We have just returned from a short trip to Cape Town and Hermanus, which presented me with ooodles of opportunities for great photos. I couldn’t decide what to do with these pictures on my blog as there is just too much for one post. So in the end I decided to break it down and do a series of posts. Today I start with Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, where we met with some of my long-lost relatives for a picnic last Sunday.
Lying in the shadow of the magnificent Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is known as one of the most beautiufl botanical gardens in the world – certainly it is one of the loveliest I have ever been to. It is cleverly divided into different areas such as the Useful Plants garden, the Fragrance garden and the Fynbos walk. Grassy slopes, hidden ponds, covered walkways and inviting clmbing trees abound, making the park a perfect destination for familes. We chose a spot in the shade, with a picnic bench for the more elderly of the long-lost rellies, and based ourselves there while the youngsters ran around, fed the visiting Egyptian geese and generally enjoyed the freedom of an enclosed and safe space.
As well as plants, flowers, lawns and trees, the gardens have a wonderful curving tree canopy walkway. Known informally as the “boomslang”, which is the name of a local tree snake, the shape was apparently inspired by a snake skeleton. Certainly it is a wonderful experience to stroll across the gently shaking enclosed walkway, watching from above the antics of the birds and other visitors to the park.
There were plenty of areas we did not have a chance to explore, and even as a non-gardener I could see there would be lots of interest here for a good full day trip. As well as the main body of the park, there are also short walks and longer trails – some of which take you to a waterfall, and you can also start a hike up Table Mountain itself from Kirstenbosch. You must however take your personal safety and security into consideration if you do this – the garden’s website includes safety guidelines.
All in all, I would thoroughly recommend a visit to Kirstenboschi if you do find yourself in Cape Town. It’s a beautiful respite from the more hectic city life and a great way to unwind after sightseeing, touring, business, partying – or whatever else brings you to this part of the world.