Friday, 10 November 2017

Kirstenbosch - Is this the world's most beautiful botanic garden?

Sunbird on protea
Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden in Cape Town is one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Nestled against the slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is 36 hectares of pure flower heaven. Somehow we missed seeing Kirstenbosch on our first trip to Sth Africa -  honestly I don't know how that happened, but this time it was so lovely we went back twice.

Take my advice and go in spring. We visited in the first week of October and then again in the last week. The flowers, especially the magnificent yellow proteas, were slightly better in the first week but any time in October will give you a stunning display.
If Kirstenbosch is not the world's most beautiful botanic garden it has to at least come close. What do you think? Have you ever been to a garden you just keep wanting to go back to?


Bee on protea

Kirstenbosch

Sunbird on protea


Yellow proteas

Kirstenbosch


Common Pagoda Proteas

Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden


Protea at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden


Flowers at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden

Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden


Yellow proteas at Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden

My tips and other useful information: - 


  • How much is the cost of entry to Kirstenbosch? - Entry costs R65 for Adults and R15 for children from 6 to 17 years. Children under 6 are free. There are also concessions for Sth African students and senior citizens. Check the website for up to date information. You can buy tickets online but there were no queues either time we visited.
  • What are the opening hours? - Kirstenbosch is open from 8 a.m.to 7 p.m. September to March and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m April to August.  The conservatory is open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Check the website for up to date information.
  • How long does it take to see? - If you are on a tight schedule you can see all the highlights in a little more than an hour.  If you are not pressed for time plan on spending two or three hours.
  • What is the best time of year to go? - Spring is definitely the time to go because the flowers are stunning. We went in early October and then again in late October. There were a few more flowers in bloom in early October.
  • What is the best time of day to go? Try not to visit too late in the day. The sun goes behind Table Mountain an hour or so before sunset plunging the gardens into shadow.
  • What if you have mobility issues? Kirstenbosch is built on the side of a hill with a fairly steep gradient. Shuttle car tours cost R75 per person in addition to the entry fee. Visit the website for more information. Not all the areas are accessible to wheelchairs. 

Cape Town Pass: - 


If you are looking for an all in one pass to attractions in Cape Town, check out Cape Town Pass. Entry to Kirstenbosch is included in the pass.

Note: David and I received complimentary Cape Town Passes.


My other blog posts on South Africa - 


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38 comments:

  1. I love botanic gardens! Though it was years ago, I remember be quite impressed with the one in Singapore - mostly for all the orchids. This one looks incredible as well! #farawayfiles

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    1. Singapore is now famous for the Gardens by the Bay and their striking metal trees. We are headed to Singapore early next year and I intend to spend a fair bit of time there with my camera - lol.

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  2. Wow. This is quite the gardens. Your photos really bring it to life. The flowers, the colours, the bird life, the reflections in the water. It is just lovely. Do they say it is like this all year, or did you just hit the right season?

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    1. We went in spring (October). I imagine the gardens are lovely throughout the year but if you want the flowers, go in spring.

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  3. I admit it is hard to beat this garden in terms of beauty. The best botanical garden I have visited is the one in Rio de Janeiro. The location is stunning but what surprised me the most was the vast array of plants I have never seen before. I thing it is the am esituation inhere. #FarawayFiles

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    1. David and I love gardens, especially in spring. Kirstenbosch is stunning but I admit there are quite a few others around the world to give it a run for its money. The thing which really makes Kirstenbosch stand out is the setting, with Table Mountain in the background.

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  4. Lyn that garden is stunning. Steve would absolutely want to spend a lot of time there, those colours and the cute little birds are beautiful.

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    1. The bird is a sunbird. They look a lot like hummingbirds only bigger and more colourful.

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  5. I think I need to go back to Cape Town, as I also missed this botanical garden when we were there
    #TheWeeklyPostcard

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    1. Missing Kirstenbosch wasn't the main reason we went back but it was one of them.

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  6. These gardens are spectacular! They're bigger than most of the gardens I've been to and also somehow manage to look less manicured. I think the mountainous backdrop is the icing on the botanical cake :)

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    1. The mountains in the background are truly stunning when you are there.

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  7. I absolutely agree with you on this! Last year I visited the Kirstenbosch Gardens for the first time and I could've spend AGES there. I basically took a trillion photos, it's just so gorgeous!!! Thanks for the trip down memory lane.
    #TheWeeklyPostcard

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    1. Add your trillion photos to my trillion photos and that's two trillion just between you and me - lol!

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  8. I've never heard of that garden before but it sure looks super stunning. Great pictures!!! #TheWeeklyPostcard

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    1. Kirstenbosch regularly makes the top gardens in the world lists but I admit that I hadn't heard of it either until the first time we visited Cape Town.

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  9. I can only imagine how beautiful Kirstenbosch Gardens must have been in real life, against that majestic mountain backdrop. I've seen many gorgeous botanical gardens during my travels, but Kirstenbosch seems to be more spectacular that what I've seen so far. They landscape reminds me of Hawaii.

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    1. You would love the photo opportunities at Kirstenbosch, especially in spring.

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  10. I got married in Franschoek, and we visited Kirstenbosch the day before the big day! It really is truly stunning, and perhaps my favourite botanical garden to date! Great post! :) #farawayfiles

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    1. We stayed at Franschoek for three nights. It is a beautiful town.

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  11. Very beautiful! It looks like quite the stunning setting so I can only imagine how it looks in person. Glad I was able to tag along through your post.

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    1. I am glad you enjoyed 'tagging along'. One of the best things about travel blogging is getting read so many other travellers blogs.

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  12. Love seeing your pictures on a nice sunny day. We went on a cloudy day in early October, though it was still beautiful. I loved those poofy flowers. Great advise and information. #WeekendWanderlust

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    1. We went twice. One of the days was sunny and one cloudy. Almost all the photos here came from the sunny visit. The sun made a big difference to the photos but I don't think it made that much difference to the real experience.

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  13. What a beautiful botanical garden! The colours in your photos are so vibrant.. Thanks for sharing on #FarawayFiles

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  14. I love all the shots Lynn but the hummingbird one is my fave. We saw these guys all over the place when staying in a jungle a few years back; the whiz as they zoomed by your head seemed like a little supersonic experience. Cape Town and this garden look stunning.

    Ryan

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    1. It looks a lot like a hummmingbird but actually it is a sunbird. I don't think Africa has hummingbirds. It was a fair bit bigger than the hummingbirds I have seen in the U.S. It was just as lovely though.

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  15. The Kirstenbosch National Botanic Garden seems like paradise on Earth, Lyn! I wouldn't hesitate to explore it when I visit Cape Town. Is there an entrance fee?

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    1. Yes. I put the fee toward the end of the post. It wasn't much.

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  16. It does look exceptionally beautiful! I love the photo of the hummingbird! :) #TheWeeklyPostcard

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    1. I know it looks like a hummingbird but it is a sunbird.

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  17. Wow, these photos are incredible!

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  18. Oh my gosh it's so stunning! What a beautiful way to experience the local landscape and unique fauna. Thanks for sharing with #FarawayFiles

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  19. OMG those birds!! This looks like a stunning garden!

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    1. The birds are sunbirds. They are lovely - I agree.

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