Africa’s Best and Most Beautiful Botanical Gardens

marrakesh botanical garden
The Jardin Majorelle Garden is a symphony of colours | Photo © Fondation Jardin Majorelle

Africa is a famously green continent, a visit to motherland is never complete if you haven’t seen the beautiful and wide varieties of flora and wild life that the continent has to offer. Apart from conserving flora and wildlife, botanical gardens in the continent are so fun to visit because they’re very informative and recreational, so they’re always at the top of every visitor’s list. Whether you’re having a picnic, looking for a day out or simply need to reconnect with nature, here’s a list of some of Africa’s best and wonderful botanical gardens to take a stroll in and explore.

Majorelle Garden, Marrakesh, Morocco 

Easily one of the most visited places in MoroccoJardin Majorelle is a two and half acre garden and artists landscape garden in Marrakesh. The garden is designed and composed like a painting, having been built by a French painter, Jacques Majorelle in the 1920s. Many of the garden features are painted in dark blue, which works well with the soil, climate and plants. One of the most unique features of the garden is its magnificent water channels lily-filled ponds and fountains. What’s more? The garden is open to visitors all year round. 

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Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, South Africa

Botanical garden in Randburg
Johannesburg Botanical Garden, South Africa | © Rckr88/Flickr

A trip spent exploring the Johannesburg wouldn’t be the same without a stop off at its botanical garden. At only about 30 years of age, Johannesburg Botanical Gardens is one of the youngest gardens South Africa. It has also been voted as one of the best passive recreative spaces as its greenery provides a break from the hustle and bustle of the city life. Located on the western shores of Emmarentia dam, the garden is one of the city’s parks with over 30,000 trees, a very large rose garden holding over 4,500 varieties and a space through which visitors can stroll, meet for a picnic or play with their kids. But the rather unique thing about their plant diversity is that they’re involved in seed exchange programs with about 300 other gardens all over the world. The garden is mostly used for weddings and summer sunset concerts. 

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Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Pamplemousses, Mauritius

Botanical garden in Pamplemousses
Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden in Pamplemousses, Mauritius | © REETAM Girish

The Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam Botanical Garden is easily one of the most visited attractions in Mauritius. Located near Port-Louis in the district of Pamplemousses, the garden covers endless acres and acres of land, so if you’re looking to get an experience of the entire garden, it may take you a little over a week to do that. The garden is populated with over 650 varieties of plants, including the famous Baobabs, giant water lilies, dozens of medicinal plants, a spice garden and lots more. The main attraction of the garden is its 85 different species of palm trees gathered from different parts of the world. The garden also houses lots of indigenous species. There’s also a photo exhibition located in the Chateau de mon Plaisir, displaying the photo of Late Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam, Father of the nation. Guides are available at the entrance, willing and waiting to give you the best experience. This should be on your itinerary if you’re a nature lover!

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Aswan Botanical Garden, Egypt

Aswan Botanical Garden
Aswan Botanical Garden in Kitchener’s Island, Aswan, Egypt | © John Willis/Flickr

The Aswan Botanical garden is one of the most popular tourist attractions in the Egyptian Nile River city of Aswan, and one of the oldest gardens in the world. It is a very beautiful place where nature lovers can view the many types of subtropical, exotic, and rare plantings and trees. It’s so much more than just a pretty place to enjoy a nice picnic or take a stroll, rather it’s also a very important botanical research centre where scientists gather to explore the viability sustainability of several plant species in Egypt. The garden boasts of more than 25 varieties of palm trees, a large number of native and migratory birds and many different types of water fowl. It’s other diverse varieties of trees include Alcaa African, Tamarind, Ebony, Camphor, Cork, Alpomas, Figs, Sabota, passion fruits, a large variety of tropical fruit trees etc. The garden also grows medicinal plants, aromatic henna, hibiscus, basil, frankincense and siwaak.

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Aburi Botanical Garden, Ghana

botanical garden in ghana
Aburi Botanical Gardens, Ghana | © PapJeff/Flickr

When in Ghana, the serene Aburi Botanical Garden is definitely worth a visit. The garden, famed as one of Ghana’s finest nature parks is located in the eastern region of Ghana, about a 45minute drive from Accra, the capital city. You could take a tour with a seasoned guide to explore some of the most diverse and rare plant species in West Africa. You could go biking, go for a picnic or just take a relaxing stroll in the soothing green flora. The space is also ideal for a time-out with family and friends. While there, you could also visit the Shai Hills Nature Reserve and explore the lush, green rolling hills with unique plants and wildlife such as the famous Olive baboons. 

