Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

We’ve held off posting much because this blog is meant to be about our overlanding adventures, but as we’re still sitting in Cape Town waiting for our ship, the Xin Pu Dong,  to come in, I think we should just post what we’re doing while we wait.

On the topic of Clancy, though, the ship he’s on is currently sitting just a few kms away from the Cape Town Container Terminal and it’s due to dock in the early hours of tomorrow morning. We’re still not sure when we’ll actually get to collect Clancy, but it’s getting closer.

Xin Pu Dong of Cape Town (the one on the right)

We seem to have spent the last few days visiting shopping centres, trying to find stuff we need for Clancy and for our trip. Fire extinguishers were fairly easy to find. Smoke detectors …. not so easy. Seems like they aren’t really a ‘thing’ here, whereas at home we could find them in the local supermarket and Bunnings hardware would have an entire section devoted to different ones.  We have found the butane cartridges we use to cook with, but the prices vary from an extortionate $5.50 per can to a more reasonable $2.50 per can. Greg has bought a few tools, but I have held off buying food and other essentials yet because I can’t remember what’s packed in the camper and I’m not sure how much space we’ll have when we have it set up properly. The number one rule when we packed the camper to ship was that all the storage space and boxes had to be either full or empty, so that stuff couldn’t rattle around and break.

On Saturday we got as close to the container port as we could, but at that stage the Xin Pu Dong  was 20kms out to sea and we weren’t able to see it at all. It was a gorgeous day though, and we had a wonderful view of a cloud-free Table Mountain and Lion’s Head. Forgot to take any photos. Yesterday we had planned to go to a market in the Company Gardens and then on to Kirstenbosch, Cape Town’s Botanical Gardens, but it drizzled most of the day so we postponed our visit to Kirstenbosch until today.

Gorgeous day with another perfect cloud-free view of Table Mountain. High temps here are mostly in the mid-high 20s. Not very busy at Kirstenbosch as it was a Monday, but it would have been nice to visit on a Sunday as they have live music acts on the Concert Lawn during summer. Kirstenbosch is the largest of 11 botanical gardens spread throughout SA. It celebrated its centenary in 2013, and there are 100 year-old plaques on trees that were planted before or when the Gardens were first established. Prior to this, the land had been, at various times, vineyards, farmland, orchard, forest and in  prehistoric times it formed part of the territory of 2 local clans.

Judy in front of a 100+ year old cycad

The land was donated to the nation by Cecil John Rhodes, who had purchased it in the late 19th century to protect the eastern slopes of Table Mountain from urban development.

The Gardens are beautifully set out with sections including a Fragrance Garden, a Braille Trail, Useful Plants, a Waterwise Garden, a Weed Garden that features many plants that are very common in Aussie gardens, Proteas, Ericas, a Garden of Extinction and a really superb Tree Canopy Walk which was constructed to celebrate the garden’s centenary.

We spent a few very happy hours there and could easily go back and see more bits that we missed the first time.

The Tree top walk in Kirstenbosch
One of the weeds in the Garden of weeds

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