If you like succulents, you’ll love the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden! From common Spekboom (Portulacaria afra) to plants on the red data list of threatened species, the garden is 154 hectares of indigenous South African succulent beauty!
One of the nine South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) gardens, the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden lies at the foot of the Hexriver Mountain range in Worcester, a town in the Western Cape's Breede River Valley, and showcases plants from the desert and semi desert regions of southern Africa.
The garden was first established in 1921 as the Logan Memorial Garden at White Hill, near Matjiesfontein. It was moved in 1945, by the then director of Kirstenbosh Gardens and a botanist, to Worcester and the name was changed to the Karoo National Botanical Garden. In 2001, the word 'desert' was added to the title to emphasise the fact that the plants are from desert and semi desert regions.
A mere 120 kilometres from Cape Town, along the popular Route 62, the Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden is a display of water-wise, succulent gardening at its best.
It’s said that the best time to visit the garden is in spring, when the vygies are in bloom. If you're planning on visiting, here are a few ways you could enjoy the garden:
For a laid-back afternoon, pack a picnic and find a spot on the lawn, part of the only 11 hectares that has been cultivated. You could simply enjoy the views and the sunshine while eating a few home-made snacks, or pop into the garden’s restaurant.
Take a leisurely stroll and follow the maze of pathways through the succulent garden, pausing to rest on one of the benches, read information boards or watch the abundant bird life. There is also a braille trail for the blind.
Take a guided tour that can be arranged if you would like to learn more about their large succulent collection. Paint a picture. Take your camera, paints and sketchbook and spend an afternoon capturing the beauty of this uniquely South Africa garden.
If you enjoy hiking, be sure to enquire about the two hiking trails - the Shale trail and Grysbokkie trail.
For more information or to book a tour, call 023 347 0785
Operational hours: Monday - Sunday 07h00 - 19h00
Low season entry fees (1 November - 31 July): R9 for adults, R6 for students with a student card and R4 for children under 18 years old and pensioners
Address: Roux Road, Worcester in Breede River Valley, Western Cape.