Sunrise spots: The Boomslang


Justin Hawthorne

An interesting way to experience Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is to stop in for a sunrise stroll over the Tree Canopy Walkway, The Boomslang!


The Boomslang

As sunrise pushes closer to 08:00 in the heart of winter, gate access for day entries are issued from 07:30 at the Rycroft Gate. This allows you to take an eerie walk through the dark Garden en route to the Arboretum, where The Boomslang snakes its way through the tree canopy!


Dawn at Kirstenbosch

You may get extremely lucky with an animal sighting as you wander about at dawn. A number of species are typically nocturnal, such as the Porcupine, Caracal, Large Spotted Genet and Grysbok. Chances are very slim, but at least you’ve put yourself in a position to possibly sight one!


Fernwood Peak, Table Mountain

Taking a wide loop to get there is best, aiming for the Fynbos garden lawns which give elevation over the Garden and towards the Cape Flats, where the city lights twinkle at dawn. Beyond the multi-colored sparkling lies the Cape Fold Mountains. The magic happens beyond that barrier of rock, the backdrop to the Cape Winelands towns of  Franschhoek and Stellenbosch.


Heading through the forest trees at dawn

All the while, you’ll watch Devil’s Peak and Table Mountain slowly change from silhouette to golden lit sandstone cliffs, and lush green Afromontane forest.


Table Mountain’s eastern slopes

Head down to The Boomslang when the time is right. The first rays of sunlight create such remarkable visuals from the canopy. Table Mountain lights up and the swaying trees glisten all shades associated with the golden hour.


Sunrise from the tree tops!

The Tree Canopy Walkway is a new feature in the Botanical Garden, constructed in 2014 to celebrate the 100 year anniversary of Kirstenbosch which was established in 1913 by Harold Pearson.


Tree Canopy Walkway (The Boomslang), Kirstenbosch

If you plan to stick around and explore the Garden, take a look at my TOP 10 highlights at Kirstenbosch!


Devil’s Peak during golden hour

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is part of the Cape Town Big 7, the big attractions of the city. Check out Cape Town Tourism’s site for more great travel tips!

Castle Rocks looms large above the Tree Canopy Walkway

Castle Rocks (L) looms large above the Tree Canopy Walkway

Join up to the Botanical Society of South Africa for perks such as early and unlimited entry:

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