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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

This is the oldest and most prestigious botanical garden in South Africa, home to the first collection in the world dedicated solely to indigenous plants.

Spread out across the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is a remarkable sight. Here, more than 7,000 indigenous plant varieties can be found across 36 hectares of land, some of which have been native to South Africa for millennia.

Located just 13 kilometres from the city centre, the gardens are easily accessible to anyone staying in Cape Town. Simply jump on one of the regular buses that shuttle back and forth or drive the short distance from the city and take advantage of the free car park.

It is worth arriving early to catch one of the free walking tours at 10 am each morning. Lasting an hour and a half, the guide will introduce you to the most spectacular flowers and views of the season. For an easier pace, pay a small fee and let yourself be driven around on one of the golf buggy tours which set out every hour.

As lunchtime approaches, three different eateries offer a range of hot and cold snacks to keep you refreshed. You can even order a picnic from the Tea Room to enjoy in your favourite spot.

There is a wide choice of paved paths and challenging hiking trails to explore. A stroll along the Fynbos Walk takes you past an array of plants exclusive to South Africa, while the Cycad Amphitheatre contains a collection of ancient and rare South African Cycads that have barely changed since dinosaurs roamed the Earth.

You can top up your bottle for free from the freshwater spring before setting out on the more difficult paths in the protected land that extends around the gardens. The Skeleton Gorge Trail is a favourite, leading right out onto Table Mountain.

If you cherish art, the permanent collection of Mambo sculptures is not to be missed. Carved from great blocks of grey stone, they stand out dramatically against the plants and trees around them.

Over the summer, outdoor concerts run every Sunday evening from 5:30 pm with performers as prestigious and varied as Hugh Masekela and the Cape Philharmonic Orchestra.

Want to make your time spent at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens even more memorable? Remember to try some of these things to do:

If you're seeking even more options, have a look at our Cape Town things to do page.


Guide to Exploring Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens


Map

Top Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens Hotel & Accommodation Deals

See all 2,692 properties near Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Klein Bosheuwel Guest House AU$181
Klein Bosheuwel Guest House

Klein Bosheuwel Guest House

51A Klaasens Road, Bishopscourt, Cape Town, Western Cape
     
    3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

    Located in Wynberg NU (2), this guesthouse is 0.6 mi (1 km) from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, and within 9 mi (15 km) of University of Cape Town and Victoria and Alfred Waterfront. Two Oceans Aquarium and Lions Head are also within 12 mi (20 km).

    Arambrook Boutique Hotel AU$557
    Arambrook Boutique Hotel

    Arambrook Boutique Hotel

    15 Kirstenbosch Dr, Cape Town, Western Cape
       
      4.5 out of 5.0 Stars

      Located in Wynberg NU (2), this luxury hotel is within 3 miles (5 km) of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Newlands Stadium and University of Cape Town. Table Mountain National Park and Cavendish Square are also within 2 miles (3 km).

      Kirstenbosch Forest Lodge
      Kirstenbosch Forest Lodge

      Kirstenbosch Forest Lodge

      19A Upper Thistle Avenue, Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape
         
        3.5 out of 5.0 Stars

        Located in Wynberg NU (2), this guesthouse is 0.8 mi (1.3 km) from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Newlands Stadium. Castle of Good Hope and Greenmarket Square are also within 9 mi (15 km).

        Vineyard Hotel AU$268
        Vineyard Hotel

        Vineyard Hotel

        Colinton Road 1, off Protea Road, Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape
           
          4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

          This family-friendly Cape Town hotel is located in Claremont, within 1 mi (2 km) of Cavendish Square and Newlands Stadium. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and University of Cape Town are also within 3 miles (5 km). Newlands Station is 13 minutes by foot and Claremont Station is 15 minutes.

          The Cellars-Hohenort AU$254
          The Cellars-Hohenort

          The Cellars-Hohenort

          93 Brommersvlei Road, Constantia, Cape Town, Western Cape
             
            5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

            Located in Constantia, this luxury hotel is 1.6 mi (2.6 km) from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and 2.7 mi (4.3 km) from Constantia Glen Winery. Groot Constantia Winery and Newlands Stadium are also within 6 mi (10 km).

            18 on Hillwood
            18 on Hillwood

            18 on Hillwood

            18 Hillwood Avenue, Bishopscourt, Cape Town, Western Cape
               
              5.0 out of 5.0 Stars

              Situated in Cape Town, this luxury villa is within 3 miles (5 km) of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Newlands Stadium and University of Cape Town. Arderne Gardens and Cavendish Square are also within 2 miles (3 km).

              Southern Light Country House
              Southern Light Country House

              Southern Light Country House

              24 Hohenort Avenue, Cape Town, Western Cape
                 
                4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                Located in Constantia, this guesthouse is 2 mi (3.2 km) from Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens and 3 mi (4.9 km) from Eagles Nest. Newlands Stadium and University of Cape Town are also within 6 miles (10 km).

                CapeAngel Guesthouse
                CapeAngel Guesthouse

                CapeAngel Guesthouse

                3 Fig Street, Newlands, Cape Town, Western Cape
                   
                  4.0 out of 5.0 Stars

                  Located in Wynberg NU (2), this bed & breakfast is within 3 miles (5 km) of Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, Newlands Stadium and University of Cape Town. Cavendish Square and Arderne Gardens are also within 2 miles (3 km).