If you're planning a visit to Cape Town, or have friends and family who've already been, chances are that somewhere you've come across the phrase "Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens". It's a popular spot among locals and visitors alike and attracts over 1 million people each year. It's rich in history, has spectacular fauna and flora and balances a curiosity where urban city life meets the tranquillity of nature.
Kirstenbosch is curated in such a way that it represents the various plant families, such as Proteas, Ericas, Cycads and more. Nowhere else would you find a better representation of the very unique South African plant kingdom, known as "Fynbos".
There are numerous hiking trails which allow you to explore every inch of the gardens. From the vibrant fragrant garden to the brail trail, specifically designed for the visually impaired, there's something for everyone. A stroll on the Boomslang Forest Canopy Walkway gives you a great vantage point from which to enjoy the gardens and a picnic on the curated lawns allow you to slow down, relax and take it all in. There is no better way to enjoy a sunny Cape Town day than spending it in the spectacular Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
The diversity of habitat in Kirstenbosch is so rich, that no matter what time of year you're visiting, there's always something showing the uniqueness that these gardens are protecting and it is this diversity in habitat which results in a healthy variety of small mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects. An early morning stroll in the gardens could see you finding a Small Grey Mongoose trotting along the pathway, or a Cape Grysbok wearily emerging from the thickets. In the right season butterflies, like the Table Mountain Beauty and Citrus Swallowtail, flash their beautiful colours and with a bird list that exceeds 120 species, one often encounters various sunbirds, flycatchers, woodpeckers, raptors, and even the resident Spotted Eagle-Owls. Tortoises are found all over the gardens and often allow you to come in close for a photo.
Established in 1913, Kirstenbosch was formed to preserve the unique flora and indigenous plants found in South Africa and today hosts over 7 000 plant species, ranging from the mighty King Protea to the most delicate of Ericas, and everything else in between. When botanist, Harold Pearson, first took on the responsibility of establishing Kirstenbosch, he and his team were faced with difficult working conditions, a neglected estate and a serious Feral Pig infestation. Over the next 50 years, they worked hard to build the estate into recovery. The estate spans across 528-hectares (1 305 Acres) within the UNESCO World Heritage Site, known as the "Cape Floristic Region", and has a long history of ownership and cultivation, bringing it to what we now know as the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens.
Pick up your camera and enjoy a guided photography walk focussed on the endemic birds, indigenous flowers and spectacular scenery or a walk focussed on local and professional insights to the history of Kirstenbosch and if you're feeling adventurous, we'll show you some of the few hidden trails pertaining the gardens.
In summer enjoy one of our local bands in an outside live concert, truly South African style and for the more romantic at heart, join us for a gourmet picnic packed with local coffee, tasty homemade pastries, good cheese and even better wine as the sun sets over Table Mountain.
Whatever your interests and no matter your passions, at Saffa Tours we pride ourselves in being the best in the business when it comes to tailored experiences.
On our trip, Josh and Saffa Tours put together an amazing itinerary, based on what we were into, and they provided us with an absolutely incredible trip. My wife and I love to travel, and have worked with many groups such as Saffa Tours; this trip was, by far, our favorite tour, and Saffa was the best guide group we’ve ever used.
David K, USA
We cannot thank Saffa Tours enough for making our precious time in the Cape the best it could be. I cannot recommend Josh and his company Saffa Tours enough, as they made our time in South Africa in the Cape absolutely amazing and we were looking forward to the holiday because of the great preparation.
James F, UK
Absolutely brilliant trip to Cape Town and around the Western Cape with Josh and the Saffa team. Perfectly and thoughtfully organised, full of insight and fun. Could not recommend more!
jennifer c, UK
We thoroughly enjoyed our time with him. Well worth the cost visiting in the Cape area where there are so many things to do. Lightyears ahead of what a larger tour group would be able to put together. From small details to adjusting the daily itinerary on the fly.
Sophia P, USA
Never have I encountered such organization, such fire for exploration - to show and to teach, and such willingness to adapt the bespoke tours and plans offered at any moment. We felt understood, we felt appreciated, and we felt that our best interests were always put first.
Chelsea C, USA
Wow, what a phenomenal tour guide. Knowledgeable, confident and so interesting. Our experience was carefully curated to suit our interests and passions and one could not have done a better job. We have been truly enriched by the SAFFA tours experience and can confidently recommend! South Africa and SAFFA tours; thank you!
jake b, USA
Amazing tour company. Josh helped plan our itinerary around the activities we wanted to do. Due to weather conditions a couple of the activities were cancelled but there were alternatives ready straight away. Rich was our guide and he was a joy to be around. Highly recommend!
jake b, USA