Durban Botanical Gardens Ahead of their Time
Located in Kwazulu Natal, South Africa, one of the first prime examples of how plants could be an asset to the world was created. The year was 1849 when the site for the Botanical Gardens was first established. Passing through several botanists, the garden grew into a monument to the city of Durban. Today, there are over 100,000 specimens, mainly originated from Kwazula Natal.
Original Plants of Beauty
Sub-tropical trees, palms, cycads and orchids greet over 500,000 visitors each year and provide an educational and intriguing experience to the beauty of nature. Orchids are a main attraction with at least 9,000 Cattleya, Phalaenopsis and Vanda species that are cared for in the Ernest Thorp Orchid House. In addition, some of the first Bromeliads ever discovered, are bountiful and are put on display during peak blooming seasons.
Kwazulu Natal Herbarium
Adjacent to the Durban Botanical Gardens is the National Kwazulu Natal Herbarium. Visitors are able to learn how the indigeous flora of South Africa is productive in food, medicine and services. A DNA bank is readily available to researchers in furthering the study of the value that is found in the tissues of endemic species. This is truly a unique experience in understanding the role of plants in our society.
Best Time to Visit
To enjoy the spectacular array of plants at their finest, it is recommended that November through February be marked as a prime time for a visit. This is the summer season in Kwazulu Natal and the foliage and plants are brilliant. Guided tours are booked in advance and expert guides deliver endless information on the different trees and flowers. However, the winter months provide open-air concerts that compliment the surroundings.
Festivities and Horticulture
There are numerous programs hosted throughout the year to bring entertainment and a wealth of knowledge on the different species found at Durban Botanic Gardens. Dining, shows and seminars are offered to the general public with tickets sold in advance. The 3-day Landscape Design & Horticulture Programme is a favorite of visitors from all around the globe.
The Durban Botanic Gardens was created as an off-shoot of the Kew Gardens in the UK for spreading the word internationally, of how critical our natural heritage really is. Specific plant specimens offer more than a soothing presence. By understanding their overall role in the world, they will become more respected with each new generation. Make plans to visit the Durban Botanic Gardens in Kwazulu Natal and share what nature has been holding for us for centuries.