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How to plan your visit to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

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DIRECTIONS

By Car: Kirstenbosch lies 13 km from Cape Town's city centre, well signposted on all major roads. From the city, take De Waal Drive (M3) in the direction of Muizenberg, at the Rhodes Drive (M63) traffic light intersection turn right (west/towards the mountain) and follow the signs to Kirstenbosch. Free parking is available at Gates 1, 2 and 3.

By Bus: The City Sightseeing Hop On Hop Off Bus, mini peninsula tour, stops at the Garden 15 times a day during summer (mid Sept to April) and 12 times a day during winter (May to mid September), 7 days a week. The bus stop is situated at the Centre for Home Gardening (Gate 2). The first bus arrives at 09:50 and there is one every 20 minutes in summer, and one every 35 minutes in winter, until the last at 16:20. Go to www.citysightseeing.co.za for prices, timetable and to book tickets.

View on Google Maps or download a PDF map


OPERATING TIMES

Sep-Mar (Summer)

Mon-Sun: 08h00-19h00


Apr-Aug (Winter)

Mon-Sun: 08h00-18h00


The Conservatory is open from 09h00 -17h00 everyday

TYPES OF TICKETS

Adults: R55

SA Students (with card): R30

Children (6 - 17 years): R15

Under 6 years: Free

BOTSOC members: Free

SA Senior Citizens (with ID): Free on Tuesdays except on public holidays

No group discounts


HOW TO BUY TICKETS

Pre-book your tickets online via www.webtickets.co.za or purchase your tickets at the ticket offices located at both entrances to the garden.


PARKING

Download the map (pdf) showing parking facilities for the Summer Sunset Concerts at Kirstenbosch.


TOURS

Free guided tours leave from the Information Desk in the Visitors' Centre (Gate 1) at 10h00 and 14h00 Mondays to Saturdays. There is an additional 11h00 tour on Tuesdays. There are no tours on Sundays. Each guide presents a unique tour taking in the highlights of the season, exploring most of the Garden while including the oldest and most famous features like the Dell. Tours are 90 minutes to 2 hours long. Capacity is limited to 15 people, and places are allocated on a first-come-first-served basis. To secure your place, please register with your guide at the Information Desk 15 minutes before the tour departs. Please note: Groups of 5 or more people must pre-book.

Shuttle car tours of the garden leave from the Visitors' Centre (Gate 1), on the hour, daily, from 09h00 to 15h00, on fair-weather days. The shuttle car can accommodate a maximum of 7 passengers. Tickets for the Shuttle Car Tours cost R65 per person, additional to Garden entry fee. Tickets are purchased from the Ticket Office along with the Garden entry ticket. To book, call the Kirstenbosch Ticket Office on 021 799 8782 between 08h00 and 17h00.

MyGuide Audio Guide, a self-guiding audio system, is available in English or German, from the Information Desk, Visitors' Centre (Gate 1). Tickets for the MyGuide handsets cost R40 per handset, additional to garden entry fee. Tickets can be purchased from the Ticket Office along with the garden entry ticket.

DON'T MISS

The Centenary Tree Top Canopy Walkway is a curved steel and timber bridge walkway that winds its way through, and over, the trees of the Arboretum. Inspired by a snake skeleton, and informally called 'The Boomslang' (meaning tree snake), it takes you from the forest floor through the trees until suddenly you find yourself above the tree canopy enjoying panoramic views of the iconic Kirstenbosch mountains, the garden itself and out across Cape Town to the Hottentots Holland mountains beyond. The Arboretum is situated between the Protea Garden, Cycad Amphitheatre, the Dell, Mathews Rockery and the Concert Lawn. There is no additional entry fee to walk on The Boomslang.


SUMMER SUNSET CONCERTS

The Sunday evening live music concerts held each week in the gardens are a great way to enjoy the gardens with friends and family. Gates open at 16h00 and concerts are held between 17h15 and 19h00 and go ahead irrespective of rain. Tickets are available from Kirstenbosch, only if not sold out online, from the Tuesday before each concert. See the line up for the next few months on the Webtickets website, where you can also pre-book your tickets.


HIKING ROUTES

If you're feeling energetic you might like to hike up the mountain behind the gardens. Take Smuts Track up Skeleton Gorge which starts near the Fragrance Garden, and follows the Skeleton Stream up Table Mountain. The climb up the gorge is steep and can be dangerous, especially during wet weather, and the ascent is aided by ropes and ladders. Return to the gardens via the hundreds of steps of Nursery Ravine that lead you through the forest and more rocky areas. Pack a picnic and wear good hiking boots. Set aside a full day for the adventure.


WHEELCHAIR ACCESS

Parking bays for wheelchair users and stop-and-drop zones are provided at Gates 1 and 2. All visitor facilities, i.e. entrance gates, restaurants, shops and venues, are wheelchair friendly. Kirstenbosch is set on a very steep gradient and not all areas of the garden are accessible to wheelchairs. The wheelchair friendly areas of the Garden include the central area between the Visitors' Centre (Gate 1) and the Centre for Home Gardening (Gate 2), incorporating the Conservatory, the area surrounding the Main Lawn, parts of the Dell, Fragrance Garden, Peninsula Garden, Sculpture Garden and concert area.

The Boomslang is wheelchair accessible, with assistance, as the Arboretum is situated on a slope and quite far into the garden, and visitors in wheelchairs will need assistance to negotiate the steep gradients to get to and from the walkway and the mulch paths in the Arboretum. The best route for wheelchairs to follow to the walkway is from Rycroft Gate (Gate 3). There is a stop and drop bay at Rycroft Gate and parking across the road. Wheelchair users enter Rycroft Gate via the vehicle-access gate, which is controlled by the Ticket Office at Rycroft Gate. Wheelchair users are also advised to enter and exit the walkway via the eastern entry point as this is the shortest distance over mulch paths to and from the walkway.


CONTACT DETAILS

Telephone: +27(0)21 799 8783

Ticket Office: +27(0)21 799 8782

Email: kirstenboschinfo@sanbi.org.za