An overpowering of the senses hits you on arrival at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens. The smell of the misty air, the plants and the trees. The sounds of running water and birds and the sights of the misty mountains, the forest and a view over Cape Town and the ocean.
Despite the rain, it was definitely worth getting off the hop on hop off bus at this stop. I only stayed for 40 minutes but that was enough time for a gentle stroll and a walk through the treetops on the Boomslaang, Tree Canopy Walk.
There are information signs along the route telling you about healing and medicinal properties of the plants, labels naming trees and a section of rare and endangered plants and what is happening to cause this effect and how their decline can be prevented further.
Plenty of benches and lapas along the route for you to sit, relax and enjoy the views, when weather permits you’re welcome to picnic on the lawn. There is also a café and a well stocked gift shop.
Next stop was the World of Birds and for me I wasn’t too impressed. Too many different varieties of birds were all mixed up.
The map didn’t match the actual layout and for me there were too many chickens, ducks, ha de dahs and common garden birds we have back home in Pretoria.
It wasn’t particularly very clean and a sign said the penguins were fed at 11.30am but I sat there and waited for 20 minutes and no one came.
However this is a sanctuary for ill and rescued birds and relies 100% on public donations costing R500, 000 per month to run. Having read this my opinion changed, it is not an aviary with birds bred in captivity, it is the intention for these birds to be rehomed in their natural environment where possible.