Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens,
Cape Town, South Africa

the world famous botanical gardens are huge and packed with native plants...

personal experience..

I spent a number of days exploring the gardens in autumn 2018.

the gardens

Unlike most botanical gardens I visit, this one actually showcases plants that are native to the region, rather than lots of exotics. Thus, there are many good specialised sections within the gardens, including a Protea garden...

There is a wonderful 'scratch 'n sniff' area, where there are many plants that have interesting smelling leaves and/or flowers...

the interactive 'smelling garden' at Kirstenbosch is fun for the nose

There is a great shop with what I think is the best natural history book shop in Africa, a short 'canopy' walkway, and a cafe at the front with good wifi.  

the plants and animals

As there are so many plants in flower, this obviously attracts lots of nice insects... 

Acraea horta
Carpenter Bee, Xylocopa.
Common dotted fruit Chafer, Cyrtothyrea marginalis.

and of course there are some birds to be seen, including some 'Cape' endemics...

Cape Spurfowl
Cape White-eye
Cape Canary
Cape Batis


If you are thinking of staying near the gardens, there is a nice guest house in the area, called Klein Bosheuwel. The backyard has a bird feeder, and is just a five minute walk from one of the garden entrances. This place also includes free entry into the gardens.

Swee Waxbill


When I was there the charge into the gardens was the equivalent to U$5. If you are staying at the nearby guest house, you can use their membership card.

Thinking of travelling again after everything settles down? One of the first expeditions I am booked to work on is the NZ sub-Antarctics with Silversea Expeditions and Australia with Coral Expeditions. And here is a shortened version of one of my lectures in a warmer part of the world.