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Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens
Established in 1913, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens is one of the Seven Magnificent Botanical Gardens of the World. The 36 hectare landscaped gardens section merges seamlessly with the 492 hectares of shrub land cloaking the mountain slopes. About 9,000 of Southern Africa´s 22,000 flora species grow here and are best visited during early spring (Aug-Sept). Themed gardens include a Brail Trail, Fragrance Garden, a Useful Plants Garden, a Restio Garden (textured reeds) and a Waterwise Garden. A restaurant, outdoor stone sculptures, a tea room, guided tours and twilight nature walks are also on offer.
You can reach the back of Table Mountain via the hiking trail that leads up through Skeleton Gorge. This is a challenging walk, with some tricky ravines and ladders to conquer. Once on the top you will come across sand and even might find the reservoir - if you have the energy keep going across and down the other side to Camps Bay. A fine hike, that will take you about 4 hours so you might not do it again in a hurry but is well worth it.
Kirstenbosch Gardens holds a variety of activities in summer - from local bands to charity events. These are firm favourits among the locals. Most of all Cape Tonians just go and have a picnic on a lazy afternoon. The beautiful surrounding scenery with views of the back slopes of Table Mountain add some friends, food and wine and you will have a day to remember long afterwards!
Hours and fees:
The Garden is open 365 days a year from 08:00 - 19:00 (September -March) and from 08:00 - 18:00 (April - August).
The entrance fee is R40 for adults and R25 for South African students with student ID cards. Fees for school children (6-17 years old) are R10. Children under 6 years old and Botanical Society members have free entry. SA senior citizens have free entry on Tuesdays, if it is not a public holiday.