Eco & Nature
- Jump to Walks
- Jump to Friends of Constantia Valley Green Belts
- Jump to Table Mountain National Park
- Jump to Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
From Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens to Tokai Forest, the Constantia Valley is crisscrossed by a well developed network of green belts, large open spaces and parkland. Thanks to the work of the Friends of Constantia Green Belts, visitors can walk along a number of well maintained trails:
- Grootboschkloof River
- Grootboschkloof Trail
- Silverhurst Trail
- Alphen & Bel Ombre Green
- Doordrift Walk
- Alphen Trail
- Sillery Walk
- Bel Ombre meadow
- Prinskasteel River, Tokai
Two local volunteer guides are available to assist visitors or school groups with knowledge of the riverine fauna, flora and environment on the Green Belts.
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.
Friends of Constantia Valley Green Belts
Founded in 1997, the Friends of Constantia Valley Green Belts falls under the auspices of the Wildlife and Environmental Society (WESSA). Its aim is to promote and protect the environmental and recreational heritage of Constantia.
River Wardens monitor the riverine environment, vigilant against invasive alien vegetation, water pollution and abstraction and storm water damage. The Friends replant indigenous trees and respond to litter and verge complaints as well as other specific projects, such as applying for De Hel to be proclaimed a Provincial Heritage Site, to protect this unique nature conservation area and historically significant heritage site. Funds for improvements to the Green Belts are raised through the paper and glass recycling project at Constantia Village Shopping Centre administered by Enviroglass and Waste Services.
For more information, go to http://www.wessa.wcape.school.za/FrofConstantiaGreenbelt.html
Table Mountain National Park
The Constantia Valley is bordered on two sides by the Table Mountain National Park (TMNP), a World Heritage Site. Stretching from Signal Hill in the north to Cape Point in the south, the TMNP is surrounded to the west by the Atlantic Ocean and to the east the warmer waters of False Bay. Recognised globally for its extraordinarily rich, diverse and unique fauna and flora, the TMNP is a remarkable natural, scenic, historical, cultural and recreational asset.
For more information, go to http://www.sanparks.org/parks/table_mountain/
Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden
Founded in 1913, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden is for many today the world’s most beautiful garden. Growing only indigenous South African plants, the estate covers 528 hectares and supports a diverse fynbos flora and natural forest. The cultivated garden (36 hectares) displays collections of South African plants, particularly those from the winter rainfall region of the country.
During the early years of the colony, the Constantia Valley was used for wood gathering and hunting before agricultural pursuits. Forests were harvested for timber and although little is known about this early woodcutting period, overgrown tracks where the timber was hauled out of the forest and small ruins can still be found in Kirstenbosch Garden. Sections of a hedge of wild almond (Brabejum stellatifolium) and brambles planted in 1660 to form the boundary of the colony also still exist and are known as van Riebeeck's hedge.
During the English Occupation in 1811, two large grants of land were made to Colonel Bird and Henry Alexander who both built houses. In 1823, the Ecksteen family acquired both properties and later on the land passed on to the Cloete family. They farmed the area and planted oaks, fruit trees and vines.
In 1895 Cecil Rhodes purchased the property from the Cloete family and when he died in 1902, Rhodes bequeathed Kirstenbosch to the people as part of his great Groot Schuur estate.
- The Garden is open 365 days a year from 08:00 - 19:00 (September -March) and from 08:00 - 18:00 (April - August).
- The entrance fee is R27 for adults and R15 for South African students with student ID cards.
- Fees for school children (6-18 years old) are R5.
- Children under 6 years old and Botanical Society members have free entry.
- SA senior citizens have free entry on Tuesdays, if it is not a public holiday.
For more information, go to http://www.sanbi.org/frames/kirstfram.htm