RETURN TO HOME PAGE NEWSLETTER EVENTS CALENDAR GET INVOLVED CONTACT US FIRE & EMERGENCIES CONNECT ON FACEBOOK FOLLOW ON TWITTER SUBSCRIBE ON YOUTUBE
Palmiet river with Palmiet Caravan Park next to it

About


Sustainable Living

Biosphere


Reserves

Projects


Partners & Sponsors

Biodiversity


Life's Variety

Recreation


and Attractions

Resources


and Maps

Gallery


Kogelberg Images

Visiting


Accommodation

Harold Porter National Botanical Garden

Tranquility between Mountain and Sea

■ THE PLANTS
■ THE ANIMALS
■ CLIMATE
■ FIRE
■ ENTRANCE FEES

■ HISTORY OF THE GARDEN
■ INDIGENOUS PLANT SALES
■ RED DISA RESTAURANT
■ WALKS & TRAILS
■ TOURS, EDUCATION & CONCERTS

■ REGULATIONS
■ GARDEN HOURS
■ DIRECTIONS

The Harold Porter National Botanical Garden is one of a countrywide network of botanical gardens administered by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). The Institute, with its Head Office at Pretoria, also maintains plant reference collections at three national herbaria, and is actively involved in biodiversity research and environmental education.

Botanical gardens – living museums

Botanical gardens contain collections of plants which are used for display, scientific research and education. They play a vital role in biodiversity conservation. The South African National Botanical Gardens all have natural areas attached to the cultivated sections that act as havens for numerous living organisms, both plant and animal, in their native habitats.

A Treasure Chest in the Cape Floral Kingdom

This tranquil garden set between mountain and sea in Betty's Bay, is located within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a floral hotspot in the heart of the fynbos region. Its natural beauty is dominated by the 900 metre high sandstone peaks of the Kogelberg and the blue waters of the Atlantic Ocean at its feet. Waterfalls, streams and amber pools form a chain between the mountains and the sea. Visitors can enjoy breathtaking views of the coastline from some of the nature trails.

The Plants

Only a spectacular flora could do justice to these magnificent surroundings. The flora at the southernmost point of Africa is just that – unique and so diverse that it is recognised as one of the six floristic regions of the world, the Cape Floral Kingdom. Approximately 8800 species, of which 70% are endemic (occur nowhere else on earth), are crammed into an area of about 90,000 square kilometres in the South-western Cape.

Fynbos, a part of this floral kingdom, is characterised by shrubby plants such as proteas, ericas (Cape heaths), buchus, legumes, brunias, daisies, bulbous plants and reed-like restios in place of grasses. The King Protea (Protea cynaroides), Sugarbush (Protea repens), Prince of Wales Heath (Erica perspicua) and Thatching Reed (Thamnochortus insignis) can be seen in the Garden amongst many others.


▲ BACK TO THE TOP
 

The Animals

The Garden is home to about 100 bird species, including the Cape Sugarbird, the Orange Breasted Sunbird and Protea Canary. Also found here are snakes such as the Puffadder, Common Brown Water Snake and Boomslang. Baboons, Small Grey Mongoose and the Striped Mouse are among the mammals living here and there are also many fascinating spiders and insects if you are lucky enough to spot them.


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Climate

This Garden experiences a mild Mediterranean-type climate, with cool wet winters and warm dry summers; no frost and daily temperatures from 8-28° in winter and 12-35° in summer. Rainfall varies greatly, but the annual average in the lower part of the Garden is 1,150mm. Higher rainfall on the mountain, as well as mist and cloud cover, gives rise to seepages and streams. The driest months are January to March, when the Garden is also exposed to the prevailing southeast winds and the fire hazard is greatest. The Garden has suffered several devastating fires and floods in the past.


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Fire

Many fynbos plants contain oils and resins that make them extremely flammable, and fires are undoubtedly important natural factors in the evolution and maintenance of fynbos vegetation. Many fynbos species can regenerate from coppices or seeds after a fire, and some depend on fires for a chance to flower and set seed. But fires at the wrong time of year, or that are too frequent or too widely spaced and fierce, can be disastrous. Visitors are asked to be extremely careful not to contribute to the fire hazard.


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Entrance Fees

An entrance fee, which is used to develop and maintain the Garden, is payable for all Garden facilities including the Restaurant, Plant Sales and Toilets. Senior Citizens (over 60 years) are entitled to free entry on the first Tuesday of every month. SA Botanical Society members enjoy free entry to all nine SANBI Gardens (application form are available at the entrance). The society assists with many projects and is very active in conservation programmes.

NB: Wild Card membership does not apply to SANBI Gardens.


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

History of the Harold Porter National Botanical Garden

In 1939 Mr Harold Porter, an architect from Johannesburg, together with two partners, Arthur Youldon and Jack Clarence, acquired a large tract of land between Rooiels and the Palmiet River, known as the Hangklip Beach Estate. As Betty's Bay developed, he retained a portion of land in the Leopard's Kloof (Gorge) area to develop as a wild fynbos reserve and named it Shangri-la (meaning paradise). After his death in 1958 his trust donated the reserve to the then National Botanical Gardens of SA, and it was renamed in his honour. Further donations of land by the Municipality increased the extent of the Garden to include Disa Kloof and a section below the main road that adjoins a Marine Reserve. This has created a unique botanical garden stretching from the mountain top right down to the sea, incorporating a complete river system and a wide variety of plant and animal habitats.


