Have you been to the Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in South Africa lately? Well you have to go and experience the new Treetop Canopy Walkway. It is a new curved steel and timber bridge that winds and dips its way through and over the trees of this beautiful botanical gardens. They say that it was Inspired by a snake skeleton, and have named it ‘The Boomslang‘ (meaning tree snake). I couldn’t wait to walk across this bridge with my family when they came to visit me and explore Cape Town.
This walkway definitely looked like a snake, especially from ground level when I looked up at the curving skeleton like bridge. We got to walk through some of the beautiful gardens before we reached the walkway and I couldn’t wait to see the gardens from above. The Walkway took us from the forest floor into and through the trees and then we burst out above the canopy, giving us spectacular panoramic views of the surrounding mountains, Garden and Cape Flats.
This walkway is 130 m long, narrow and slender, with a few wider view-point areas, and weaves its way between the branches of the garden’s Arboretum (a thick woodland just up from the concert lawn). Thanks to the careful use of a natural colour scheme and clever curved design, the sky-high avenue is unobtrusive and blends in beautifully with the environment.
The walkway touches the forest floor in two places, and raised us up to 12 m above ground, but it is quite broad so even though I am afraid of heights I felt quite safe. It is more than just a traditional boardwalk, like a snake, it winds and dips, but luckily it doesn’t shake as you walk. Look out for labels on the trees that document their family and common names as well as information boards along the path that give details about the birds, animals and mountain peaks visible from the boardwalk. We had lots of fun looking out for these animals and trying to spot them. There are two benches built into the deck where you can sit and watch the different birds twittering and flittering about in the foliage at eye level. I think I could definitely spend an afternoon here with my camera.
The tree stems poke through the treated pine deck in some places, before it soars out of the leafy canopy in a graceful twist, yielding a view all the way from the sun-kissed slopes of Table Mountain to the distant misty peaks. This made me feel as if I was floating above the treetops, experiencing a part of the forest that’s usually difficult to get to.
I would love to see the autumn colours of Table Mountain and the Gardens from here, so I will definitely be back again.