Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a magnificent 36 hectare garden set against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain in Cape Town. It is the first botanical garden in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora. Birdwatchers and horticulturists will have a field day, and children will enjoy hours of play and adventure, discovering new flowers, streams, garden paths, and picnic nooks.
Kirstenbosch lies in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom, also known as the Cape Floristic Region, which is the only floral kingdom in the world to be contained within one country. In 2004, the Cape Floral Kingdom, along with Kirstenbosch, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site; making Kirstenbosch the world’s first garden to be included within a natural World Heritage Site.
In 1913, the garden was established to promote, conserve, and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa. Plants that cannot naturally survive in the Cape conditions, such as those from arid regions, are grown in the Botanical Society Conservatory. There are over 7,000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, including many rare and threatened species.
• Art Exhibitions: Both outdoor exhibitions of long and short-term duration, as well as indoor art shows and exhibitions in the various venues.
• Restaurants: Kirstenbosch offers 3 restaurants in different locations. These include moyo Kirstenbosch, The Kirstenbosch Tea Room, and vida e caffè.
• Shops: A variety of retail outlets selling plants, garden accessories, books, gifts, and Mambo sculptures are located on the garden periphery and can be visited without paying the entry fee.
• Concerts: The garden hosts the Old Mutual Summer Sunset Concerts (November – April), annual Carols by Candlelight, and other events.
• Venues: A range of venues are available for weddings, art exhibitions, horticultural events, and private functions.
• Boomslang Walkway: A treetop walkway offers exceptional views of the mountain and gardens.
• Free Guided Garden Tours: Free guided tours leave from the Information Desk in the Visitors' Centre (Gate 1) at 10h00 from Monday to Saturday. Each tour presents the highlights of the season, exploring most of the garden and its famous features. Tours last 90 minutes to 2 hours. The capacity is 15 people on a first-come-first-served basis. Register at the Information Desk 15 minutes before the tour to secure your place. Groups of 5 or more must pre-book.
• Special Interest and Group Tours: Special interest guided tours and group bookings can be arranged in advance via the Information Desk at a fee of R40 per person, additional to the garden entry fee, with a minimum of R280 per tour. A tour led by a professional horticulturist or botanist can be arranged at a fee of R200 per person, with a minimum fee of R600 per tour, and a maximum time of 3 hours.
• Shuttle Car Tours: Shuttle car tours of the Garden leave from the Visitors' Centre (Gate 1) on the hour, from 09h00 to 15h00, on fair-weather days. The shuttle can accommodate up to 7 passengers. Tickets cost R55 per person, additional to the garden entry fee.
• MyGuide Audio Guide: The MyGuide self-guiding audio system is available in English or German from the Information Desk, Visitors' Centre (Gate 1). Tickets cost R40 per handset, additional to the garden entry fee.