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National Botanic Garden of Namibia

Quiver tree leaves  © Caitlin Regan, License

National Botanic Garden of Namibia

National Botanic Garden of Namibia

The National Botanic Garden of Namibia is a 12 hectare property which is located on a hill between Klein Windhoek and the city centre of Namibia's capital City, Windhoek. It is a special place where visitors can see and learn about Namibia's fascinating plants. The purpose of the Botanical Gardens is to protect and promote the sustainable utilisation of the Namibian flora and to function as an educational and recreational nature facility for Namibians and visitors alike.

The City Council of Windhoek donated the land to the Government in October 1969, and was originally planned to be a nature reserve. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds the initial development which had started in the early 1970s, with the construction of walking trails, a storm water system and a dam, had to be terminated by the then Department of Nature Conservation and the garden was abandoned. It was only 20 years later, when the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) moved to the buildings neighbouring the reserve in 1990, that the idea arose to develop the area as a Botanic Garden. It took a further 3 years of negotiations between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), before the NBRI obtained the right to develop the land into a Botanic Garden in February 1993. Unlike many other botanical gardens, the larger part of this garden has not been landscaped. The reasons for this are firstly to conserve water and secondly to emphasise plants in their natural environment. This decision has allowed students and visitors to learn more about the vegetation around Windhoek, known as highland savannah. However, in the developed sections of the gardens there are several special displays that ensure visitors also get to see plants from other parts of the country, such as the Desert House display on the Namib Desert or the Kunene Region.

There are a number of self-guided walking trails that lead through the garden with the most common woody plants being labelled and bird and plant lists available at Reception. The gardens also claim to have one of the densest areas of the Windhoek Aloe which is the symbol of the city of Windhoek. In the early 1970s a forest of quiver trees and bottle trees was planted and today, considering exceptional size and beauty of the trees, this forest is well worth the visit. Early in the year, after good rains, you can admire some of the gardens lilies flowering along the Lily Walk. The garden also is home to a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. The picnic area provides the perfect spot to end your visit relaxing in the tranquil atmosphere of the garden.

The Gardens are open from Monday to Friday, from 08:00 to 17:00 and every first Saturday of the month from 08:00 to 11:00. Entrance is free, except on weekends. The National Botanical Gardens of Namibia request that be no removal, damaging or collecting of any plants or plant material such as seeds as this is strictly prohibited. Visitors are also asked to remain on the paths and approach all wildlife in a respectful manner. There are also allocated dustbins in the gardens and visitors are requested to use these to dispose of their litter.

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