Situated on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch is internationally acclaimed as one of the seven most magnificent botanical gardens in the world. It is also the first botanical garden in the world to be included within a natural World Heritage Site!
The estate, covering 528 hectares, includes a cultivated garden and a nature reserve. The developed garden (36 ha) displays collections of southern African plants including many rare and endangered species. More than just a garden, Kirstenbosch is part of a nature reserve that contains protected mountainside supporting natural forest and fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds.
Kirstenbosch was established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, and was the first botanic garden in the world to be devoted to a country’s indigenous flora. Kirstenbosch displays a wide variety of the unique plant life of the Cape Flora, also known as fynbos, including sugarbushes (Protea spp.), pincushions (Leucospermum spp.) and heaths (Erica spp.). Plants from all the diverse regions and biomes of southern Africa are also grown at Kirstenbosch, including a near-complete collection of cycads (Encephalartos spp.).
Bicycle Parking for Cyclists wishing to visit the gardens can be found at Gate 1.
Kirstenbosch MTB Transit Route
The newly opened Mountain Bike Transit Route through Kirstenbosch forms a vital link in the Table Mountain MTB Trails which run from the Western Seaboard and City Bowl right through to Constantia Nek via Rhodes Memorial, Newlands Forest, Kirstenbosch and Cecilia Plantation. This picturesque section of the trail follows the existing service roads well above the Garden and Irrigation Dam and takes one through sections of lush, indigenous forest. It is truly one of the most magical places to ride in the city with the trail crossing bubbling streams where one can stop off for a drink or to absorb the tranquility. Two short sections of single track path have been constructed to link with existing tracks in Cecilia Plantation and Newlands Forest. Signage demarcates the route and cyclists are not be permitted to deviate from this transit route for any reason. To access this section of trail, we advise that cyclists either start at Newlands Forest or Constantia Nek, where there is free parking and ample space. Alternatively cycle through from the city bowl.
Cyclists using the route will be required to carry a Level 3 ‘My Activity Permit’ or day permit is required to ride these trails.
Careful, considerate riding and compliance with the EMP code of conduct will be the norm. Cyclists using this route who wish to enter the gardens must use the official garden entry gates and pay the required entrance fees.
Restaurants & Shops
Kirstenbosch offers three different restaurants, each in a different location and with a distinctive menus. Within the gardens choose from delicious breakfasts, lunch or tea at moyo Kirstenbosch or The Kirstenbosch Tea Room. Vida e caffè serves high quality coffee and snacks and is situated in the Visitors’ Centre (Gate 1) and can be visited without entering the Garden or paying the garden entry fee.
A wide variety of plants, garden accessories, books and gifts, as well as African stone sculptures, can be purchased from retail outlets at Kirstenbosch. All the shops are located on the periphery of the Garden and can be visited without paying the garden entry fee.