Kirstenbosch Boomslang Walk

The Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town have much to offer those who love to wander in nature. A picnic on manicured lawns while listening to the beats on a glorious summer afternoon, a sundown concert or even Carols by Candlelight are just a few of the entertaining events hosted in the gardens.

This lush paradise of indigenous and exotic blooms is easily accessible from all over the city during your luxury Cape Town break, and well worth a visit any time of the year.

A novel approach to sightseeing
Now, as an added attraction, there’s a Boomslang at large in the gardens.

Officially called the Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway, this steel and timber boardwalk winds through the leafy canopy of the Gardens’ Arboretum, much like the tree-loving snake that it’s named after.

After a year of construction, this epic boardwalk was opened in May 2014 to mark the Gardens’ 100th anniversary. The design is based on the flexible anatomy of a snake and was painstakingly put together to avoid infringing on nature in any way.

With the teams at Henry Fagan and Partners consulting engineers and Mark Thomas Architects behind the project, you can be assured that the structure is safe as well as pleasing to the eye.

Conservation-wise construction
Construction was implemented just as carefully as the design, with the foundations dug by hand to avoid disturbing the surrounding vegetation or existing root structures. The only evidence that remains of this intrusion on nature are the inconspicuous concrete stubs at the base of each pillar.

The framework comprises a spine of tubular steel with welded ribs and a mesh cross bracing, while the walkway itself is crafted from shaped pine planks. The Boomslang was built in 6m lengths at a time then carefully raised into place and secured, piece by piece.

For extra security, the boardwalk has shaped timber handrails along its 130m length. It is also accessible for wheelchairs.

Immerse yourself in nature
The views from the Boomslang are gorgeous, with a lush canopy below and stunning vistas of Table Mountain, the Gardens, and the Cape Flats. The two benches built into the deck, provide opportunities to just sit and take it all in, with the birdlife all aflutter in the treetops surrounding you.

The boardwalk extends from one point of the Arboretum to another and dips up and down like a roller coaster – from ground level in some places to high above the treetops in others.

Experience these highs and lows on your visit to the Mother City and revel in the Cape Town luxury of lapping up undisturbed nature in the heart of the city.

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