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Experience exceptionally rich diversity ...
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden extends over about 300 hectares and consists of both landscaped and natural veld areas.  It was founded in 1982, but has been a popular venue for outings since the 1800's as its position against the backdrop of the magnificent Witpoortjie waterfall offers a relaxing environment for all to enjoy.

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 garden accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species.

220 bird species have been identified as well as a number of reptile and small mammals, including small antelope and jackal, which occur naturally in the nature reserve.  The pride and joy of the gardens is a breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles who nest on the cliffs alongside the waterfall.

Experience the exceptionally rich diversity of South African plants.  Enjoy the tranquility of nature in this magnificent garden exclusively landscaped with indigenous plants.  Appreciate the sounds of the waterfall, river and variety of birdlife in both the landscaped and nature reserve areas of the garden.

Several short walks run through the garden and the surrounding natural areas. The JCI Geological Trail gives visitors the opportunity to not only walk along the Roodekrans Ridge and in the Nature Reserve portion of the Garden, but also to learn something about the fascinating geology of the area. Guided tours can be arranged for groups.

The Garden is open daily from 08:00 to 18:00, no entry after 17:00. Entrance fees are R15 for adults and R7 for students/scholars.  Free entrance for senior citizens on Tuesdays.  Botanical Society members have free entrance to the Garden. A surcharge is levied on special events days.

Highlights include:

  • Witpoortjie Waterfall - the surrounding cliffs reveal the fascinating geology of the area.
  • Black Eagles - the only pair of nesting Black Eagles in urban Johannesburg make their home on the rock face alongside the waterfall.
  • Succulent Rockery - a variety of some of the unusual succulent plants of South Africa.
  • SASOL Dam & Wetland - take a walk along the boardwalk through the wetland and visit the bird hide.
  • Cycad Garden - a collection of these ancient plants from all over South Africa.
  • Water Garden - a stream with a series of ponds and water-loving plants flows past the restaurant.
  • Walks & Trails - take visitors through both the natural and landscaped areas.

Acknowledgement: South African National Biodiversity Institute.