Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is recognized as one of the most beautiful botanic gardens of the world. Kirstenbosch is South Africa’s most famous national botanical garden, beautifying the backdrop of Table Mountain and Devil’s Peak, and pleasant home for about 22 000 indigenous plants.
Kirstenbosch is an important part of the Cape Floral Kingdom, which was included in the UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2004.
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden was founded in 1913 to protect, conserve and display the rich and various flora of this beautiful region in Africa. It was established as the first botanic garden in the world devoted to a country's indigenous flora. Kirstenbosch includes a large variety of unique plants specific to the Cape Flora region, plants from all the diverse regions of southern Africa as well, both displayed outdoors and in the Botanical Society Conservatory. There are more than 7 000 species in cultivation at Kirstenbosch, many rare and threatened species that are kept in the best conditions.
This lovely Botanic Garden comprises around 36 hectares in a 528 hectare estate that include also protected mountainside supporting natural forests and fynbos, that come along with a variety of animals and birds. Located carefully on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, this immense botanical wonderland is truly majestic the year-round. The perfect paved paths make the walkings a really relaxing pleasure, and plaques and signboards designed on the trees and plants offer useful information for visitors. The glass-topped conservatory hosts several plants, including a huge baobab tree, and also specimens from different South African habitats. If the tourists like to make a visit back in time, some 3.2-billion years, then the Gondwanaland Garden is the ideal place, which exposes interesting types of plants that were living when there was only one continent on the Earth.
Within garden is a granite Celtic cross, that marks the grave of the garden's first director, who was the Professor Harold Pearson. It represents a real alive museum that includes 4 700 of the estimated 20 000 species of indigenous South African flora, and around 50% of the Peninsula's floral wealth. In the cultivated area, related plants are organized in groups and radiate from the central lawns, appearing alive and wonderful.
Among the remarkable attractions in the garden are the Cycad Amphitheatre, that houses the majority of species of 'living fossils' found in southern Africa; the famed Protea Garden, located perfectly on the higher slopes, with its profuse growth of silver trees; and also the JV Mathews Rock Garden that includes succulents of the genera Crassula, Aloe, Lampranthus and Euphorbia. The Erica Garden and the Pelargonium Koppie are also veritable places that have a lot to offer to their guests.
Two streams cross the Kirstenbosch Botanic Garden, both of them decorated with besembos, red alder and hard fern. Those who love the historical places can admire here an avenue of camphor trees and fig trees planted by Cecil Rhodes in 1898, including also a small area of wild almond hedge , which was planted by Dutch settler Jan van Riebeeck in 1660.
Within the Kirstenbosch are located the headquarters of the National Botanical Institute that operates the national network of gardens and associated research institutes. The Compton Herbarium, is located beautifully at the top of the Camphor Avenue in Kirstenbosch itself. The herbarium has the name dedicated to its former director, organized for researches of the flora of the Cape. Nowadays the botanical garden preserves around 250 000 specimens, comprising its personal collection and also the collection of the South African Museum dating from 1825.
Interesting routes in the garden
The Smuts Track runs directly through the mixed forest of indigenous trees reaching the Skeleton Gorge to the gorgeous summit of Table Mountain. The other used route, is known as Forest Walk, runs directly through leafy palaces of ironwood, yellowwood and red alder. The main section of the garden features two special routes along level, including paved paths for wheelchairs. Those two routes are known as the Weaverbird Walk and the Silver Tree Stroll, both are marked with the wheelchair sign. Three trails, Silvertree, Yellowwood and Stinkwood Trails, offer more intense walks of up to 6 km, providing the guest with spectacular landscapes. The Braille Trail is specially arranged for blind people, and goes through natural Table Mountain forest and beautiful fynbos. The plants are affectionately designed with Braille and large-print labels. The Fragrance Garden, located nearby hosts a great collection of indigenous aromatic plants, and is also labelled in Braille and large print, founded in a number of raised beds.
Kirstenbosch is perfect for visits during the spring and summer months when the gardens blaze with Namaqualand daisies and other annual plants, while winter is the best time to admire the proteas and ericas. This adorable garden is a tranquil paradise, set against the lovely backdrop of the spectacular mountain. It is a marvelous destination, veiled in majesty and mystery, fascinating everybody with stunning views and sections, specially arranged to impress the guests and to relax them.
By Eugenia Cvasov
The Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens in the World .
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The world's most beautiful gardens are veritable tourist attractions and most of them are works of art in the real sense. Fountains, statues, sculptures, rare birds, plants and flowers arranged in a spectacular way - are just some of the most representative words for these gardens. If you want to relax and to take a deep breath of fresh air, than choose to rest yourself in some remarkable and tranquil spaces, designed to appear as fantastic gardens. Every country features its own botanical gardens, which are really picturesque pearls, left to impress the tourists and to relax their mind and soul. Decorated with specific features, beautified by original and notable beauties, the most beautiful botanical gardens in the world will always be great destinations for a silent and pleasant journey. So, do not hesitate and take a look at the most beautiful botanical gardens and choose the next destination for your next holiday, and you will never be disappointed or bored there, as they will leave only nice impressions and majestic dreams.