Thursday, November 01, 2007

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

First thing, a delicious brunch at Depasco Bakery and café, just up the road from Carnival.

Eating material comprising a wrap with Bacon, very fluffy egg and salad.

It’s very tasty, so I take a photo, which arouses the curiosity of the owner, who comes to ask me who I am. Not a food reviewer sadly, but you can give me freebies anyway if you feel like!

One of the delights of Carnival is that I’ve found a free wifi signal (Carnival’s own) which I can pick up from my room. Hallelujiah! It’s a bit flaky today though, but eventually sorts itself out enough for me to be able to call Amex to find out why my card was blocked (again). It takes about 15 minutes because there are two payments for a “Dummy Account”, which I eventually match up with receipts to the damn bookshop in the Gardens shopping centre. My Africa LP.

Kistenbosch Botanical Gardens

Kirstenbosch is a large (36 hectares) and famous botanical garden nestled at the foot of Table Mountain.

Mandela’s visit

Table mountain in the background

The garden is one of eight National Botanical Gardens covering five of South Africa's six different biomes. When Kirstenbosch, the most famous of the gardens, was founded in 1913 to preserve the country's unique flora, it was the first botanical garden in the world with this ethos, and still today (with minor exceptions) only indigenous plants are cultivated – over 9,000 of South Africa’s 22,000 plant species are present.

Apologies for this blog entry being rather image heavy. Better than having me waffle and comment on the flowers though presumable!

In one of the buildings in the middle of the park they are holding an interesting art exhibition, which is also a chance for some respite from the strong sun.

SA Society of Artists 101st Annual Exhibition

One of three rooms

Back to the Garden

Garden of Useful Plants

They’ve set up raised scented gardens too, very handy for sniffing without doing my back in!



The garden includes a large, indoor greenhouse exhibiting plants from a number of different regions, including savanna, fynbos, karoo and others. Outdoors, the focus is on plants native to this, the Cape region, highlighted by the spectacular collections of proteas.

They also regularly exhibits Zimbabwean stone sculptures in the gardens. Is Zimbabwe famous for sculpture? I don't know! Many of the artists are apparently associated with Chapungu Sculpture Park in Zimbabwe.


In summer, a popular series of outdoor concerts are held in the gardens on Sunday evenings. Unfortunately they haven’t started yet.

Concert posters

I round off with afternoon tea and some food. I have a marvellous salad with Marmite on toast, but they’ve done something interesting in blending the Marmite with butter and making balls out of the mix. The problem with this is that you can’t choose the mix, so I end up with much more butter than I’d probably go for out of choice. Oh well!


Anonymous said...

don’t knock mother in laws tongue, I use it a lot!

Sam Crawley said...

Damn anonymous posters! Show yourself so I can point out that I didn't knock it, merely noted that it was useful for treating haemorrhoids!