Hike through the National Botanic Gardens of South Africa

As we head into summer – and the holiday season – it’s a great time to get out into our wild places and appreciate South Africa’s amazing natural world.

The hike does it all – and so much more. It is great for your fitness, health and happiness, you can make new friends by joining a group of hikers and you can explore a new place especially the beautiful National Botanic Gardens of South Africa through the country.

Take a look at some of these wonderful hikes that you can enjoy in the National Botanic Gardens of South Africa. Members of the Botanical Society of South Africa enjoy free entry to these gardens.

Hike to Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

Located near Krugersdorp in Gauteng, Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is truly one of Johannesburg’s natural getaways. Try the Walter Sisulu NBG Geological Trail, which is rated as having a moderate level of difficulty and is a 3.9 km circular route. The trail is approximately 2.5 hours long and features the varied and fascinating geology of the Witwatersrand, with interpretation provided by the Geological Society of South Africa.

After enjoying your hike, why not end your visit with a picnic? There are many beautiful shaded places to enjoy and relax in the gardens in the summer heat.

Hike to Pretoria National Botanical Garden

If you’re looking for an easy and relaxing summer stroll to enjoy with the whole family, why not consider a visit to the Pretoria National Botanical Garden? You can walk a circular paved route exploring the gardens of just under 3 km. Here you will see the native South African wildflowers in full bloom, celebrating the flora of the savannah and forest biomes. More than half of South Africa’s tree species can be seen in this urban oasis.

Lowveld National Botanical Garden Hike

This botanical garden is located outside the town of Mbombela. Stroll from the main entrance to the spectacular waterfall viewpoints at the confluence of the Crocodile and Nels rivers. Explore the aerial walk that will take you through the trees and plants of the African rainforest. Slow down and enjoy the diversity of birds that inhabit these gardens.

Harold Porter National Botanical Garden Hike

The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is framed in spectacular mountain scenery. The garden offers a number of hiking trails of different lengths. You can take a gentle stroll to the Disa Gorge waterfall viewpoint, through the shaded Afro-temperate forest. In January, visitors can enjoy the Red Disas (Disa uniflora) in bloom high on the cliffs above. More energetic hikers can tackle the Leopards Kloof Trail which leads a series of climbs and ladders through fynbos and forest to spectacular mountain waterfalls.

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden Hike

Cape Town’s beautiful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden sits at the foot of the iconic Table Mountain. Here you can stroll through the gardens or enjoy more energetic treks in the Afro-temperate forest above and upward on the higher mountain trails. A favorite with hiking enthusiasts is the classic Skeleton Gorge hike, which will take you up a series of steps, ladders, and a fun waterfall through Afro-temperate forest to the shores of Hely- Dam. Hutchinson on the Table Mountain plateau.

Become a BotSoc member and you will have free access to these beautiful South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) National Botanic Gardens and their hiking trails. Simply show your BotSoc card or membership barcode on your mobile phone at the front door of one of these gardens, and you are there.

To find out more, visit: www.botanicalsociety.org.za

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