Walking Tour 10:

Kirstenbosch Gardens Tour


Tour Length: 3 hours

Tour Themes: XXXXXXX

Meeting Point: Kirstenbosch Gardens: Cecilia Forest Car Park

End Point: Moyo Restaurant in Kirstenbosch

Fitness Level: Medium

Language: English

Price: R150

Starting Point

End Point

A Bit of Background

Kirstenbosch – The Master Garden

The best weekend to do an easy guided tour into Kirstenbosch is this one forthcoming…

If a traumatic wildfire like April 2021’s can ultimately prove to be of meaningful value, it should come by inspiring us to relish the heritage we keep on our doorstep, no matter how beloved and indestructible it may seem.

That’s why I want to take you through Kirstenbosch via Cecilia Forest in the span of one afternoon, spelling out the history and litanies of beauty stuffed into the small borders of the city’s favourite world-class botanically-themed amusement park.

To me it seems we don’t quite know how to value greenery beyond being the best incidental scenery, but through the story of Kirstenbosch’s founding and global power as the throne of the Fynbos kingdom, we can discover all we could ever need to know about the contradictions of colonialism, the ‘beloved’ texture of our country, the roots of our gated community and the many varieties of splendour upon which we can base our visions for the future.

There is no more florally biodiverse space in the universe (as far as we can tell), and by anthologising the best of our biome under the sometime shadow of Castle Buttress, the city has spent four generations battling brutal urban planning, compulsory veldtfires, enervating tourists and all the hecticness of the anthropocene to bequeath us with a site that millions of visitors and citizens could hardly have dreamt up before.

You’ll learn about the loneliest tree in the world, the famous ‘Bird’ bath named after a chap and shaped like a bird, the first still-living vestige of Apartheid and Cecil Rhodes’s half-finished plan for a private highway stretching from his back-garden to the pub at Constantia Nek. And we’ll also point out some nice flowers and birds and smells along the way too.

So let’s gather at the Cecilia Forest entrance car-park with a picnic basket and walking shoes to pay homage to the wonders of our soil and aspire to finish the day knowing at least two more facts about the fauna and flora of our alien peninsula than we woke up with.

Archive Gallery

All photos, unless otherwise stated, are from the collections of Michael Fortune, Etienne du Plessis and the Cape of Diab group.

Our friends in Hout Bay

Reference Books for this Tour


  • Book 1
  • Book 2
  • Book 3
  • Book 4

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