Right against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, you will find Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden. This huge garden covers 528 hectares where 36 of these are cultivated and the rest of it is made a protected area to support the natural forest, fynbos, and animals in the area. Kirstenbosch is by many travelers acclaimed as one of the greatest botanical gardens in the world. Established back in 1913, this incredible garden conserves and helps the life of the indigenous flora in South Africa. Wandering around Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden is one of the great things to do in Cape Town.
Art in Kirstenbosch Garden
Kirstenbosch is well worth a visit because of the beautiful flowers. However, it is also possible to find several artworks inside the garden. And is there a more perfect setting for art than this magnificent landscape in Cape Town? There are numerous exhibitions in the garden – both indoors and outdoors.
One of the exhibitions in Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden is the one with five life-sized dinosaurs by David Huni. These anatomically correct dinosaurs can be found amongst the cycads in the Cycad Amphitheater. The purpose of the exhibition is to draw attention to the South African cycads that are becoming extinct. Meaning that they can soon face the same fate as the dinosaurs once did.
The Sculpture Garden
Another exhibition in Kirstenbosch is the Sculpture Garden. This part of Kirstenbosch is home to several African stone sculptures. Every one of the sculptures in this ever-changing exhibition is by artists in the Shona tradition that originates in Zimbabwe. In addition, most of the sculptures represent contemporary themes, as well as the social and topical issues that flourish in modern society.
Tree Canopy Walkway
One of the most famous places inside Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden is the Tree Canopy Walkway. Back in 2013, the garden could celebrate its 100th birthday. As a celebration, the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway was built. The walkway is also known as the ‘Boomslang’ which means ‘tree snake’. This name comes from the construction of the walkway that snakes its way through the massive trees. This elevated walkway winds through the forest floor and slowly rises above the tree canopy. Rewarding you with some stunning views overlooking the botanic garden.
Everything you need to know for a visit to Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden
When you are visiting new places there are always some things you might find useful to know. Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in Cape Town is not different from this. Therefore, we have gathered everything you need to know for a visit to this amazing botanical garden in South Africa.
Getting to Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden
Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden is located about 13 kilometers from Cape Town city center. It is possible to visit the garden by car or bus. If you end up driving yourself to Kirstenbosch it is fairly easy. From the city, you must take M3 towards Muizenberg. When you arrive at the intersection at Rhodes Drive (M63) turn right. From here you are able to follow the signs toward Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden. To make it even easier you can also just follow the GPS by searching for ‘Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden’ in Google Maps.
As mentioned, it is also possible to take the bus to Kirstenbosch – both the City Sightseeing busses and Golden Arrow buses. To know the specific bus times, you must check the timetables as the times change according to the season.
Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in Cape Town is open every day from 08:00 to 19:00 in the summer months from September to March. During the winter months from April to August, the garden is open from 08:00 to 18:00. While the conservatory is open every day from 09:00 to 17:00. And lastly, the curator’s office is open Monday to Friday from 07:30 to 16:20, unless it is a public holiday.
The entrance tickets to Kirstenbosch can be purchased online right here. Buying your tickets online can be a good idea, especially if you visit in the summer months. That way you are able to skip the long lines at the ticket counter.
Below, we have gathered the entrance fees to Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden in Cape Town.
|Kirstenbosch entrance ticket||Price|
|Children (6 – 17 years)||30 ZAR|
|Children (under 6 years)||Free|
|South African students||50 ZAR|
|South African Residents & SADC Nationals||90 ZAR|
|African National Residents||130 ZAR|
|South African residents over the age of 60||Free on Tuesdays except on public holidays|
Time spent at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden
The botanic garden in Cape Town is quite big. Therefore, we would recommend you set aside 3 to 4 hours for a visit to Kirstenbosch Garden. That way you are able to wander the many different paths and areas of the garden. You can even bring some food and have a picnic in these stunning settings. It is a great way to enjoy some peace and quiet in an otherwise hectic city.
No trash cans inside the garden
There are no trash cans in Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden. It is therefore important you pick up after yourself when you visit the garden. There are no trash cans in the garden as they try not to attract scavengers like rats. It is therefore a good idea to bring a bag or another thing for you to gather your trash – especially if you end up having a picnic.
Guided tours at Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden
It is possible to join a 90-minute guided tour of Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden. These are free and take place on Mondays, Fridays, and Saturdays. The times of the tours are as follows.
|Day of the week||Time||Meeting place|
|Monday||10:00||Visitors’ Center (Gate 1)|
|Monday||10:45||Garden center (gate 2)|
|Monday||11:00||Visitors’ Center (Gate 1)|
|Monday||14:00||Visitors’ Center (Gate 1)|
|Friday||10:00||Visitors’ Center (Gate 1)|
|Friday||11:00||Visitors’ Center (Gate 1)|
|Friday||14:00||Visitors’ Center (Gate 1)|
|Saturday||10:00||Visitors’ Center (Gate 1)|
|Saturday||10:45||Garden center (gate 2)|
If you are not keen on a guided tour it is also possible to walk around the garden on your own. We would recommend you use a map to get around. You can find a map of Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden right here. This makes it easier to pin specific areas of the garden.
Best time to visit Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden
The botanical garden has a Mediterranean climate which means that the summer from November to March is dry and hot, while the winter from June to August is cool and sometimes rainy. However, there are also beautiful flowers and fauna to be found in Kirstenbosch. Every season has its charm! But the best time to visit Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden in Cape Town is in the summer months. It is definitely more fun to wander around outside when it is not cold and rainy. Although, if you want to visit the famous fynbos the best time is probably in the spring around august to November.