The Lowveld National Botanical Gardens in Nelspruit/Mbombela was established in 1969 after the local municipality resolved that a regional botanical garden would be ideal for the conservation of the diverse flora of the region, education and the promotion of tourism.
The garden was officially opened on 10 September 1971, on 169 hectares of land donated by the municipality and HL Hall & Sons. Only 30 hectares of the property is landscaped, with the balance retained as a natural or low maintenance area.
The garden is shaped by the Crocodile and Nels rivers that cut across it and form spectacular waterfalls which can be viewed at the Cascades and the Nels viewpoints. When the Crocodile River is low, interesting geological formations are visible.
The main area of the garden boasts a large selection of cycads, the oldest seed plants on earth with fossil records dating back to the time of the dinosaurs. Cycads are classified as an endangered species and trade in the species is prohibited. There are also 112 species of South African fig trees represented in the garden.
A unique braille trail for blind visitors; a medicinal garden showcasing edible and other useful indigenous plants; and the SAPPI aerial boardwalk which meanders through a recreated African rain forest are but three of the special interest sites that have been established in the garden.
The garden serves as an important conservation area where around 200 bird species have been recorded. Seventy five reptile species call the garden their home, as do numerous mammal species, including different mongooses, vervet monkey and thick-tailed bushbaby.
The garden has wonderful picnic spots under large shade trees and is also ideal for functions, such as weddings and birthdays. A children’s play area with jungle gyms and a sandpit can keep kids entertained for hours. There are two restaurants in the garden, offering visitors food and drink in tranquil settings.
Lowveld National Botanical Gardens is open Monday to Sunday from September to March from 08h00 to 18h00 and from April to August from 08h00 to 17h00.
Kruger Lowveld offers a large variety of accommodation, places to go and things to do. Find it all here...