Good for: people watching, Picnics, Photo Opportunities
Lonely Planet review for Company’s Gardens
What started as the vegetable patch for the Vereenigde Oost-Indische Compagnie (VOC, or Dutch East India Company) is now a shady green escape in the heart of the city. The surviving 6 hectares of Jan van Riebeeck’s original 18-hectare garden are found around Government Ave, with gates next to the National Library of South African and off both Museum and Queen Victoria Sts.
As the VOC’s sources of supply diversified, the grounds became a superb pleasure garden, planted with a fine collection of botanical specimens from South Africa and the rest of the world, including frangipanis, African flame trees, aloes and roses.
The squirrels that scamper here were imported to Cape Town from North America by Cecil Rhodes, whose statue stands in the centre of the gardens. Just outside the southern end of the Gardens on Museum St is the Sir Herbert Baker–designed Delville Wood Memorial, honouring South African soldiers who fell during a five-day WWI battle.