If you read the previous post, you’d know that I am currently on a mini vacation and for Vacation Day 2, I travelled to the remarkable Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens. One thing I can beat my chest and say is that I have never ever seen a garden more beautiful than this (I haven’t been to many gardens, shhh). It is so damn huge. I got there a little late, thanks to me lolling in bed all day (well, not really, I was trying to get the previous post up on the blog before leaving) and the horrific traffic on the way there, I left around 3:30pm on a Thursday, most people were on their way home from work. Before I share all the yummy details about this place, there’s something I want to mention first. I met an older interracial couple there who were visiting from the USA, and they were so willing to share ideas with me on how to travel, where to travel and what to look into before travelling. The lady mentioned something which I’d like to share with you guys and add one or two things. She said that I had to find places called “Off-Peak” locations, where people don’t know about, just like I mentioned in my first post. And she mentioned how the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens isn’t really a location she’d call off-peak because a lot of people already know where and what it is. And I totally agree, but wouldn’t it suck if I went in search of these secret ‘off-peak’ locations without experiencing these other known locations myself? I’d love to visit these known areas because they are usually very easy to access and hence quite convenient for the budget traveller. But with time, I hope to be able to chase after these off-peak areas and share with you guys.Still on vacationing on a budget, this one is a little tricky with the transportation because I don’t think there is any cheap public transport that goes directly to the gardens. Your cheapest bet would be taking the Golden Arrow Bus anywhere closest to you, or a local ‘taxi’ (which are the mini buses) to Newlands in the Southern Surburbs (stop by the Newlands Stadium on Main Road), and this should cost about R10 (less than $1) and then taking an Uber (just download the app) or private cab (I’d expect this to be no more than R60. Intercab is a cheap option, you can call them on 0214477799, you’re welcome 😉 ). So, R60 (approx $5) and you’re there, and the drive there is so so beautiful! There is also a R55 (approx $4) entrance fee into the garden (yeah, sucks), so in total you will be spending no more than R200 ($14) including your return trip, which isn’t so bad.If you’re really on a tight budget, it’ll be smart to go into the grocery store and buy a few snacks which you can take with you, or if you have access to a cooking stove, make something light that you can carry with you. Otherwise, if you have a little extra money to spare, you can have lunch in one of the restaurants within the gardens. I got myself a pack of popcorn which I took along with me on the walk/hike.So, now to details about this beautiful place. Walking in from the entrance, you’d be welcomed by a vast expanse of impressive greenery that would have you in a bit of a daze as you watch in wonder. There were little creeks, tiny bridges, cute park benches and my favourite of all, the Tree Canopy Walk.I couldn’t go see much of the garden but the first place I headed for was the Tree Canopy Walkway which is this long bridge at the top of the trees that looks like a walkway to Heaven. I stopped so many times to take pictures and sometimes ran into people who volunteered to take pictures of me too (human beings can be so nice!). One might worry about safety but I have never heard about any violence happening there, and did not get the vibe that walking around there wasn’t safe. Eventually, after walking to the end of the tree canopy walkway and back, I met the couple I mentioned earlier and told them I was going to see the Proteas. I wasn’t quite sure what that was about but a Chinese man told me I should ensure I go up there, so they decided to come with me.We then went through the map to find our way there and after taking some time to figure it out (even after all the Geography classes, I still suck so bad at reading maps), we started to mini-hike up there. Of course we had to stop and take photos in between and talked about a few of the signs we saw on the paths.Eventually, it started to get dark and we found our way back to the entrance (I couldn’t have found my way back without them seeing as I also suck with directions). Luckily, they had a private cab waiting for them and they offered me a ride back into town since they were heading that way too (aiding my budget travel life right? Hehe).On the way out, there’s this pole (I’m not sure what they are called) showing the direction and distance of various cities in the world from that exact point, very cool right? Below is a picture of the couple I mentioned earlier, so so cute, melted my heart. I had an amazing time and an even more amazing time thanks to these guys and the wealth of advice and suggestions they gave to me. And thanks to them, I already have an idea of where I am going to for my first travel adventure outside my country, yay!
Please leave your comments and let me know what you loved best about this and suggestions that’ll help with my yearnings to see the world. Also feel free to tell me what places you’d like to see in Cape Town or you would like reviewed, it’ll be my pleasure to do that for you.
Till next time, many hugs and kisses,