We arrived at Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in mid to late afternoon and were feeling quite peckish. So, after paying our admission fee we went straight to a restaurant on the grounds to have a light meal and plan our visit. Kirstenbosch is situated on the eastern side of Table Mountain and the gardens climb the slopes. The Botanical Garden is also part of a Nature Reserve which abuts Table Mountain National Park, so the area is beautiful and pristine well beyond the borders of the Garden and there are numerous hiking trails nearby.
The Botanical Garden was founded in 1913 and is dedicated to preserving and presenting the unique and astonishingly diverse flora of South Africa. For the most part, only indigenous plants are cultivated. Suitably refreshed by our meal we struck out to wander the gardens with only a vague idea of a plan. The late afternoon sun was shining again and it was a beautiful time to be there. We walked past the Dell, visited Colonel Bird’s Bath, and strolled through areas of Cycads, Ericas, Proteas, and Fynbos. The bird life was delightful, the scenery dramatic, and the flowers were stunning. It was very peaceful with lots of benches and secret spots one could imagine returning to. We both agreed that it would be an easy place to come back to and enjoy spending lots of relaxed time. During the summer months they have Sunday afternoon concerts on the lawn which also sounded lovely. We took lots of photos as it was just so beautiful.
At one point in our wanderings we spotted a large bird sitting in a tree. We were very excited to realize it was a Spotted Eagle Owl. As we were getting closer to it, we came upon another one, presumably its mate, sitting on a branch with some owlets on a rock nearby.
The Arboretum section of the Botanical Garden had a special tree canopy walkway that allowed you to walk among the tree tops. It was neat to get a different perspective being up high. The walkway was very well constructed and curved through the trees.
As we wound our way back down toward the entrance we walked along “Camphor Avenue”. This had wonderful mature camphor trees forming a canopy over the walkway.
At the end of our visit we went into the gift shop. We didn’t have too long as it was almost closing time, but we enjoyed the very nice selection of things at that shop. We loved Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden and would go back in a heartbeat to spend more time there. I would say it’s a must see for anyone visiting Cape Town.
After our visit, we got back in the car and found our way back to An African Villa without too much difficulty. Before we left in the morning we had made reservations for dinner at The Miller’s Thumb, another restaurant near our hotel which had been recommended. On our way back I called the restaurant to push back our reservation so that we’d have a little time to relax before going out to eat. It worked out perfectly. We flopped down in our hotel room after our day’s adventures and enjoyed a drink before walking the ten minutes down the way.
The Miller’s Thumb turned out to be a good choice. Fish was their specialty and we both had some. The atmosphere was lively and the service was quick. I snapped a photo with my phone of their colorful interior.
After a delicious dinner we strolled back to our hotel and discussed plans for our final day in Cape Town.