From 1 to 25 July 2021, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is hosting its annual Winter Wonders Special. Youth 17 years and younger get FREE entry to Kirstenbosch.
Start your adventure from the Kirstenbosch Bookshop
When arriving at Kirstenbosch head on over to the Visitor Centre (Gate 1). The Kirstenbosch Gift Shop and Bookshop have a special treat for families – ask the shop assistants for a Kirstenbosch Adventure Map. The illustrated booklet “find 50 in Kirstenbosch” is a fun way to explore Kirstenbosch. If a family ticks off 10 things on the adventure map, they can claim an R50 gift voucher from the Kirstenbosch Gift Shop which remains valid until the end of July 2021.
Fresh air makes for healthy appetites
Those who enjoy carefully curated, quality meals should definitely visit The Kirstenbosch Tea Room. Moyo is offering their hearty meals and gourmet milkshakes to enjoy next to their fireplace or as takeaways. Vida e Caffè is the perfect spot to pick up a smoothie, coffee or toastie. In accordance with the adjusted level 4 restrictions announced on 11 July – restaurants are open for take-aways and a limited seated capacity of 50 patrons.
Shopping at Kirstenbosch
The Kirstenbosch Gift Shop is a celebration of all things botanical and showcases the unique work of a myriad of talented local South African makers. Ranges include bath and body products, home-ware, children’s gifts, clothing and accessories.
In addition to the gift shop, Kirstenbosch Bookshop is South Africa’s leading stockist of botanical, natural history, guides, maps and South African cooking books. There is a children’s book section including puzzles and colouring books.
Take home the wonder of mother nature
Want to start your own garden? Head on over to Kirstenbosch Garden Centre (Gate 2), they are specialists in indigenous gardening and their experienced staff are on hand to offer advice. They have a wide variety of rare and unusual succulents, as well as the easy-to-grow local species. Bring the kids and let them choose a succulent; they are easy to maintain; it could be the ideal lockdown project.
The Wonders of Winter in Kirstenbosch
Winter is expected to be cold and drab but this is not the case at Kirstenbosch, it is full of colour and life; it comes alive with bursts of colour and calls of birds. Even though it may be cold and wet we also get many gloriously clear, sunny days at this time of year, and if you look, you will find an astonishing number of plants in flower.
Fynbos is at its best during winter, the winter rains make foliage lush green and proteas are in full bloom. The Fynbos Walk boasts many proteas or sugarbushes (Protea species), pincushions (Leucospermum species) and conebushes (Leucadendron species) in bloom.
Aloes flower all winter, and the showiest is the Krantz Aloe (Aloe Arborescens), with its vibrant bursts of orange and yellow can be seen in the Mathews Rockery, as well as in the Conservatory, the Vygie Rockery the Garden of Extinction. An added bonus with aloes is that they attract jewel-bright Sunbirds, as well many other birds, including White-eyes, Redwing Starlings and Cape Canaries, as well as bees.
You can’t miss the Strelitzias, also known as the crane flower or bird of paradise, (Strelitzia reginae) which flowers throughout the winter, starting in May and ending around October. You will also see Kirstenboschs’ special golden-yellow cultivar, ‘Mandela’s Gold’ named after former president Nelson Mandela.
Get active and follow the Kirstenbosch 15 mins Forest Trail
For those looking for something different, try one of the forest trails. The Forest Braille Trail is the easiest, suitable even for small children, a short 15 min circular walk through the forest with benches and points of interest. Starts and ends at the Fragrance Garden.
Be sure to grab a Garden Guide map at the Ticket Office to accompany your wanderings. For the more intrepid who would like to tackle one of the trails through the Kirstenbosch Estate, there are five to choose from and details can be found on the Walks and Trails Map available at the Ticket Office. Please take care on the mountain and pay attention to the weather. Remember that after rain, the mountain streams and waterfalls will be running strongly and the paths will be wet.
Safety remains a priority
Families visiting Kirstenbosch during adjusted level 4, must please be aware that due to the restrictions picnics and gathering in social groups are not allowed. The wearing of masks in public is mandatory, in order to keep visitors and staff safe, Kirstenbosch reminds everyone to please wear their masks correctly at all times.
Kirstenbosch is open every day, including public holidays, from 08h00-18h00 in winter. The entrance fee for South African residents of 18 years and older is R80 (South Africans remember your ID, Driver licence or proof of residency); RSA Senior Citizens (with ID) are free on Tuesdays except on public holidays; RSA Students (with student card) pay R45; All youth aged 17 years and younger get free entry during the Winter Wonders special. To reduce contact, please pay entry tickets via card at the ticket office. For more information contact Kirstenbosch on 021 799 8783.