The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, established in 1913 to protect indigenous flora, were the first of their kind in the world. The main garden covers five of the six South African biomes, most of which are found inside an indoor greenhouse. The Kirstenbosch gardens are also home to various exhibitions of sculpture ranging from Zimbabwean stone sculptures to the world-famous bronze animals of Dylan Lewis.
Nature lovers and hikers both enjoy the gardens, as there is series of nearby trails that lead to Table Mountain and the pass at Constantia Nek, the site of the oldest restaurant in Cape Town. From Constantia Nek, hikers can reach the mountain of Constantiaberg, the back table reservoirs of Table Mountain and Cecilia Forest. Following the same path north leads to the Rhodes Memorial and the slopes of Devil's Peak.
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens are regularly visited on tours of the Cape Peninsula. The site often host concerts and other outdoor performances, many of which are part of art and performance camps for children. By car, the gardens are about about 13 miles (21 km) from Cape Town's city center, where travelers can take De Waal Drive (M3) in the direction of Muizenberg, hang a right at Rhodes Drive (M63) toward the mountain and follow the signs to Kirstenbosch. There is free parking at gates 1, 2 and 3.