, Kirstenbosch was established as a National Botanical Garden with the aim to research and protect the indigenous flora of Southern Africa.Today Kirstenbosch only boasts flora indigenous to southern Africa, and harbors over 5000 species, including favourite South African plants such as proteas, ericas, restios and pelargoniums. Here one can spend hours wandering through the splendour of countless different botanical displays, such as the Fragrance Garden, the Dell, the Cycad Amphitheatre, Matthew's Rockery and the Fynbos Walk. Alternatively, organise a summer picnic on the green lawns, gazing at the breathtaking mountain backdrop while listening to the music of one of Kirstenbosch's many sunset concerts held every summer.
From journal What to do in Cape Town?
March 4, 2003
We came here twice: Once for one of the weekly summer concerts and another time to take a tour and see all the flowers.
I was immediately impressed by the beautiful mix of plants and art by local artisans. There are sculptures throughout the first part of the garden as well as large open spaces where visitors can relax on the grass and enjoy the view of flowers, trees, and mountains. There is a greenhouse at the entrance that features many unusual and native plants as well some sensitive flowers. This was a particularly interesting exhibit because I felt I recognized many of the plants from a production of Little Shop of Horrors. There were even these cool plants that look like rocks -- little pebbles to be specific!
Outside of the greenhouse and on the first left after the turnstyles is the row of camphor trees that Cecil Rhodes planted so that he could ride his horse in the shade -- you can almost imagine him appearing at the end of the road. The garden also features several distinctly educational areas, including a medical plant area -- which lists all the potential uses of each plant plus a stern warning to listen to your doctor first -- and an aromatic plant section where we were encouraged to rub and smell the plants (kind of like the equivalent of the petting zoo, eh?).
There was also the potential to take one of several hikes into the mountains; it's said that one of the early Dutch governors used to hike over Table Mountain every morning to get to the parliament building. We just walked part way up one of the many trails in the back of the park and that was enough for us (plus we were running out of time). You could easily spend half a day in the garden, longer still if you wanted to do all the hikes. There's also a lot of movie/commercial filming going on in the park -- it can provide some amusement as well.
Getting to the park is best by car since it is a ways from the city centre. There is a bus called the Golden Arrow Bus that goes from the city centre to the gardens. Check out www.gabs.co.za. The website for the gardens is http://www.nbi.ac.za/frames/kirstfram.htm.
From journal Facing the Past: Historical Sights in Cape Town