Great news for gardeners, fans of all things floral, nature lovers, outdoor enthusiasts, families looking for a wonderful day out, and everyone celebrating the arrival of warmer weather, is that the inaugural SANBI Spring Festival is currently taking place across South Africa.

The SANBI Spring Festival runs until the end of October. The event was launched to showcase, and draw visitors to, the network of exceptional National Botanical and Zoological Gardens that exist across the country. These gardens are managed by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI).

13 Spectacular SANBI gardens in SA

Many people may not realise that South Africa has 10 National Botanical Gardens and a National Zoological Garden – stretching across eight of the country’s provinces – which showcase, and protect, our richly diverse landscapes and biodiversity.

In addition, SANBI also manages the Thohoyandou Botanical Garden and Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre in the Limpopo Province.

SANBI’s National Botanical and Zoological Garden – or “Conservation Gardens” – cover a vast array of ecosystems. These include:

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  • grasslands,
  • fynbos,
  • woodlands,
  • marshlands,
  • arid and semi-arid habitats,
  • coastal vegetation and more

They also feature natural landmarks ranging from craggy mountains to steep gorges, major rivers, vast plains and rocky koppies.

Within these habitats the efforts of the SANBI teams sees a plethora of fauna and flora being nurtured and protected – efforts that have yielded untouched natural tracts of wilderness and floral splendour that everyone should see to believe.

Kirstenbosch spring vygies castle rock 23 Sep 19 ALN 312r (Image Supplied)

SANBI is calling on the South African public to take part in the first ever SANBI Spring Festival by visiting their nearest Botanical Garden.

SANBI wishes to draw South Africans from all walks of life into the Botanical Gardens. Come and celebrate, the beauty of our diverse landscapes and floral regions. Young and old alike will love a day out at a SANBI Botanical Garden – most of which are urban oases in the heart of suburban developments.

And there truly is something to do for everyone:

Take a gentle stroll through the gardens while the kids play on the lawns, followed by a delicious meal at the restaurants situated in many of the gardens. Or perhaps it is a hike to the waterfalls and pools, a guided tour, bird watching and some eco-therapy. The list is seemingly endless as to what visitors can expect at the SANBI Botanical Gardens.

And of course, there is the Pretoria Zoo – the one Zoological Garden managed by SANBI, which is not only the largest zoo in South Africa, but is also rated as one of the top zoos in the world.

Many of the Botanical Gardens have a nursery outlet where indigenous plants can be purchased.  Some of the gardens offer great braai facilities, alternatively pack a picnic and dine alfresco in some of the most beautiful scenery in the world.

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens (Image supplied)

The network of SANBI National Botanical and Zoological Gardens includes:

  1. KwaZulu-Natal National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/kwazulu-natal/
  2. Free State National Botanical Garden  – sanbi.org/gardens/free-state/
  3. Harold Porter National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/harold-porter/
  4. Karoo Desert National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/karoo-desert/
  5. Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/kirstenbosch/
  6. Pretoria National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/pretoria/
  7. Lowveld National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/lowveld/
  8. Pretoria Zoo – pretoriazoo.org/national-zoological-garden-celebrates-spring-day/
  9. Thohoyandou Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/thohoyandou/
  10. Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/
  11. Hantam National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/hantam/
  12. Kwelera National Botanical Garden – sanbi.org/gardens/kwelera/
  13. Mokopane Biodiversity Conservation Centre – mokopane-conservation-centre/
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens (Image supplied)


*All of the SANBI Botanical Gardens have a variety of offerings for the public to enjoy during the Spring Festival and more details on each can be found in the links above.