Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden has done SA proud by clinching the top 2015 International Garden Tourism Award.
Announced on the South African National Biodiversity Institutes (SANBI) Website, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden clinched the Garden of the Year award for 2015, in the International Garden Tourism Awards presented by the International Garden Tourism Network (IGTN) in Toronto, Canada.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden nestles against the eastern slopes of Table Mountain and Devil's Peak. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of what is acclaimed as one of the greatest botanical gardens of the world.
Established in 1913 to promote, conserve and display the extraordinarily rich and diverse flora of southern Africa, it was the first botanical garden in the world to be devoted to a country's indigenous flora, with over 7000 species, including many rare and threatened plants in cultivation at Kirstenbosch.
Kirstenbosch is the largest of a country-wide network of 9 National Botanical Gardens administered by SANBI (South African National Biodiversity Institute) and lies in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region, also known as the Cape Floral Kingdom, covering 36 hectares in a 528 hectare estate, that contains protected mountainside supporting natural forest and fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds.
Visitors can experience a new perspective of the surrounding area via the 128-metre-long Boomslang Aerial Walkway built along this 25-year-old indigenous arboretum.
This new attraction allows visitors to experience the Botanical Gardens from the tree tops of about 450 of South Africa’s 1 000 indigenous species.
“The Concept allows visitors to experience the gardens from canopy height. Starting from ground level, it winds its way up to the top of the trees, allowing for spectacular views of Castle Rock, the eastern slopes of Table Mountain all the way across the Cape Flats and Southern Suburbs to the Hottentots Holland Mountain.”
The walkway peaks at about 11.5m above the ground.
In 2004 the Cape Floristic Region, including Kirstenbosch, was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site – another first for Kirstenbosch, being the first botanical garden in the world to be included within a natural World Heritage Site.
Their mission being to promote the sustainable use, conservation, appreciation and enjoyment of the exceptionally rich plant and animal life of South Africa, for the benefit of all people.
The garden includes a large, indoor greenhouse plants from a number of different regions, including savanna, fynbos and karoo.
Kirstenbosch regularly exhibits Zimbabwean sculptures in the gardens. Many of the artists are associated with Chapungu Sculpture Park in Zimbabwe.
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