Lonely Planet review
Location and unique flora combine to make these 36-hectare botanical gardens among the most beautiful in the world. The main entrance at the Newlands end of the gardens is where you’ll find the information centre, an excellent souvenir shop and the conservatory . Further along Rhodes Dr is the Rycroft Gate entrance, the first you’ll come to if you approach the gardens from Constantia. Call to find out about free guided walks, or hire the My Guide electronic gizmo (R40) to receive recorded information about the various plants you’ll pass on the three signposted circular walks.
About 9000 of Southern Africa’s 22,000 plant species are grown here. You’ll find a fragrance garden that has been elevated so you can more easily sample the scents of the plants, a Braille trail, a kopje (hill) that has been planted with pelargoniums, a sculpture garden and a section for plants used for muti (traditional medicine) by sangoma (traditional healers), as well as a section of the wild almond hedge planted in 1660 by Jan van Riebeeck to form the boundary of the Dutch outpost.
The outdoor Sunday afternoon concerts held here between November and March are a Cape Town institution. The gardens are a stop on the City Sightseeing Cape Town bus.