Founded in 1913 to preserve the country’s rare flora and fauna, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a 36-hectare World Heritage site renowned for its beauty and diversity. Situated in the lush suburb of Newlands, on the southern slopes of Table Mountain, it’s home to a variety of flora (over 7 000 species), indigenous animals and birds, making it a relaxing (and educational) outing for all.
1. Picnics at Kirstenbosch
With striking mountain views forming the backdrop to these world-renowned gardens, Kirstenbosch has to be one of the most scenic picnic spots in Cape Town. Pack your own, or order from Dial-a-Picnic, and have your custom-made picnic delivered to you at any location in the gardens. The kids can roam free, exploring the streams or dinosaur exhibition while you sit back and relax.
2. Dinosaur exhibition at Kirstenbosch
Take a walk on the wild side, but tread carefully. Lurking behind the giant cycad trees are dinosaurs – prehistoric sculptures that have transformed these magnificent botanical gardens into a fun-filled adventure zone.
3. Galileo Open-Air Cinema screenings
Every Wednesday evening (from November until end-March), you can watch a silver-screen classics under a starlit, while enjoying a picnic. View the 2019 and 2020 Galileo Open-Air Cinema lineup.
4. Boomslang Canopy Walk
For an elevated and awe-inspiring perspective of the gardens, you must do the Boomslang Canopy Walk. The timber-and-steel walkway is around 130-metres-long and is wheelchair-friendly. Nature lovers will enjoy the unique vantage point from above the crowns of the trees, and bird and animal enthusiasts will be seventh heaven, with the diverse fauna that abounds.
5. Summer Sunset Concerts
In addition to its natural beauty, the gardens play host to various events, throughout the year, most notably the popular Kirstenbosch Summer Concerts. There’s nothing better than a lazy Sunday afternoon spent in this glorious garden listening (and dancing) to live music.
6. Free guided walks at Kirstenbosch
Wandering around these magnificent gardens is one of the best ways to spend time here – and is undoubtedly food for the soul. So why not join a walking tour – which run from Monday to Saturday between 10am and 2pm – to learn more about this national park?
Each guide adds his/her unique spin to the circuit, but all guides touch on important information, such as the seasonal changes that occur in the gardens, and how these affect the flora and fauna. You’ll also be taken to the oldest and most famous landmarks, such as The Dell – arguably the most attractive area in the garden – where you’ll find cool shade, tall trees, cobbled paths, crystal-clear spring water in Colonel Bird’s Bath and living fossils in the Cycad Garden. The tours are free, but entry to the garden applies. Please consult Kirstenbosch for specific tour times.
Opening times September – March: 8am – 7pm
April – August: 8am – 6pm
Cost R75 (adults)
R40 (students with a valid card)
R20 (children 6 – 17 years)
Free (children under 6, BotSoc members)
Free (senior citizens on Tuesdays, except public holidays)
Address Rhodes Drive, Newlands, Cape Town
Contact 021 799 8782, Kirstenboschinfo@sanbi.org.za