The Company’s Garden is an iconic landmark in the cityscape of Cape Town and a must-do when visiting the Mother City. Lunch hour often sees the Garden’s tree-lined avenues, benches and lawns filled with locals and tourists alike seeking fresh air and the beautiful views of Table Mountain.
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About the Garden
The Garden was established in 1652 by Dutch settlers in order to provide a service and provision station for the spice-trading sailing ships undertaking the long sea voyage to the east.
The garden shared the landscape with indigenous hunter gatherers and pastoralists who used the area. This halfway refuelling station became the foundation of Western colonisation in Southern Africa. It is one of the oldest gardens in Africa.
Nowadays, the Garden is open to the public and visitors can walk its tree-lined avenues, exploring the history of the Garden and feeding the friendly resident squirrels. Bags of nuts are available for sale from traders in the area.
- Where: 19 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
- When: Open daily: Winter, 7:00 - 19:00 & Summer, 7:30 - 20:30
- Contact number: 021 426 1357
The Company’s Garden Restaurant
Nestled in the historical Company’s Garden is a restaurant that caters for local families and tourists alike. The restaurant is an oasis of calm within the bustling city of Cape Town. This iconic venue has undergone a metamorphosis and now operates as part of the Madame Zingara Restaurant group.
The restaurant serves a selection of light meals, teatime treats and traditional South African favourites from early morning till late afternoon. At night the restaurant is transformed into an awesome function venue.
- Where: 15 Queen Victoria Street, Cape Town
- When: Mondays to Fridays, 7:00 - 17:00
- More info: The Company’s Garden Restaurant website
- Contact number: 021 423 2919
Inside the Garden
The Garden has been enjoyed by visitors since it was opened to the public in 1848. Besides its extensive list of galleries and museums, the Garden contains commemorative monuments and smaller gardens within its confines.
The Deville Wood Memorial Garden commemorates the World War 1 battle in Deville Wood, France, where a group of 3 000 predominantly South African soldiers were reduced to only 755 survivors by German forces.
The Garden contains a rose garden that was designed and built in 1929 and a herb and succulent garden. There are also lawns and benches throughout the Garden which are perfect for a picnic or birthday party. Some other notable features of the garden include:
- The oldest cultivated pear tree in South Africa (circa 1652)
- Historically and botanically valuable trees
- An aviary
- Historic statues such as the Cecil John Rhodes statue, Sir George Gray (Cape Colony’s governor), and the Japanese lantern monument.
The Company’s Garden is filled with important landmarks. These include the lodge that housed the slaves who built large parts of the historic city, the Iziko SA Museum and Planetarium, St George’s Cathedral, and the present day Houses of Parliament.
- For a comprehensive list visit galleries and museums in Cape Town
Immerse yourself in some of Cape Town’s history with a walk through the verdant Company’s Gardens. Take a picnic and allow yourself to soak in the beautiful natural setting of the Garden with Table Mountain as your backdrop.
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