Green + Eco-Travel

Green Retreats

by Stephen Anderton

The garden: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

A tree grows in: Cape Town, South Africa

First planted: 1913

Roots: The flora of South Africa is one of the richest and rarest in the world—but prowling out among the critters to experience it can be dangerous. We suggest, instead, a visit to Kirstenbosch, the only place to see the country's indigenous plants on display in one (safe) place. It's as if a very selective Beverly Hills florist—with equally expensive tastes—brought her stock back outdoors and planted everything on a hillside. It's all here, from the King Proteas (pictured) and birds of paradise you might expect to see in the foyer of an expensive hotel to leathery, ancient cycads and spongy baobab trees—even the orange and yellow daisies that would normally be found across the Namaqualand deserts. No garden could have a better setting, nestled under the majestic Table Mountain yet still just on the edge of the city. There's a fantastic botanical bookshop, too, for gardeners who simply have to know more about South African plants. And we can pretty much guarantee that you'll have no unfortunate liaisons with lions.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Tel: 27 21 799 8783

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.

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