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Pretoria Botanical Garden

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In Pretoria

-25.7391, 28.2722

 

+27 12 843 5071 www.sanbi.org

About

This 76ha urban oasis is a pristine getaway situated in South Africa’s administrative capital, Pretoria. The garden is home to the Head Office of the (SANBI) and successfully bridges the gap between scientific research and the recreational environment. A 35m high quartzite outcrop divides the garden into a frosty south-facing section and a warmer north-facing section.

A paved nature trail gives access to the fascinating natural vegetation on the ridge, which boasts a diversity of indigenous fauna and flora, with biomes ranging from savanna to forest. Much of the garden contains exclusively South African plants and about 50% of the country's tree species can be seen.

Efforts are made to record the garden’s biodiversity treasures, with butterfly, spider and frog surveys. Over 50 butterfly species have been recorded and during late summer, thousands of brown-veined white butterflies flutter over the garden in a north-easterly direction towards Mozambique. Over 220 bird species have been listed, including hawks, falcons, and kestrels, and even Verreaux’s eagles fly above the ridge search of their favourite prey, the rock hyrax (dassie).

Animal frequenting the garden include the slender mongoose, scrub hare, common and grey duiker, and nocturnal animals such as greater cane rats and several bat species. South African lesser bushbabies enjoy the Acacia-dominated woodland and spotted-necked otters may be seen in the wetland area.

Spring begins in September when trees and perennials suddenly burst into flower. Rains fall mostly in summer, from November to February, when the average temperature is 28ºC, sometimes reaching 36ºC. Morning frosts occur from early winter until spring. Winter night temperatures may drop to -3ºC, but the days warm up to about 18ºC. Spikes of brilliant red and yellow or pink aloes brighten the winter days when virtually nothing else is in bloom, attracting iridescent sunbirds.

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Erik