The Incredible Kirstenbosch Gardens

We appreciate a public garden but do not necessarily seek them out in our travels. As modest, amateur gardeners, we have been pleased with our cultivation of hydrangeas and cardoons in the past, but gardening is by no means a central hobby of ours.  Yet, our visit to the Kirstenbosch  (Kirsten’s Forest) Gardens of Cape Town blew us away.  What a fantastic outdoor space – 528 hectares (1300 acres) of well-designed garden in a dramatic setting beneath Table Mountain.

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We spent an afternoon strolling through the well shaded paths hiding from the brutal mid-day sun of Cape Town’s summer.

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A new and unique feature to the garden is the Boomslang, a walkway suspended above the tree canopy.  While it looks a lot like your typical architecture, its cable-based architecture provides a bit of action while traversing it.   A bit crowded and not too long but worth a crossing, if you are in the gardens.

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Kristenboch has a lot to offer – an endangered species garden, aromatic garden, herbal and useful garden, and a massive protea garden (the national flower and our new favorite).

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It also has a sculpture garden with art from many local artists.

There is a back route up to Table Mountain via the Skeleton Gorge that is a beautiful dirt trail following a river bed.

And plenty of avian activity.

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We highly recommend a visit if you are in Cape Town.

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