Stroll through the Spectacular Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
At the foot of the famous Table Mountain in Cape Town, South Africa, is the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. It is home to the magnificent collection of plants that are indigenous to South Africa, and the land covers a staggering 528 hectares. The Liesbeek River feeds the gardens and looking around at the endless flow of trees, brush and plants, it is easy to understand the inscription that is engraved on the grave of Professor Pearson (first director of the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens): “If ye seek his monument, look around”.
The legacy that people, such as Professor Pearson, left behind since the founding of the gardens in 1913 is one of pride and natural beauty. Cecil John Rhodes once owned the land that the gardens are located on, but left it to the nation after his death in 1902. Along the trails and pathways, visitors will be able to see a wonderful collection of natural forests and flora that are unique to South Africa. The gardens have also ensured that anyone can have access to this majestic world of natural wonder, with the Silver Tree Stroll and the Weaverbird Walk being designed especially so that wheelchairs are able to navigate the route. More challenging routes, such as the Yellowwood, Stinkwood and Silver Tree Trails, are also available and take approximately three hours to complete. Blind visitors are also welcome, as they are able to experience the Braille Trail through smell and touch and boards and signposts are all in Braille. This trail has raised beds and features all the most aromatic indigenous plants, so seeing visitors are also advised to walk through this sensory exhibit. To walk in the footsteps of the late General J.C. Smuts, visitors can follow the Smuts Track through the tranquility of the forests, up what is known as the Skeleton Gorge and then make their way to the summit of the beautiful Table Mountain and its breathtaking views.
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens also have a few other sights of interest such as the Botanical Society Conservatory, the Peninsula Garden (which has over 2 500 plant species on display), the Water-Wise Garden, the Fragrance Garden, the Medicinal Garden, the Dell, the Protea Garden, the Restio Garden, the Useful Plants Garden and the Van Riebeecks’ Hedge that was planted here by Van Riebeeck in the year 1660.
To discover the great diversity, beauty and history of the indigenous plants and flora of South Africa, the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town is an inspiring and fascinating facility. To be able to walk amongst a living exhibition, decorated with stone Zimbabwean sculptures, is a rare and unique experience. And if your feet start to hurt, or you simply want to sit back and enjoy the peaceful scenes that surround you, the restaurants will be able to assist in rejuvenating your body, while the gardens work on your soul.