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Indigenous Plant Sales

Daily from 08h00 to 16h30. Plants suitable for coastal and fynbos gardens are obtainable here.
ENQUIRIES.   Tel. 028 272 9311   |   Fax. 028 272 9333


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Red Disa Restaurant

The Red Disa Restaurant offers delicious refreshments and meals and is open daily during Garden hours. If reservations are made ahead of time, they will remain open later.
ENQUIRIES.   Tel. 028 272 9946   |   E-mail. reddisa@thereddisa.co.za   |   Web page. www.thereddisa.co.za

Venues to Hire

Fully equipped conference facilities are available for hire which are also suitable for meetings and social functions such as weddings. An outdoor area on which a marquee may be erected is also available for functions.
ENQUIRIES.   Tel. 028 272 9311   |   E-mail. Harold.Porter.NBG@sanbi.org.za


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Garden Walks

  • The main paved Circular Route and shorter Eco-systems Walk within the cultivated Garden are both wheelchair-friendly.
  • Visitors may walk on the lawns but are kindly requested to keep out of the flower beds, ponds and streams.

Garden Trails

Please keep to the pathways on all our nature walks and hiking trails. No swimming is allowed.

  • An easy walk (950m) up to Disa Kloof waterfall, named for the orchids that grow there. Accessible via wheelchair. Because of flood damage which will soon be undergoing repairs, the waterfall in Disa Kloof is not currently accessible.
  • The Fynbos Trail links Disa Kloof with Leopard's Kloof along the lower slopes of the plateau through natural fynbos (circular route 1,85km from entrance and back). Because of flood damage which will soon be undergoing repairs, the bridge leading to the Fynbos Trail from Disa Kloof is not currently negotiable. However most of the Fynbos Trail can be walked from the Leopard's Kloof end, returning the same way.
  • For the more energetic, enjoy a forested walk (1.5km) in Leopard's Kloof (Gorge) to see the cascading waterfalls. There are some ladders to climb so appropriate fitness and footwear is needed. Permit and key available until 13h00 and must be returned by 16h00. A deposit is payable for the key to the access gate.
  • The Zigzag Trail with spectacular sea and Garden views winds up the mountain to our border with the Kogelberg Nature Reserve (4.2km). Be prepared for changes in the weather, wear appropriate clothing for the season and take water, a windbreaker and hat with you. You will need to turn back at the boundary with Cape Nature and return to the Garden.
  • The Oudebosch Trail (incorporating the Zigzag Trail) is a one-way trail from Oudebosch to the Garden, and can only be walked in one direction. A vehicle needs to be available at both ends. Bookings must be made with Cape Nature on 028 271 5138.

▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Tours

Group tours of the Garden may be made by booking at least two weeks in advance. Smaller numbers of people may be accommodated for tours without booking if a staff member is available – enquire at the entrance. Please note that tours will only be conducted on weekdays and not on weekends or public holidays. Tour prices on enquiry.

Education

The Education Officer may be contacted for lessons and activities for learners in the Garden and local vicinity.

Concerts

Carols by Candlelight and the Summer Sunset Concerts are becoming increasingly popular during the summer months. Call to enquire about forthcoming events, or visit our website at www.sanbi.org.


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Regulations

Please obey Garden regulations – they are there for your own safety and for that of all the living organisms and natural features of the Garden.

  • Parking and use of Garden is at own risk.
  • No dogs allowed.
  • All litter should be taken away with you to assist with managing baboons in the area.
  • Feeding any animal, especially the baboons, is strictly prohibited.
  • All wild animals, including the snakes, can be dangerous and should not be disturbed or removed.
  • Do not damage, pick or take any plant material from the Garden, including seeds.

▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Garden Hours

  • Garden opening time. The Garden is open 365 days a year.
  • Garden closing times. No entry after 16h30 on weekdays and 17h00 on weekends and public holidays.
  • Visitors who are already in the Garden may stay until 18h00 in winter (April to October) and 19h00 in summer (November to March). Please note that the parking area will be locked after these exit times.
  • Special late closing times. Entry until 19h00 during the summer festive season (as advertised). The Garden will close at 21h00.
  • Concerts. Opening and closing times will be advertised, including on our website.

▲ BACK TO THE TOP

How to get to the Garden

The Garden is situated on the R44, Clarence Drive, Betty's Bay and is accessible from either Gordon's Bay or the N2 (take the Hermanus turnoff and then the Kleinmond turnoff).


▲ BACK TO THE TOP

Garden Details

Physical Address. Clarence Drive (R44) Betty's Bay
Tel. 028 272 9311
Fax. 028 272 9333
E-mail. Harold.Porter.NBG@sanbi.org.za
Website. www.sanbi.org

SANBI's Vision

Biodiversity richness for all South Africans.

SANBI's Mission

To champion the exploration, conservation, sustainable use, appreciation and enjoyment of South Africa's exceptionally rich biodiversity for all people.

Sub Menu


FILE LAST UPDATED:   2017-01-13   (recreation-harold-porter.php) SHARE THIS PAGE

Get Involved and
be Part of the Biosphere
Fire and
Emergencies
Contact the
Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve
COPYRIGHT © 2017 KOGELBERG BIOSPHERE RESERVE COMPANY (KBRC). ALL RIGHTS RESERVED  |  TIGME.COM