Picnic Hot Spots

The season to be in a garden

Wherever you find yourself this summer, we bet there’s a National Botanical Garden close by waiting to embrace you with its beauty. Why not save a day in your holiday diary to visit one of our ten local gardens?

FREE STATE NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Bloemfontein, Free State

Wherever you find yourself this summer, we bet there’s a National Botanical Garden close by waiting to embrace you with its beauty. Why not save a day in your holiday diary to visit one of our ten local gardens?

This Garden is also known as the ‘Garden for all Seasons’ and an abundance of beautiful roses feature here. While much of the appeal lies in its floral beauty, there’s also a special Succulent Garden, which adds to its uniqueness, boasting a brilliant variety of succulents from around the country. Wonder around the dedicated Garden of Hope that stands proudly as a symbol of hope for all people living with and affected by HIV and AIDS. Two demonstration gardens display medicinal plants and water-wise gardening principles for those interested, and there’s a Bird Garden too, attracting a plethora of fine feathered friends. Also on offer, are wonderful sunset concerts during summer, as well as moonlight walks. Spring and autumn are particularly beautiful times to visit.

HANTAM NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Nieuwoudtville, Northern Cape

Regarded as one of the world's most special biodiversity treasures, this is the first National Botanical Garden in the Northern Cape. Nieuwoudtville’s incredible diversity of bulbous plants means it’s often referred to as “The Bulb Capital of the World” and they create the most spectacular display of colour in autumn and spring. Enjoy the magic of the amazing diversity of plants and animals alike, especially during winter, spring, and autumn. It’s also the perfect place for a fun-filled family picnic.

HAROLD PORTER NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Betty’s Bay, Western Cape

This secluded Garden is a little piece of paradise, set between mountain and sea. It’s a perfect spot to encounter a range of cinematic scenery, including mountain slopes and deep gorges with relict forests, flats and marshes, as well as dunes adjacent to the beach with their specialised salt-adapted plants. Explore beautiful trails, wonderful cascading waterfalls and amber pools, as you spot irises, daisies, and orchids along the way. Plus, it also boasts South Africa's national flower, the King Protea. A visit at any time of the year will prove a delight.


KAROO DESERT NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Worcester, Western Cape

The only true Succulent Garden in the southern hemisphere, and indeed Africa, is a unique gem of a garden that displays one of the largest collections of indigenous succulents in South Africa. Explore this oasis through its several kilometres of nature trails, against the backdrop of spectacular 2 000-metre mountain peaks. There’s also a Plant Maze, organised tours, a Braille Trail, a Shale Trail and a nursery stocked with over 500 indigenous plants.

KIRSTENBOSCH NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Cape Town, Western Cape

No visit to Cape Town is complete without a day spent at what’s regarded as one of the most beautiful gardens in the world. Set on the slopes of Table Mountain, go and explore its wild side along five different trails. Don’t forget the Braille Trail, situated in the Fragrance Garden, which provides visually impaired visitors with a unique sensory experience of the indigenous forest. Enjoy sweeping views of the gardens and beyond from the “Boomslang” Aerial Tree Canopy Walkway - a wonder of engineering that winds through the treetops. Or, simply find a shady spot and park off.

KWAZULU-NATAL NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal

This historic garden will enthral you with indigenous forests of massive century-old trees along the London Plane Trees Avenue, large sprawling lawns, flowerbeds, and beautiful birds. Small mammals shelter in the forest and wetland area, and may be spotted in open parts of the garden. Keep your eyes peeled for the blue duiker, Cape clawless otter, vervet monkeys, bats, and over 117 recorded butterfly species.

LOWVELD NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Nelspruit, Mpumalanga

Home to the African Rain Forest and known as the Evergreen Garden, this botanical garden receives so much rainfall that it remains green throughout the year! A day spent here, and you’ll soon discover the magic where two rivers meet. Enjoy the spectacular waterfalls that can be viewed from the suspension bridge, which crosses the Crocodile River. Interesting geological formations are also visible when the Crocodile River is low. The garden also has a huge collection of cycads. Too pretty a place not to see!

PRETORIA NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Pretoria, Gauteng.

A haven of natural beauty and tranquillity, Pretoria’s National Botanical Garden is made up of natural grassland, shaded forest, a Succulent Garden, theme gardens, a wetland area and a waterfall. It’s home to an array of plants, reptiles, birds, and other animals. Its frosty south-facing section, and the north-facing warmer section, present two different worlds to the visitor and botanist. It’s also home to the Head Office of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). 

WALTER SISULU NATIONAL BOTANICAL GARDEN

Roodepoort, Gauteng

It’s not always easy to escape the urban jungle, but this Garden has been voted the best place to get back to nature in Gauteng for nine years in a row! It has been a popular venue for outings dating back to the 1800s and with all its natural beauty on offer, we can see why. Explore the breathtaking Witpoortjie Waterfall, beautifully landscaped indigenous gardens and a nature reserve along the Roodekrans Ridge. The Garden is also home to an abundance of wildlife, including a very special breeding pair of majestic Verreaux's Eagles that nest on the cliffs alongside the waterfall. Gym fanatics can enjoy an outdoor gym facility within the garden after completing one of the many trail walks on offer. A hop, skip and jump from the bustle of the city…it’s really that easy, if you want to!

Did You Know?

All SANBI gardens countrywide have braille and fragrance gardens enjoyed by visually impaired, blind and deaf citizens!

For entrance fees and opening & closing hours visit:

www.sanbi.org