Where mountains and sea meet, fynbos at its richest
The internationally known Harold Porter National Botanical Gardens came into being when Harold Porter bequeathed his “Shangri-la” estate in 1958 to the National Botanical Garden (known today as the South African National Biodiversity Institute).
This lovely garden is situated in the centre of the coastal fynbos where the flora is at its richest. It encompasses mountain slopes with wind-clipped heathlands, deep gorges with relict forests, flats and marshes with restios, sedges and bulbs, as well as dunes adjacent to the beach with specialised salt-adapted plants. The Garden is renowned for its waterfalls and amber pools.
Stroll through 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos gardens with smooth lawns next to beds of colourful indigenous flowers or follow a trail along a paved walkway up Disa Kloof under shady trees. The rougher path up Luiperd’s Kloof may appeal to the more adventurous and can only be accessed after a permit has been obtained. After criss-crossing the river several times and daring jumps over rocks past waterfalls, a magnificent view over Betty’s Bay and the ocean awaits those that reach the top of Luiperd’s Kloof. Both trails offer magnificent waterfalls and dark pools and in January the famed red disa can be seen. As far as possible, all the plants and trees along the paved walkways have explanatory name boards, which makes the visit to the Harold Porter all the more rewarding.
The main fynbos families (proteas, ericas and restios) are present as well as other important families such as irises, daisies and orchids. The Garden boasts red disa (Disa uniflora) in its natural habitat as well as South Africa’s national flower, the king protea (Protea cynaroides).
A visit at any time of the year will prove a delight. We look forward to welcoming you to this little piece of paradise. The Garden is open 365 days a year.
This beautiful, secluded Garden is set between mountain and sea, in the heart of the Cape Fynbos region within the Kogelberg Biosphere Reserve. It consists of 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos garden and 190.5 hectares of pristine natural fynbos. The Garden Estate is the natural part of the garden with several kilometres of nature trails providing scenic views of forests, mountains and coastline.