The size and layout of the Pretoria National Botanical Garden in Tshwane make the venue an inspiring and welcoming park, which invites exploration and leisure.
This garden-park presents a marvelously organized diversity of plants and animals. The Gauteng web site rightfully claims that
although the focus of the garden is on flora, this great bounty of plants has attracted around 200 bird species, as well as reptiles and small mammals such as dassies, grey duiker, and scrub hares.
The Botanical Garden is located in the suburb of Brummeria in east Tshwane. It was established in 1946 and was formerly primarily a research facility under the management of the Botanical Research Institute, which dates back to 1903.
In 1989 the institute amalgamated with the National Botanical Garden of South Africa (Kirstenbosch) to form the National Botanical Institute, which became the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) in 2004. The Pretoria National Botanical Garden opened to the public in 1984.
A 35-meter high natural quartzite outcrop divides the garden into two sections, a cool south-facing section and warm north-facing section, each of which sustains different floral varietals, in man-made biomes.
Paved nature trails traverse the ridge, passing by a small waterfall along the way, as you walk up the short but steep incline under the shade of fragrant trees, impressive cycads and other natural ridge vegetation line the path.
When looking for things to do in Gauteng, you’d do well to remember that so many of these things can be done in one amazing location, at these gardens.
No matter what time of year one visits there are always wonderful flowers and plants to enjoy such as the colourful mesembs (also called vygies) from the Karoo desert with their brilliant, shimmering flowers of red, mauve, pink, orange and white or the west coast Namaqualand daisies which add splashes of orange and white.
On the quartzite ridge, Magalies plane (Ochna pretoriensis) and peeling plane (Ochna pulchra) burst into masses of yellow flowers, and the thorny acacia species sport fluffy scented flowers, while along the pathways near the tea garden you’ll find broad bands of colourful clivias and September bells (Rothmannia globosa) characterised by their large, scented, creamy white bell-shaped flowers.
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