I have been a frequent visitor to the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Johannesburg ever since I can remember. From school trips to family outings, the Gardens are very special to me. Take a look at what you can experience on a day out at the Botanical Gardens.
Fun facts about the Botanical Gardens:
- The Botanical Gardens was founded in July 1982. But has been a popular outdoor venue since as early as the 1800s.
- Originally named the Transvaal National Botanic Garden, visiting could only happen through special arrangement. It opened to the public on a daily basis in 1987, being renamed the Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden.
- In March 2004, the Garden was renamed the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, in honour of the late ANC stalwart Mr Walter Sisulu (1912-2003).
Get some fresh air, and stroll around with the family
Or catch a ride on the Choo-Choo train. R5 (One way) or R10 (Direct Return)
Kids can play in the Children’s Garden located close to the restaurant
For the more adventurous, wear a pair of comfy sneakers and take a walk through more rustic terrain
You can spot the most beautiful flowers along the walk
Along the Tree Routes, you can learn more about different trees and shrubs
There are loads of reptiles, small animals and birds to keep an eye out for
There are also some not-so-real animals too
The Geological Trail is designed to show some of the geology of the Witwartersrand area. The trail is 3.5km long
Sit down and have a light meal or tea at the Eagle’s Fare Restaurant – www.eaglesfare.co.za
Bring your camping chairs or blankets and have a picnic instead in one of the many spots around the Gardens
The Nursery @ the Garden sells a variety of South African plants, as well as curios, gifts and books.
- As kids we used to be able to take a dip in the pool of the waterfall. Now however, they have closed off this area to visitors.
- The Witpoortjie Falls is the source of the Crocodile River which flows into the Hartbeespoort Dam. The water is not safe for drinking or swimming.
- Although as mentioned you can picnic at the Gardens, but not however in and around the Waterfall area. Apparently, over 14,000 pairs of feet walk in the area per month, and will not be able to withstand the wear and tear caused by picnicking.
The Verreaux’s (Black) Eagles
Together with the waterfall, seeing the two eagles are the main attractions for me at the Botanical Gardens. These majestic creatures are just incredible to see as they take flight. We were lucky on the day that the one Eagle was showing off a bit, soaring high above the rock faces in search of food so they were easily spotted.
Eagle fun facts:
- Length: 84 cm, Wingspan: 2 meters
- The clutch consists of two eggs, laid four days apart. Only one chick survives, the younger being killed by the older within four days. Incubation takes between 43-46 days, while nesting lasts between 90-100 days. The Juvenille post nest dependence is between 3-4 months before adults chase from breeding territory. Adult plumage is acquired between three and four years of age.
Located close to the waterfall and the Eagles nest, are a group of volunteers who form part of The Black Eagle Project Roodekrans who monitor the eagles over the weekend and public holidays. If you would like more information on how you can get involved, visit www.blackeagles.co.za. Their website also has a cool Eagle Cam that lets you can get up close and personal with Eagles. To view the webcam, click here.
- Telephone: +27(0)86 100 1278
- Email: Sisulugarden@sanbi.org.za
- Operational Hours: Mon – Sun: 08:00-17:00
- Secure parking
- Adults: R35
- Pensioners & Disabled: R25
- University students (with valid student cards): R25
- Scholars: R12
- Children under 6 yrs: Free
- BOTSOC members: Free
- Pensioners: Free on Tuesdays
- Please note: Entrance fees are more on concert days
End of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa
27°50’40.7″E 26°05’13.8″S; Long 27.84463 Lat -26.08716