Once in a while, even urbanites seek to escape city life for a moment of tranquillity and reflection. Thankfully, you needn’t journey too far from your cosmopolitan life to experience sweet-smelling blooms and the woody scents along tree-shaded paths found right here in in Cape Town.
Arderne Gardens, Claremont
Located approximately 10km outside the city of Cape Town, in the suburb of Claremont, awaits a green kingdom adorned with moss-covered paths and giant pine trees. A Japanese-inspired garden rooted with both tropical and indigenous trees and shrubs, is a popular park for children to frolic and adults to walk their dogs. With over 300 trees, you are sure to find a shady nook for a picnic or to catch up on some reading. The Arderne Gardens is an acclaimed National Monument due to its Champion Trees, one of which is the biggest tree in the Western Cape and the fourth largest in South Africa.
Here are the park’s most prized possessions:
- A Moreton Bay fig – the biggest tree in the Western Cape.
- A Norfolk Island pine
- A Turkish oak
- A Queensland kauri
- An Aleppo pine
- A cork oak
Address: 222 Main Road, Claremont, Cape Town.
Tel: +27 21 689 8935
Opening hours: summer – 07:30 to 19:30, winter – 08:00 – 17:30
Greenpoint Urban Park
Opposite the Green Point Lighthouse lies an exquisite inner-city park where family and friends go to spend quality time together. Popular among adults and children alike, this beautiful park has everything that encompasses relaxation, education and amusement. Take a quiet stroll in the biodiversity garden to learn about the region’s unique natural heritage or spread a blanket beneath a shady tree and have a picnic. If you’re feeling energetic, break a sweat at the fitness park with the cycling, outdoor training and gym facilities. At each of the entrances, you’ll find a man selling ice-cream, just in case a sugary craving arises. Dogs are most welcome as long as they’re on a leash.
Address: Cape Town Stadium, Cape Town
Tel: +27 21 417 0120
Opening hours: 07:00 to 19:00 throughout the year.
De Waal Park
With spectacular Table Mountain as the backdrop and its superb location within Cape Town’s city bowl, De Waal Park is the perfect scenic outing after a day spent exploring. The park is famous for its free summer outdoor concerts known as Concerts in the Park, and has hosted popular local musicians such as The Rudimentals and Freshlyground. Besides the attractive social activities, visitors can also walk their dogs and find delight in the beautiful Victorian fountain and water features scattered throughout the park.
Address: Upper Orange Road, Gardens, Cape Town.
Tel: +27 21 400 3031
The Company’s Garden
The Company’s Garden is almost as old as Cape Town itself. The Dutch East India Company planted the garden in 1652, which served as a space for growing crops to restock food supplies aboard their ships on their voyages. The entire site is an important South African historical and cultural landmark, which tells the story of how the country came into existence. As it is a real gem to explore, take your time and soak up the natural beauty. Don’t forget to admire the oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa.
Other exciting features to see include:
- Historic statues and a sundial, which dates to 1781.
- A well from 1842 with a hand pump implanted in an old oak tree.
- A memorial slave-bell, which was originally used as a fire-alarm bell at the old town hall in Greenmarket Square. The bell dates to 1855.
- A beautiful rose garden was built in 1929.
- Delville Wood Memorial Garden built in 1929 by Sir Herbert Baker to commemorate the fallen soldiers at Delville Wood during World War I.
- A Japanese garden with a beautiful Japanese lantern that was donated by the Japanese Ambassador in 1932.
- Water features
- A koi fishpond
- A herb garden
- An aviary
- Tea garden
Address: 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town CBD
Tel: +27 21 426 1357
Jambo Guest House’s garden, Cape Town
At Jambo Guest House, you’ll take great delight walking through owners Barry and Mina’s beautiful lush garden, which is shared with various species of birds, such as Hadedas, Robins, White Eyes, Olive Thrushes, Doves and Weavers. Being an avid gardener and botanical evangelist, Barry further pursues his love of trees and the conservation thereof by treating any frail looking oak trees in Stellenbosch. Barry and his wife Mina also belong to the Horticultural Society and visit open gardens for inspiration for their own pride and joy back home at the guest house. You’ll find the green-thumbed couple at Constantia Open Gardens, Franschhoek Open Gardens, the Darling Wild Flower Show, and the Orchid Show.
Their garden has several tranquil spots for guests to sit and meditate or read a book, a welcome retreat for aching feet and weary minds after a day out exploring Cape Town’s attractions. Furthermore, if you wander through their garden, a welcome hot tub beckons tired bodies for a relaxing, bubbly soak.
- Games room
- English-style pub
- Buffet breakfast
- Solar-heated hot tub
Address: 1 Grove Road, Green Point, Cape Town.
Tel: +27 21 439 4219
If this sounds like your dream holiday accommodation, find out more here.