A bit of greenery inside the bustling city of Jozi.
The Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is part of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) and is situated in the heart of Roodepoort, Gauteng. The Garden gives you the opportunity to escape the busy and noisy city to relax without having to drive too far. R45 gets an adult through the gate and their usual business hours are from 8:00 to 17:00 so you’ll have plenty of time to enjoy the green scenery.
While parking your vehicle you are greeted by a big garden with paved pathways to the main entrance. Once inside there are lush green lawns with artwork of insects like ants and dragonflies. There are a lot of paths which you can take to make your way through the gardens so it’s a good idea to buy a map at the entrance to make sure you don’t miss a thing. PS: Don’t miss the succulent garden, it was my favorite.
The Garden boasts with tons of activities for the whole family. The green lawns are perfect for an afternoon picnic and there are themed playgrounds around every corner to keep the little ones busy. It’s a photographer’s paradise because there are loads of picture perfect animals, plants and water features.
The Witpoortjie Falls is the main attraction but there are streams and ponds with different species of fish all around the Garden. The Garden is home to some of South Africa’s most wonderful indigenous plants and lots of wildlife. The biodiversity makes the Garden worth the visit. You can see different species of colorful birds, like the cuckoos, swallows, Fairy Flycatcher and the Verreaux’s Eagles. According to SANBI website there are 226 species on their bird list and you can download it here. You can also find a variety of reptiles, butterflies, frogs and mammals in the Garden. The Garden is also home to some shy wild cats, small buck species and the South African hedgehog.
You can pop into the Eagle Fare Restaurant for a cocktail and lunch or you can bring your own picnic basket and enjoy a meal in the shade of a tree. The Garden offers something for everyone and it can keep you entertained and feeling relaxed for the whole day.
The Garden also have special events such as ‘night walks’ where you can see nocturnal animals like frogs, bats and ‘dassies’. Check out their website to find out more.
Where: End of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort.
Contact: Sisulugarden@sanbi.org.za or 086 100 1278.
Costs: Adults R45, Pensioners R30 (free entrance on Tuesday), Students with valid student cards R30, Scholars R15, Children under 6 years can enter for free.