Want a day out of the busyness of Jozi?

The Water Sisulu National Botanical Garden is perfect to picnic, walk or relax in – its an easy 25 minutes drive from Amanzi.  I haven’t been to the gardens for some time, so  Rob and I decided to go for a walk in the park today.

Botanical Gardens named after a real gentle man, Walter Sisulu

The car park was full and on this sunny Human Rights holiday, lots of people had a similar idea  – to take time out and relax in nature.  Its such a large area, that despite the crowds, it really didn’t feel crowded at all.

Beautifully manicured lawns ideal for picnics, walking, relaxing

If you’ve brought lots to carry, hire a man with a cart for R15 to cart your goodies to the spot of your choice.. kids included ..

Hire a cart to transport your picnic goodies and other precious goods for just R15

I want a picnic like this for my next birthday…what style!   Pallettes for tables, table cloths, roses on mirrors, sprinkled with petals, a feast fit for a queen, and good company …

A birthday picnic in STYLE!

We walked to the waterfall, I never get tired of listening to the water rushing over the rocks.  Apparently there was an ancient sea here, and the ripples of the water can still be seen in the rock.

The Witpoortjie natural Waterfall, 70 m high, is the source of the Crocodile River

I was sad not to see the Black Eagles,  Thulane and Makatsa…. last time I was here I saw them soaring on thermals.  There’s a live webcam trained on the nest, but the pair have built a new nest (fed up with being monitored?) They will soon be laying two eggs and the circle of life will start again – the eaglets hatch around end of June,  and the story of Abel and Cain plays out in Eagle form – the older/stronger eaglet pecks the younger to death, with the parents doing nothing!!  Nature can be tough.   The stronger takes up to 3 months to develop his feathers and flying skills before he too, is chased away by his parents.

I love revisiting the different gardens – a Peoples garden, with Braillle on the back of the boards, with sufficient information to make one curious, but not so much you ignore them.  I enjoyed reading the info and reminders on how important the various grasses and plants are.   8 out of 10 South Africans use traditional medicine or go to a traditional healer  – my favourite is Imphephu, which is used to sooth restless babies, or it is lit and the smoke is believed to connect us to our Ancestors.  In the villages, plants, grasses and wood are essential – to make sleeping mats,  bowls, baskets, fishing nets, even toothbrush sticks.

The park is a place where everyone slows down..  watch a butterfly on a plant,

Slowing down – watching butterflies suck nectar

Rest on a bench or lie down on the grass.

Many Beautifully carved benches invite one to sit and stare

Buy an ice cream and feel like a child…

Oh and the park is completely child friendly.. from the fountains with children running through the water,

Children having fun in the water fountain

Rock hopping,  a fun playground area,

Children’s Play area

and the train to take little legs to the waterfall.

Colourful train to take little legs to the waterfall

Each season brings different experiences and sights. Don’t miss the Aloes in full bloom this winter.

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