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Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

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In Roodepoort

-26.0866, 27.845

 

+27 86 100 1278

About

Voted Gauteng’s best picnic spot 5 years in a row, the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens cover almost 300 hectares of landscaped and natural veld areas. For quality family time or peace and solitude, it’s hard to beat “Walter Sisulu”, as locals call the gardens.

The Botanical Garden, founded in 1982, opened to the public in 1987, as the Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden. In March 2004, the garden was renamed the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, in honour of the late Walter Sisulu.

Spring (September-November) on the Highveld feels like a reprieve after the dry winter.The days are warm and clear and the migrant swallows, and red-chested, Diederik, Klaas's and black cuckoos return to the garden.The magnificent common coral trees flower, and the much-loved clivia miniata produce large heads of striking orange flowers. Summer temperatures often reach above 30°C with occasional late afternoon thundershowers. Autumn and winter days are mild and clear with sunny blue skies and occasional winter morning frost.

The garden’s most outstanding feature is the spectacular Witpoortjie Falls, where a breeding pair of Verreaux's Eagles nest on the cliffs alongside the water feature. Botanists could spend hours exploring the grasslands and savanna, identifying the reserve’s over 600 naturally occurring plant species.

Most families, however, come to enjoy the fresh air and walk among the wild flower, woodland, succulent, cycad, and bird and butterfly gardens. One can also hike in the kloofs and along the streams. Guided tours, lasting two hours, can be booked daily and the Botanical Society runs talks and workshops on a variety of topics. The majority of the landscaped areas are wheelchair friendly.

Sunday music concerts at the garden are immensely popular, as friends and families gather on the lawns to enjoy some of South Africa’s top local musicians. The Eagles Fare restaurant serves meals all day and is renowned for its delicious cream scones and tea.

West Rand

Gauteng

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