There are few places in the Mother City as tranquil as Kirstenbosch Gardens, and at least once during your visit, when you stop to catch your breath and absorb the splendour of your surroundings, you’ll wonder how it’s possible that the bustling, buzzing city of Cape Town is just a stone’s throw away. These sprawling, landscaped gardens take up 36 hectares of a region that covers more then 500 hectares on the slopes of Table Mountain, and yet they blend in so effortlessly and majestically with the natural vegetation that you’d be forgiven for not realising their scale.
In its current form Kirstenbosch is just over a hundred years old, and remarkably it was the first garden of its kind to be devoted entirely to a single country’s indigenous fauna. It’s since grown to the point of international acclaim with more than 7,000 species in cultivation, and as you wander through the vast grounds you’ll see for yourself just why it’s become known as the most beautiful garden in Africa.
Of course these days there’s even more to Kirstenbosch than the spellbinding gardens: a branch of Moyo restaurant and Vida E Caffé have recently found homes in the grounds, and the Kirstenbosch Tea Room is as popular as ever. You can also pick up horticultural memorabilia, curios and indigenous supplies from various stores. But perhaps the real feather in the constantly evolving Kirstenbosch cap is that of the celebrated Kirstenbosch Summer Sunset Concerts series, which showcase the best local musicians in the truly surreal setting of an open-air amphitheatre on the slopes of Table Mountain, which is just another excuse to spend an entire day basking in the complete serenity of Kirstenbosch.