Cape Town: Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

I have been to Cape Town 4 times in the last 10 years and never visited the Kirstenbosch Gardens, despite it being recommended to me many times.

It seemed to me to be a really dull day out to go and visit a botanical garden. But today we decided to actually go and do it – and it turned out to be a very beautiful and breathtaking morning out.

The gardens were established in 1913 to protect and conserve indigenous plant life and is massive, around 528 hectares. The reason they are so much better than many gardens of the type around the world is the backdrop of the quite magnificent mountains that they nestle under.

The gardens are very lush indeed, and one thing you notice as you drive around the famous Cape Town Table Mountain on the sea side is how lush the territory gets. I assume this is some geographical thing I should have known, but it is really quite remarkable how on the one side it is very dry and the other so lush.

The gardens are framed by what I assume are the Twelve Apostles part of the mountains and make for breathtaking mages and great pictures.

I am not a plant buff and so did not dwell on what the various sections were, other than to enjoy the very different ways they had been laid out and planned. All were very different and interesting. So even as non plant buff there was constant changing things to keep your interest, like babbling brooks, art exhibitions and sculptures, aromatic plant walkways to stimulate the senses and all while guinea fowl and other birds popped by.

In the huge grounds they hold concerts which must be great fun.

There is also a very large gift shop with really good breadth of goods, books and sculptures. Not full of usual tourist junk.

Well worth a visit! I can see why the car park was so full!

To see all my photos of the gardens and more of Cape Town on Flickr: click here

Gary Bembridge

I grew up in Zimbabwe, but I have been based in London since 1987. My travel life spans more than three decades and that includes more than 95 cruises. In 2005, I launched Tips for Travellers to make it easy and fun for people to discover, plan and enjoy incredible cruise vacations. And the rest, as they say, is history. I have the largest cruise vlogger channel currently on YouTube, with more than 3 million video views per month.

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