Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens – South Africa


Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens is in the heart of the Cape Fynbos region within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve, a nature reserve of 7,400 acres comprising the Kogelberg Mountain Range specifically near Betty’s Bay. The Garden consists of about 24 acres of cultivated gardens and 470 acres of pristine natural fynbos, a type of vegetation found only on the southern tip of Africa. The area contains a floral diversity of 1,600 plant species and over 60 species of birds. The main fynbos families in the gardens are proteas, ericas, restios, and as well as South Africa’s national flower, the king protea. In addition, porcupines, genets, hyraxes, baboons, and snakes make the gardens their home. The gardens offer nature and hiking trails that provide scenic views of forests, mountains, and the coastline. The hiking trails offer walks for hikers of all levels of fitness. The gardens also have an educational center, restaurant, and wheelchair friendly access to the garden trails. It is suitable for the whole family. The garden is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pool, though it encompasses a wide variety of settings and ecosystems such as mountain slopes, heathlands, gorges, forests, flats, marshes, and as well dunes. Having such a wide variety of ecosystems throughout the grounds allows for a wide variety of bird species. Some forest species recorded include Verreaux’s Eagle, Orange-breasted Sunbird, Victorin’s Scrub-Warbler, and the Olive Woodpecker. Though in the lower cultivated gardens, one can find the Karoo Prinia, Southern Boubou, Black Saw-wing Swallow, and the Lesser Double-collared Sunbird. One must go to the gardens with ample time to explore its many sections and ecosystems throughout the park. Do not forget to visit Leopard’s Kloof! When entering the gardens, do not forget to grab a key, only a limited number of visitors are allowed in Leopard’s Kloof at a time to maintain the peaceful atmosphere and to prevent damage to its sensitive ecosystem. Owen visited the Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens in September 2015 and photographed the Neddicky, Cape Bunting, and the Swee Waxbill.  

Birds found here