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It's a biodiverse world at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

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If you've never visited the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Roodepoort, then you've been missing out. Come and explore South Africa's awesome biodiversity at this one-of-a-kind nature reserve and hiking hot spot. 

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens is one of Joburg's best hidden gems. Tucked away on the west rand, the gardens are home to a host of indigenous plant and animal species. The gardens have been a popular outdoor venue since the 1800s, and were officially named a botanical garden in 1982. Since then, the gardens have been open to the public for guided tours, hiking trails and events. Adventure seekers, nature enthusiasts and young families flock here to enjoy the lush outdoors. Here's what you can expect to find when you pay the gardens a visit:

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Photo credit: Shane Wilken

The Urban Wild

Most first-time visitors to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens are surprised to find a booming natural ecosystem right on their doorsteps. You would never expect to find such a diverse array of plant, animal and insect species just 30-minutes from Joburg central. The Gardens are home to approximately 240 bird species, including a breeding pair of Verreaux’s Eagles. Bring your binoculars along with you to see how many bird species you can spot. The eagles nest is nestled within the cliffs of the famous Waterfall. This is absolutely the highlight of the gardens and is a popular spot for selfies and romantic picnics. The Gardens also feature a variety of mammal species such as honey badgers, aardvarks and Mountain Reedbuck. Although difficult to spot during the day, these animals occasionally pop out of their territories to welcome hikers to the gardens.

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species. If you've always wanted to learn more about our indigenous plant life or how to grow a succulent garden, this is the place for you. The Gardens offer a wealth of knowledge and abundant beauty to enjoy. There is also a children's garden complete with jungle gyms and swings to keep the little ones entertained and engaged in nature. Our favourite by far is the bird and butterfly garden situated near the main entrance. But don't take our word for it, come and explore the gardens yourself. You might just find your new favourite outdoor hangout in the city.

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Succulent Garden at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens.

Take a tour 

Touring the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens is certainly not a once-off event. That's why the gardens offer a variety of tours to help guide you through the many winding pathways, puddles and picture-worthy landscapes. Customise your walk through the gardens according to your interests - whether its clivias, cycads or creepy crawlies, there's sure to be a tour for you. Not sure where to begin? Take a virtual tour of the gardens before heading out to experience the real thing. Once you're sure of where and what you'd like to explore, book your tickets online via Webtickets. The gardens are open to the public every day from 08:00 to 17:00, so you really have no excuse not to visit. To keep up to date with special events at Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, follow them on Facebook. Events take place at the gardens year round, so make sure not to miss out.

Photo credit: Shane Wilken.

For More Information 

Visit www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu for more information.

Details: (Tel) 086 100 1278 | Email: [email protected] | Address: End of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort, Gauteng.

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