The Natal Botanical Garden was established in 1874 as a research station to test the viability of growing many large trees such as magnolias, camphors, swamp cypress and other exotic trees. Many of these original specimens still exist today, having now matured into their full majestic glory, giving the garden a distinctly Victorian atmosphere.
Today the focus is on conservation of plants from Kwazulu Natal, especially from grassland habitats. The older part of the Botanical Gardens near the entrance has a mixture of indigenous and exotic plants, including camellias and magnolias that thrive in the wet acidic soil in this area. The "Useful Plants Garden" is a collection of hundreds of different species used in Zulu traditional medicine to cure everything from snakebites to infidelity.
A children's area near the restaurant will keep the kids entertained while you can enjoy a relaxing afternoon tea beside the pond.
A beautiful trail wends it's way through a scrub forest, where bird lovers will be treated to a wide variety of species, especially sunbirds, that feed from the nectar of the many flowering trees and other plants.
The Clivia Conservation Project has been set up to help protect these beautiful plants that are endangered by uncontrolled collection from the wild.
A Grassland Conservation Project has also been undertaken in an attempt to preserve the dwindling grassland biomes that are under constant threat from ever-expanding agricultural and urban development. The garden can be visited any time of the year.
The great variety of species ensures there is always plenty of beautiful flowers to see.
Ample shade from the many mature trees provide welcome relief from the heat of summer.
ADDRESS: Mayor's Walk, Pietermaritzburg
HOURS: daily 08:00-18:00
ENTRANCE FEES: adults - R18 scholars, students and senior citizens - R10
TEL: (033) 344 3585
Info supplied by Wheretostay.
For more info please click [here].
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