The 1300-acre Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens of Cape Town has one of the most beautiful settings in the world -- at the foot of Table Mountain
. These gardens take their name from J.F. Kirsten, a garden manager of the 1700's. The gardens were once part of the nearby Cecil Rhodes estate, but have been owned by the government since 1913. Much of Kirstenbosch is devoted to indigenous plants of South Africa. Walking around Kirstenbosch, some of the sections visitors will see are devoted to traditional African medicinal plants; a perfumery garden with signs in Braille; cycads; and proteas.
Although Kirstenbosch is always lovely, mid-August to mid-October is the best time to see many of the spring flowering varieties and proteas in bloom. These photos were taken in early January. Kirstanbosch features Sunday evening concerts during the summer months.
Garden lovers could spend days exploring Kirstenbosch, but even those with only a few hours will enjoy strolling the grounds.