Lazy Sunday afternoons...
On warm Sundays at dusk, Capetonians can be
found splayed across well-manicured lawns enjoying
the music performance of the day. Their
surroundings, none other than thousands of
indigenous fynbos species beautifully preserved
thanks to the likes of Professor Pearson, the
garden's first director, and many others dedicated
to protecting unique indigenous varietals.
The making of ...
Due to the continuing generosity of government
grants for such-like projects, the director began
his labour of love in the early 1900's with a Dell
and some Cycads. The final product is a botanical
wonder laid down on the eastern slopes of the great
sentinel, Table Mountain quietly awaiting the
adoration of determined hikers and reticent
The birds and the bees
True to any bio-diverse area, African wildcats,
buck, baboons, Herons, Ibis and Kingfishers live off
the gardens' riches. Kirstenbosch's vegetation
evokes the feeling of being on the set of Lord of
the Rings, where at any moment the Yellowwood,
Cherry wood and Mountain Cypresses may rise up and
re-arrange themselves in order to assert their
normally silent power.
The 548 hectares also house theme gardens which
include Fynbos, Waterwise Demonstration, Useful
Plants and Fragrance gardens as well as a Braille
Finger on the pulse
Kirstenbosch is a regular hub when it
comes to assuming environmental educational
responsibility. The new Research Centre
houses the Ecology and Conservation
Subdirectorate, which implements various
technical programmes dedicated to various
areas of conservation and research.
The Gold Fields Environmental Education
Centre regularly offers programmes to the
underprivileged while the Harry Molteno
library specialises in carrying pertinent
literature, not to mention the Compton
Herbarium, dedicated to no less than 750 000
specimens indigenous and endemic to the
country's winter-rainfall regions.
The Visitors' Centre comprises a
Botanical Society Bookshop and gift store as
well as the Old Mutual Conference and
Exhibition Centre, used widely for related
events and exhibitions. There is also a
restaurant and coffee shop for refreshments.