The Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society supports and works with projects across Cape Town that aim to conserve, restore and educate on our natural world.

We realise the strength of partnerships.

And we work with inspiring partners – from local communities, to non-profit organisations as well as government departments – to improve our ecosystems in Cape Town.

PROJECT LOCATION: Cape Flats, near Grassy Park and Retreat.

Princess Vlei

Conservation Area

The Princess Vlei Conservation Area is located on the Cape Flats, near Grassy Park and Retreat. This is the origin of the wetlands systems that covers Rondevlei, Zeekoeivlei and Zandvlei. It’s a vital home to wildlife, including the endangered Western Leopard Toad. The site had been identified for development – with a shopping mall set to be built here. However, a community-led effort to prevent the development was successful in 2014, and the conservation area was proclaimed.

Today restoration and rehabilitation work continues at the Princess Vlei Conservation Area, driven by the Princess Vlei Forum, a non-profit organisation. The Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society supports the continued conservation work contributing funding and resources, while inspiring youth to become involved in protecting nature. Find out more.

PROJECT LOCATION: Table Mountain National Park to the Boland mountains


Sunbird Restoration Project

The Kirstenbosch Branch supports the wonderful Ingcungcu Sunbird Restoration project. This project aims to link the Table Mountain National Park with the Boland Mountains by creating gardens for pollinators to stop and ‘refill’ on their journey. Sunbirds, sugarbirds and a wide array of insects are being encouraged to cross our urban areas via these gardens. The gardens are carefully positioned and are filled with nectar-producing plants.

The migration corridor crosses the suburbs of Cape Town where school children from diverse backgrounds are engaged in all aspects of the project, from planting to the collection of bird and plant data. The Kirstenbosch Branch of the Botanical Society is a key partner, providing funding support to the project. Find out more

PROJECT LOCATION: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden


Launching youth into careers in nature

BotSoc and the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI) are working together in a new initiative, called the Iziqalo Project. “Iziqalo” means “beginnings” in isiXhosa – and this captures the project’s goal to launch youth who have not been able to access study or work opportunities, into careers linked to nature, in support of South Africa’s rich natural heritage.

The Iziqalo Project is piloting the initiative in the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Here BotSoc is working with 12 young people who were previously unemployed, but who were hired by SANBI to undertake horticultural and conservation at Kirstenbosch. In addition to their work in the garden, through the Iziqalo Project they are also being taken on a journey of growth and development, receiving training and other assistance. 

PROJECT LOCATION: Periphery of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

invasive alienS 

– Our hacking programme

The BotSoc Kirstenbosch Branch implements an invasive alien clearing or ‘hacking’ programme around the periphery of the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden.

Invasive species are a major threat to our Cape Floral Kingdom. What’s more, they threaten up to 30% of the water supply of Cape Town.

Stalwart member Tom Robbins is our ‘hack’ leader. He encourages our enthusiastic and energetic volunteers to meet in all weather conditions to remove gums, black wattle and other dreaded invasive species. Our volunteers meet once a month on a Saturday morning – and the results over the years have proven to be phenomenal. 

PROJECT LOCATION: Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden


– the remarkable history of

The Kirstenbosch Branch is recording for posterity the oral history of our wonderful Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Committee member Carol Cornell has teamed up with professional recorder of oral histories, Carohn Cornell (also a BotSoc member) to interview Kirstenbosch legends such as Dot Malan, Ernst van Jaarsveld, Christien Malan, Andrew Jacobs and Dr George Davis.

The result is a veritable treasure trove of personal oral anecdotes about Kirstenbosch, its people and its botanical heritage.

These interviews have been transcribed and will be archived and curated in a suitable and secure way to be viewed and used by researchers and natural historians for the benefit of future generations.




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Find out more about our fundraising activities. Or donate to our conservation work.