The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden in Betty’s Bay covers almost 200 hectares of land between mountains and sea, and is set in the heart of the Cape Fynbos region within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve.
The Garden has walks and hiking trails for the whole family.
Cultivated Garden (wheelchair friendly)
The Cultivated Garden is comprised of a:
The Western Section of the garden has a magnificent view of the ocean. This secluded grassy area in the centre of the garden is surrounded by trees, making it the perfect outdoor venue for private functions. Fragrant summer-flowering plants and ponds add to the magical ambience.
The Southern Section of the garden comprises of a circular 500m Ecosystems Walk close to the entrance of the gardens. Visitors can enjoy a quick overview of the four local ecosystems that are divided into Fynbos, wetlands, dunes and a forest.
The Eastern Section of the garden showcases the Fynbos family that includes Proteaceae, Restionaceae and Ericaceae. These plants have been loosely grouped with geophytes and daisy variegations. This is a good section of the garden to visit when the Proteas and Ericas are flowering.
Disa Kloof Trail (wheelchair friendly)
The Disa Kloof Trail is a very easy short trail totalling 950m and taking about half-an-hour each way.
It leads along the western side of the garden, over the Olive May Porter Bridge, and into a wooded area which is a haven for many bird species.
The Boekenhout Bridge crosses the gulley where the path was washed away in extraordinarily heavy rains in April 2005. Observant visitors may still be able to see evidence of one of the soil slips which occurred at the time. All the regrowth on the slip is natural and has not been assisted in any way.
Winding beneath the big trees growing alongside the water’s edge, the trail crosses the z-shaped Disa River Bridge and leads up to a lovely waterfall. The dam created above the Bobbejaanskop Bridge weir provides beautiful reflections of the surrounding mountains and this is where, if you are lucky, you may see a pair of the shy African black duck.
The cliffs on the west side of the river provide a home for the Red Disa (Disa uniflora), the Western Cape Province’s floral emblem, which flowers from late December to late January.
Fynbos and Zigzag Trails
The Fynbos and Zigzag Trails these trails are currently closed until further notice.
The Fynbos and Zigzag Trails comprise of one long and one short trail amongst the natural fynbos, overlooking the garden and the ocean.
These two trails traverse the southern slopes of Bobbejaanskop and The Plateau, providing magnificent views of Betty’s Bay and out over the sea. Situated on the edge of the designated ‘core-zone’ of the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve which was the first Biosphere to be declared in South Africa in 1998.
The cultivated section of the Garden with all its infrastructure and the towns of Betty’s Bay, Kleinmond, Pringle Bay and Rooiels all form part of the ‘buffer zone’ of this superb Biosphere Reserve in the heart of the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Leopard’s Kloof Trail
The Leopard’s Kloof Trail requires a permit and gate key that can be obtained at the garden entrance.
This trail winds up through the forest before dropping down to the first river crossing. Once across, and a little way ahead, the very observant may see the old scratch marks of a leopard (Panthera pardus) on one of the tree stems. These animals are still seen at night in the area from time to time. Two more river crossings take you to the first waterfall after which a series of ladders lead to the second, and then the third waterfall. The base of this last waterfall is your final destination. Here in season (late December to end January) you will find the Red Disa (Disa uniflora) flowering in all its glory amongst the water spangled mosses and rocks of the cliffs towering above the pool. Give yourself time to stop and drink in the serenity of this special spot.
- The keys to the gate will not be issued after 13:00 and must be returned by 16:00.
- The keys are the property of the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden.
- The key deposit of R50 will be forfeited if the keys are handed in late (this money is used to maintain the trail).
- The paths must be used at all times to preserve the forest ecosystem.
For more information contact Harold Porter Botanical Gardens.