Kirstenbosch Gardens is definitely one of my favourite places in the Cape. Situated on the foot of Table Mountain, it’s a beautiful environment to go for a walk, have a picnic, watch a Summer Sunset concert or movie at their Galileo Open Air Cinema.
Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 with the vision to cultivate and preserve the indigenous flora unique to the area, Fynbos.
Fynbos, meaning ‘fine plants’ in Afrikaans referring to the thin leaves. Fynbos occurs in the Western Cape and Eastern Cape Provinces of the country and is characterised by the hardy, fragrant bushes. The Cape Floral Kingdom is one of the world’s six plant kingdoms and is the smallest.
The area where Fynbos is found is only a 200 km belt of land from the top of the Western Province to the beginning of the Eastern Cape Province. Despite this small area, Fynbos is known for it’s high biodiversity. Approximately 9000 Fynbos species can be found, with about 6200 of those species endemic to the area.
Famous plants you will find in the garden are proteas, flowering between November and April.
A special attraction to mention in the garden is The Tree Canopy Walkway – called the Boomslang. It’s a 130m long boardwalk that rises you 12 m above the ground while you walk amoungst the canopy of the trees. It gives you beautiful views of the garden, the surrounding mountains and the city in the distance.
This treasure was added to the garden in 2014 and gives visitors a fresh view of the garden. While walking along the walkway, keep your eyes open for birds in the canopy around you.
Besides for the great walks, there is a café near the entrance of the garden where you can grab a bite or alternatively there is the Moyo restaurant.
If you go in summer, take a look at Kirstenbosch’s schedule the Summer Sunset concerts. They host a lively flavour of local music for you to enjoy in the garden.
Also hosted in summer, is the Galileo Open Air Cinema where you can watch a movie from the comfort of the garden in a blanket or seat while munching of some of the delicious food they have available. It’s definitely a new way to experience cinemas!
Cape Town has a winter rainy season, so you have a 95% chance the rain won’t interfere with the event. (Although at the time I am writing this Cape Town is still experiencing a drought, most Capetonians would most likely rather dance in the rain than wish it away!)
On this particular visit to the garden I did have the pleasure of having a soft drizzly day so there is the off chance of rain. Best take a look at the weather forecast if you are opposed to relaxing in the rain!
Kirstenbosh is a garden I would recommend to all people going to Cape Town. As the photos suggest… it is truly a beautiful place.