Pretoria Botanical Gardens
One of the nine gardens of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (formerly the National Botanical Institute), the Pretoria National Botanical Garden lies at the outskirts of Pretoria.
It is not just a park, but a conservational showcase of a wide variety of trees and flowers, both indigenous and exotic, including many rare and endangered plants such as the succulent collection from Madagascar.
Each season offers a different and unique show, from the rich fiery hues of autumn, to the red flowers of the coral tree during winter, to the explosion of every colour in spring.
The Botanical Garden is also home to many birds and small mammals including buck and hares.
On the property stands the National Herbarium, which maintains the largest computerised botanical database in Africa. Plant are catalogued and preserved as dried specimens in the herbarium and are available for research purposes.
Other features in the Pretoria National Botanical Garden include a waterfall, historic wrought iron gates and an education centre which offers environmental education workshops for teachers and students. The headquarters for the South African National Biodiversity Institute can also be found here.
The Gardens provide a lovely spot to get away from the bustling city, take a walk, go on a family outing or enjoy a picnic. Concerts are regularly held in the park, and are often accompanied by craft stalls.
When you visit the Botanical Garden, be sure to bring with some extra cash to eat or drink something at the tea garden or buy some pot plants to take home with you.
The Botanical Garden is open 365 days a year from 06:00 until 18:00, and a small entrance fee is charged.