The Harold Porter Botanical gardens celebrate the magnificent Kogelberg biosphere that supports South Africa’s unique coastal fynbos region.
Just one hour from Cape town, along the scenic R44 you will find one of the most flora rich and complex biodiversities in the world, and it really is breathtakingly beautiful as well as interesting. The garden fits snugly between the mountains and the sea with 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos gardens and another 190 hectares of natural wild fynbos.
The cultivated gardens are laid out to represent all the naturally occurring vegetation types in the coastal fynbos biosphere with footpaths and walkways guiding you along. These include forests, coastal dunes, wetlands and fynbos. There is also a Khoi-san garden which shows local plants used for medicinal and household purposes, from deodorants to headache cures. Everything is easy to digest with information placards placed along your route.
The rest of the gardens are made up of sloping mountains, deep gorges (with leopard still roaming free), waterfalls and beautiful pools.
There are several hiking trails of different lengths to enjoy, clearly marked and easy to follow. The main fynbos families (proteas, ericas and restios) are present as well as other important families such as irises, daisies and orchids. The Garden boasts red disa in its natural habitat as well as South Africa’s national flower, the king protea!
Wander along the gardens, hike up the gorges into Leapords or Disa kloof, settle on the rolling laws for a picnic or simply enjoy lunch at Leopards kloof restaurant.
There is also a Book and Souvenir shop as well as a Plant Sales Nursery, which stocks a range of indigenous plants suited to coastal and fynbos gardens.
Best of all, they are open 365 days a year! Mon-Fri: 08h00-16h30, Weekends & Public Holidays 08h00-17h00.
Tickets cost Adults: R17 l Senior Citizens: R11 l Students: R11 l Children: R7 l Pre-School: Free
How to get there:
GPS Co-ordinates: 18°55’36.8″E 34°21’06.3″S Long 18.92690 Lat -34.35176
Adress: Cnr Clarence Drive & Broadwidth Rd, Betty’s Bay, South Africa l View on Google maps
Did you know:
Size for size, this 100 000 hectare UNESCO registered Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve is home to the most complex biodiversity on our planet! Here we have some 1880 different plant species… the next richest is the South American rainforest with just 420 species per 10000 square kilometres!
The Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve begins in the Atlantic Ocean, 7.5 km off a rugged, rocky shore interspersed by glorious, golden sandy beaches. A zig-zag ribbon of narrow coastal plain is squeezed between the ocean and huge sandstone mountains. Contorted by their tumultuous birth some 300 million years ago, these awesome folded mountains and highland valleys are home to over 1880 different species of plants. 77 species within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve occur nowhere else on Earth (to put this in perspective, the whole of the UK has just 22 endemics).
Source: Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve website.