Botanical Gardens of South Africa

A botanical garden (or botanic garden) is a garden dedicated to the collection, cultivation and display of a wide range of plants labelled with their botanical names. It may contain specialist plant collections such as cacti and succulent plants, herb gardens, plants from particular parts of the world, and so on; there may be greenhouses, shadehouses, again with special collections such as tropical plants,alpine plants, or other exotic plants. Visitor services at a botanical garden might include tours, educational displays, art exhibitions, book rooms, open-air theatrical and musical performances, and other entertainment. More information –

The Botanical Society of South Africa (est. 1913, the same year the world famous Kirstenbosch Garden was started) is a registered NPO with 30 000 members spread across the world. The land for the garden was allocated for the development of a botanical garden by the South African government on condition that an appropriate organization from civil society was formed to assist with the venture. The Society has faithfully fulfilled this objective, as well as extending assistance and support to the other 8 National Botanical Gardens established around the country. The Society has also championed the cause of wildflower protection and conservation, outside the gardens, through conservation and education programmes, projects and initiatives.

The Head Office of the Society is situated at Kirstenbosch where a small group of core personnel service and support the branches and manage projects along with the normal administration functions required by a large organization. The Society has several branches around the country most of which are associated with the botanical gardens they support. The branches also support the Society with specific programmes of conservation and education. For more information, refer to Branches and Gardens and  Projects and Activities​.



The Makana Botanical Gardens is a botanical garden in South Africa operated by Rhodes University, located in Grahamstown. The gardens were established in 1853 and was the second botanical garden to be founded in the Cape Colony. A prospectus was compiled for the establishment of the gardens in 1846, but the establishment was delayed by the Frontier Wars. The gardens were declared a national monument on July 4, 1994.


Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is acclaimed as one of the great botanic gardens of the world. Few gardens can match the sheer grandeur of the setting of Kirstenbosch, against the eastern slopes of Cape Town’s Table Mountain. Read More

The Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is a truly unique garden. It cultivates and displays a wide variety of desert and semi-desert plants. The 154 hectare Garden lies at the foot of the Hex River Mountain range, 120 km north of Cape Town. Only 11 hectares are cultivated and the remaining 143 hectares are comprised of natural vegetation. Read more

The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is situated in the centre of the coastal fynbos where the flora is at its richest. It encompasses mountain slopes with wind-clipped heathlands, deep gorges with relict forests, flats and marshes with restios, sedges and bulbs, as well as dunes adjacent to the beach with specialised salt-adapted plants. The Garden is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pools. Read More

The Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden located in the historical center of Stellenbosch is the oldest university botanical garden in South Africa. The Garden is relatively small and houses an enormous diversity of plants, both indigenous to South Africa and introduced species. It is open to the public.

The Stellenbosch University Botanical Garden fulfills many function within the university and the local community. The garden supports research and also in the training of students within the Stellenbosch University. The local community and other visitors also utilize the garden for both relaxation and education.

The Garden Route Botanical Garden is located in George, Western Cape and borders the Outeniqua Nature Reserve. The Garden focuses on plants native to the Southern Cape region. It also houses the Southern Cape Herbarium.


The pleasures of the Hantam National Botanical Garden are like expensive champagne, to be enjoyed slowly, taking in the delights of each sip and always leaving you wanting more.. Read More


The Durban Botanic Gardens is situated in the City of Durban, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa. It is Durban’s oldest public institution and Africa’s oldest surviving botanical gardens. The gardens cover an area of 15 hectares in a subtropical climate. The grounds currently host various social gatherings such as local music bands and ‘ Victorian tea parties’, as well as an indigenous plant fair in spring (September) each year.

The University of KwaZulu-Natal Botanical Garden located in Pietermaritzburg, KwaZulu-Natal was established in 1983. Although the Garden was established to support research and conservation of indigenous plants, the Garden is open to the public.

The beautiful and tranquil KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden specialises in the conservation of plants from the eastern region of South Africa and of rare and endangered species from elsewhere. Read More


The character of the Lowveld National Botanical Garden is shaped by the two main rivers that cut across it, namely the Crocodile and Nels Rivers. Before these two rivers converge in the Garden, they form spectacular waterfalls which can be viewed at the Cascades and the Nels viewpoints. When the Crocodile River is low, interesting geological formations are visible. Read more


The North-West University Botanical Garden on the Potchefstroom Campus of the North-West University (NWU) is the only botanical garden in the North West Province of South Africa. The Garden spans just under three hectares and is open to the public. This region is characterized by cold dry winters with frequent frost and hot summers with regular thundershowers. Temperatures as low as minus 10 °C have been recorded in the Botanical Garden during winter. The North-West University Botanical Garden fulfills many key functions within the North-West University most notably supporting the training of students and research.


The Free State National Botanical Garden, on the outskirts of Bloemfontein spans a valley between picturesque dolerite koppies. The Garden covers 70 hectares, and is home to about 400 species of plants, mainly from the Free State, Northern Cape and Lesotho. It also includes a collection of decorative and hardy trees indigenous to the area. Enhancements to the natural grassland and woodland vegetation create a haven for wildlife on the edge of the city. Read More


The Pretoria National Botanical Garden: This 76 ha urban oasis is a pristine getaway situated in the eastern suburbs of South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria. A 35 m high quartzite outcrop divides the Garden in two sections. Its frosty south-facing section and the north-facing, warmer section present two different worlds to the visitor and botanist. A paved nature trail gives access to the fascinating natural vegetation on the ridge, which boasts a diversity of indigenous fauna and flora. Read More

The Johannesburg Botanical Garden is located in the suburb of Emmarentia in Johannesburg, South Africa. The gardens were established in 1964 as a large rose garden (becoming known locally as the “Rose Garden”) and subsequently expanded to cover an area of around 125 hectares (1.25 km2). It is administered by Johannesburg City Parks.The Emmarentia Dam is situated immediately to the east of the garden and shares its extensive acreage. One of the main attractions is the Rose Garden with over 10 000 roses. A monument commemorating the 300th anniversary of the Hugenots in South Africa is located at the top of the rose garden.

The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden was founded in 1982, but has been a popular venue for outings since the 1800’s. The Garden has been voted the best place to get back to nature in Gauteng for 9 years in a row. The natural vegetation of the area is known as the ‘Rocky Highveld Grassland’ and consists of a mosaic of grassland and savanna, with dense bush in kloofs and along streams. The variety of habitats accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species. Read More

Share this:

About Green Light

Posts by the collective.