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The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a must-see in Cape Town, South Africa! The gardens are nothing short of spectacular and – knowing that now – we would have been seriously disappointed if we would have missed visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden. To help other visitors make the most of their time in the gardens, we put together this helpful guide of useful information.
Introduction: Kirstenbosch History to Today
Established in 1913 for the preservation and study of indigenous plants, the gardens actually have a much longer history. A hedge that was planted in 1660 as a property boundary for the Dutch colony still grows in the park today. The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, which encompass an area of 1,300 acres, are part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute. The park has many features that focus on the regions vegetation and animal life. Paths cut through the gardens to allow visitors easy access to the flora – and there is a Canopy Walkway in the treetops, as well as intriguing art installations.
Visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
Before you visit the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, there are a few important things to know. We have answers to the most-often asked questions about visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden.
Kirstenbosch Entry Fee
There are multiple Kirstenbosch prices categories:
- Adult Kirstenbosch Gardens Entry Fee: 65 rand ($4.75 USD)
- Kirstenbosch entrance fee for students 6 to 17 years of age: 15 rand ($1 USD)
- Kirstenbosch Gardens prices for children up to 6 years of age: Free
- Group Discounts: There are no discounts on the Kirstenbosch Gardens entrance fee at this time
Kirstenbosch Tickets (and Kirstenbosch Membership Cards) can be purchased at the main entrance or online.
Kirstenbosch Opening Times
The gardens are open 7 days a week. Kirstenbosch Gardens opening times vary by season:
- Summer (September to March) Kirstenbosch Hours: 8:00am to 7:00pm
- Winter (April to August) Kirstenbosch Opening Hours: 8:00am to 6:00pm
How To Get to Kirstenbosch
The Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is 13km from the Cape Town CBD at the foothills of Table Mountain (on the east side). Use this link to Google Maps for driving directions.
Unfortunately, there are no public buses that go to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. However, the City Sightseeing Cape Town bus has a route that makes several stops at the gardens. Find out more about using the Cape Town Tour Bus for transportation to the park.
The Kirstenbosch summer concerts are a favorite event in the park. The Kirstenbosch sunset concerts take place on summer Sundays and feature a variety of artists. A special ticket is required to attend the Kirstenbosch gardens concerts and can be purchased online.
Like all of Cape Town, the weather at Kirstenbosch can quickly change. It’s always a good idea to check weather reports online before visiting the gardens.
There are three restaurants at the Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens: Moyo at Kirstenbosch, the Kirstenbosch Tea Room and Vida e Caffe at Kirstenbosch. Get details and read customer reviews about the Kirstenbosch Gardens Restaurants on TripAdvisor.
One of the best ways to enjoy an afternoon at the botanic gardens is with a relaxed picnic lunch. You can bring your own food and drinks (but chairs, tables, umbrellas, tents and barbecues are not permitted). Or, if you would rather, the staff at the Tea Room and Moyo restaurants can assemble a fabulous Kirstenbosch gardens picnic lunch for you!
Kirstenbosch Gardens Map
A Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens map is useful when planning your trip to the park. Use this Kirstenbosch trail map for the best routes in the park.
More Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens Activities
The Kirstenbosch National Botanic Gardens hosts incredible events – from kids activities to bird walks to lectures. Check the current calendar for upcoming events.
What we like best about Kirstenbosch Gardens
Lush with colorful blossoms and sweeping landscapes, even a short visit to the botanical gardens is worth the effort! We most enjoyed wandering the many trails taking us through fynbos (natural shrubs, or bush, of South Africa), proteas (South African flowering plants), and The Dell, which is the oldest part of the garden.
Other parts of the garden that we recommend seeing are the Braille Trail path that takes visitors through natural forest, the Canopy Walkway that curves high above the trees for outstanding views and the Sculpture Garden displaying beautiful African art among the flora. Be sure to keep an eye out for birds and other animals – a Spotted Eagle Owl and her baby, frogs, lizards and a tortoise roaming the paths are just a few of the creatures we have seen.
We are sharing just a few of our favorite photos from visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. Top Tip: Join a photography tour of Cape Town led by a local, professional photographer that includes a stop at Kirstenbosch and a Malay cooking demonstration in Bo-Kaap.
We want to know: Will you be visiting Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town? Tell us the highlights of your trip to the park in the comments!
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