Cape for Kids offers great outings to Kirstenbosch which include a walk on the wild side when you take on the Boomslang walk, close encounters of a dinosaur kind and checking out the red flags in the preservation garden.
It is a wonderful way to spend a morning. Arrive at the Kirstenbosch lower gate and meet up with our friendly team. Everyone gets the chance to become a garden detective as we make our way up past Van Riebeeck’s hedge, a historical landmark in Kirstenbosch. Imagine Kirstenbosch as a huge wild farm filled with wild pigs and other animals and picture the early explorers as they hacked their way through the undergrowth to make a road that would take them to the Milkwood’s and beauty of Hout Bay. Peeping out of the forest is the splendid “boomslang” walkway, built to commemorate 100 years of botanical glory for Kirstenbosch.
The boomslang resembles its namesake, snaking its way through the canopy. The boomslang snake is arboreal and has full colour vision unlike most other snakes. As you wander on the walkway keep your eyes open for chameleons and beautiful birds. Stop and listen to the sounds of nature as you enjoy the splendid views from above the garden. Feel the movement as the walkway sways gently in the breeze.
From the “boomslang” we make our way past Pearson’s grave and it is a chance to reflect on the amazing work this man started in 1913 as the first Director of Kirstenbosch. From there we wander towards the dinosaurs nestled amongst the cycads.
Using your investigative prowess try to match the dinosaur features to their right owners and marvel at the incredible size and abilities these majestic creatures represent. Take time to visit each of the different dinosaurs and learn about our heritage, remembering that the same fate will befall our cycads if we don’t preserve them.
The dell makes the perfect place for an idyllic picnic. The yellow wood tree deserves a hug around its gnarled trunk as we salute it for being our National tree and we can enjoy tiptoeing on the stepping stones, marveling at the stunning clear water in Colonel Bird’s Bath, which is an underground spring and looking out for the stately centenarians which are prolific in the Dell. Imagine how much they have seen over the 100 years or more that they have surveyed the scene!
Refreshed and energized it is time to make our way to the preservation garden. As we wind our way through the fynbos and the pelargoniums, we may have time to check out the medicinal plants and with feely fingers get a whiff of some of the amazing smells that fill the garden.
This is our chance to reflect on what we can do to preserve our heritage and our children often surprise us with their innovative ideas. Look out for the red flags. It is daunting to see how many of our plants are endangered or already extinct. By building awareness with our children, we are nurturing our future botanists and scientists. Have fun planning and writing your own red flag.
And so the morning draws to a close. Make your way back to the conservatory and enjoy the rest of the day with your children, chatting about all the amazing things you have done and see on the dinosaur delights excursion with Cape for kids.
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