Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 147: Kirstenbosch Gardens

Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, S. Africa

If you truly love nature, you will find beauty everywhere.

Vincent Van Gogh

It was in 2014 that we stumbled upon Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden with a group of friends visiting Cape Town. We had just completed a Habitat for Humanity house in Lesotho and wanted to see a bit of South Africa. Kirstenbosch wasn’t on our original agenda. And we had no idea that we would ever be touring a garden with so much other notable spots to see.

But Kirstenbosch was recommended by a tour guide — and we now know why. Even though this wasn’t a planned photo shoot for us, the few pictures we have of this spectacular place are now treasures, highlighting a very special place in South Africa.

Camphor Tree Avenue, Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, S. Africa
Walking Camphor Tree Avenue in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens

The history of Kirstenbosch is brief, but interesting. In 1903, Harold Pearson came to Cape Town and had the idea of creating a botanical garden in that city. But it wasn’t until 1913 that funding and permission came along to finance and develop these stellar gardens, partially with ideas from the Botanical Society and funding from the Kristen family.

It wasn’t easy. There was much land to clear and landscaping of wild areas to initiate. But the whole of this venture can’t be matched: Kirstenbosch is now known — and justifiably so — as one of the world’s most beautiful, idyllic gardens.

Walking under the trees at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, S. Africa
Developed over wagon beds, Camphor Tree Avenue engulfs visitors in a fairy-tale setting.

Throughout the gardens, African art adds another dimension. Much of it is simple, massive, and impressive, and you come upon the sculptures unexpectedly in, around, and through various parts of Kirstenbosch.

African art at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, S. Africa

With lakes, trees, and native plants, Kirstenbosch is a grand place, one that bears repeat visits in various seasons of the year.

Lake view of Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, S. Africa

Elegant, commanding, and all-engulfing, Kirstenbosch is one of our all-time favorite gardens. And to think, it wasn’t even on our radar for a visit. How lucky for us that someone said, “Let’s go there”!

Huge trees in Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens, Cape Town, S. Africa

If you would like to see more Gardens in this week’s Lens-Artists Photo Challenge, head to Amy’s Gardens and take a look at the other entries in the challenge.

And if you’re ever in Cape Town, don’t miss this magical place: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Travel under the trees,

Rusha & Bert

21 thoughts on “Lens-Artists Photo Challenge 147: Kirstenbosch Gardens

  1. Amy

    The first image is so beautiful, Rusha. Thank you for the tour of this special garden. You’re right the sculpture adds another demension, very special.

  2. Tina Schell

    We too visited the garden when we were in S.A. and it was a magical place. Some of my favorite images of the trip are from the gardens (although I must admit they don’t compete with the wild animals) It’s an amazing place, thanks for the reminder of such a fond memory.

    1. Oh, the Places We See

      Wasn’t it a most wonderful place?! I still remember walking the path under the trees and feeling as if I were in a movie set or a fairyland. It would make for a wonderful revisit!

  3. Toonsarah

    This looks a wonderful garden! The trees are such interesting shapes and I love that sculpture 🙂 We’ve similar experiences where someone has suggested visiting a sight we weren’t even aware of and it’s turned out to be a real highlight of a trip!

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