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Entebbe Botanical Garden, Uganda

Botanical garden in Entebbe
National Botanical Gardens in Entebbe, Uganda | © Mark Polane/Flickr

Also known as the National Botanical Gardens of Uganda, the splendid Entebbe Botanical Garden is situated on the shores of one of the world’s freshwater lakes, Lake Victoria. The garden is close to the Entebbe International Airport and the gardens themselves are situated on the equator lines. A unique experience of visiting this particular garden is that you get to enjoy the Mileage world music festival if you’re there in November, with lots of live music and games. The Entebbe Botanical Garden is a bird’s paradise where visitors can go for bird watching and watch some rare birds such as Orange weavers, red chested sunbirds, black headed heron, pied Kingfishers, giant Kingfishers, long tailed cormorant, yellow billed duck, and many more others. The gardens also serve as a habitat for a diverse variety of monkeys and spiders. The garden is also known to grow over 3000 species of trees, out of which over 2000 are indigenous to Uganda. As a visitor, you could take a nature guides walk at the rocky area near the magnificent lake and to the forest canopy with breath-taking views, while viewing more bird species and relaxing in the cool breeze of Lake Victoria. 

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Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden, Cape Town, South Africa

Botanical garden in Cape Town
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden in Cape Town, South Africa | © Communiquel/Flickr

Now we all know Kirstenbosch is one of the most breathtaking nature spaces in South AfricaNestled at the foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town, Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is enormous and beautiful. The park is famed as one of the greatest botanical gardens of the world. Few gardens can indeed match the sheer majestic settings of the garden. There are always plants and flowers to see at every season in Kirstenbosch and every season has its charm, however to see most of their famous plant and flower varieties in their full charm, the best time to visit is towards the end of winter, in spring or in early summer (August – November).  The Kirstenbosch features a Centenary Canopy Walkway that takes visitors from the forest floor into and through the trees and bursts out above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains, Garden and Cape Flats. This is a top botanic garden in Africa and one of our favourites! 

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Jardin d’Essai du Hamma, Algiers, Algeria

Test Garden of Hamma
Botanical garden El-Hamma Jardin d’Essai | © Zahira Photography/Flickr

The amount of plant and tree diversity at Botanical garden El-Hamma Jardin d’Essai is unbelievable! The stunning garden measuring 54 hectares hosts hundreds of species of plants, decorated fountains, zoo and art museums. If you’re looking to get away from the city, this is a great place for you. The location of the garden in the bay of Algiers in the Hamma district enjoys a perfect climate between the shores of the Mediterranean Sea and the mountains protecting it from the strong winds of the desert. The garden has 2 main designs facing each other. One garden hosts a large space from the edge of the sea to the foot of the mountain and hosts the museum of fine arts, while the other garden consists of shaded alleys bordering a dense diversity of plants and vegetation. The garden hosts thousands of plant species and large, entangled trees and was used by Hollywood to shoot the famous movie, Tarzan of the Apes. Apart from having a nice day out at the garden, you can also enjoy guided tours, field studies and Fauna & Flora exhibitions as it is one of the highest contributors of environmental education in Algeria. 

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Japanese Gardens, Cairo, Egypt

Botanical garden in Egypt
Japanese Botanical Garden in Egypt | © Marilena Manzoni

The Japanese Gardens are a very important feature of the town Helwan in Cairo. Although old, the garden is still lovely, containing quite a number of fish ponds, flower beds and shrubs and several stone gods. A unique feature of the Japanese garden are the 30 identical stone buddha statues which are about 10 feet high! The garden also features canals, hills and diverse array of trees. The buddhas are the stars of the show in the garden and getting a picture with pink statues is a must! The garden is also about 4 blocks from the train station which makes it convenient for visitors coming in or going out of town. 

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Sarius Palmetum, Abuja, Nigeria 

Located on Ibrahim Babangida way, Sarius Palmetum is the biggest botanical garden in Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria. The colourful and attractive garden hosts a diverse variety of plants and flowers from Hawaii, Singapore and Mauritius that give visitors a memorable experience. The garden has a very interesting landscape made up of green hills, various rock formations and a river that runs beautifully through the length of the garden. There are also monkeys in the garden but they only come out to play in the evenings when there are minimal human activities. Their various spacious environment is also used for several events and shows in the city. Best time to visit the garden is in the evenings as the monkeys add to the experience of the magnificent nature. 

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Tunduru Botanical Gardens, Maputo, Mozambique

Located in downtown MaputoJardim Tunduru Botanical Gardens is a public park and garden and offers a welcome shady retreat on hot, tropical days in the port city and capital of MozambiqueExpertly landscaped, and designed by Thomas Honney in 1885, It is a fantastic place to go for a picnic or just to escape the midday heat. You could just relax and spend the day in quiet solitude. The gardens also feature a tennis court, parking bay, restrooms and a statue of Mozambique’s first president, Samora Machel. It is so beautiful, clean, people are friendly, truly a very safe environment to visit. 

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