A garden with water in the background

Johannesburg Botanical Garden

Landscape walks
Hidden gem
The 81-hectare Botanical Garden form one of Johannesburg’s vital green lungs. The land for the gardens was set aside in 1969 – at the time it was a sports field and golf driving range consisting of bare veld and no trees. Now it consists of large, grassy, open spaces scattered with trees and used by runners, picnickers and dog walkers. It hosts the occasional concert season and kite-flying competitions. Visitors enjoy its special gardens – the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Herb Garden, a Hedge Demonstration Garden and the main arboretum, which houses family groupings of plants and trees of South Africa and the rest of the world.
The gardens contain an attractive mix of bunched indigenous and exotics surrounded by lawns, overlooking the 7,5-hectare Emmarentia Dam, which dates back to the turn of the century, popular with canoeists and boaters. There is also a tea pergola and a floreum for meetings, shows, and exhibitions. The dam is fed by two smaller dams above it, which are home to many aquatic birds. The park is fenced and gates at all the entrances are staffed by security guards.
Please check the latest COVID-19 guidance before your visit.
Every day from 06h00 - 18h00

Find Us

Olifants Road City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality ZA 2195

Areas of Johannesburg Botanical Garden

  • Herbarium and Library

    The herbarium houses 5532 indigenous and exotic pressed plant specimens, which help visitors and staff help identify the foliage in the park. Next to the herbarium, the seed room houses seed collections from other Johannesburg City parks. The library has 1421 books, and 1414 journals and pamphlets on taxonomy, biodiversity, morphology, plant anatomy, plant geography, ethnobotany, and landscaping. 07:30 to 15: 30 (Monday- Friday) For enquiries and more information, contact Anni Bruyns on (011) 782 0517 The herbarium offers free services such as: Plant identification (assisted and self-service) Tours School group tours (booked through Environmental Education) Access to the library and herbarium collection
  • The Chapel Garden

    Designed to accommodate weddings from all cultures, the Chapel Garden is also the most affordable wedding venue in Johannesburg.
  • The Shakespeare Garden

    The Shakespeare Garden is planted with herbs referred to by Shakespeare in his plays, including mint, camomile, marjoram, and lavender. Each plant is labelled and includes the quote referring to the particular plant. Each year a Shakespeare festival comprising song, music, and comedy is held in the garden to celebrate his birthday. The audience sits on a circular amphitheatre in very pleasant surroundings.
  • The Rose Garden

    The Rose Garden was laid out by curator Patric Chambers in 1964 and is planted with 10 000 roses in seven sloping terraces. It is based on a Renaissance/Baroque garden, and every year an old bed is cleared and planted with the newest roses on the market. This garden is surrounded by Japanese flowering cherries, and together with the roses, it makes a breathtaking setting in spring. Wedding parties often take advantage of this splendour for their photograph albums.
  • The Herb Garden

    The Herb Garden contains the usual herbs but also a section devoted to African medicinal herbs, as well as culinary herbs, cosmetic herbs, oil-yielding herbs, and herbs used for the production of dyes.
  • Hedge Garden

    An interesting hedge garden consists of 58 different types of hedges, demonstrating those that require trimming and those growing in free form.
  • Arboretum

    The main arboretum has a mix of Californian Redwoods, English oaks, silver birches, and cork oaks from Spain and Portugal.
  • Succulent Garden

    Experience the desert at the Botanical Garden, where a garden for succulents was opened in 2006 by City Parks MD Luther Williamson. It is designed to look like a desert with a dry river bed and using silica sand. There are more than 85 species of succulent plants in the garden, which was developed “100 percent internally” by City Parks employees, according to Shonisani Munzhedzi, the General Manager of Environment Conservation Development. The garden contains examples from the aloe, euphorbia, emblem, sansevieria and, even, the cactus family, including South Africa’s only indigenous cactus. The [BOLD]succulent collection at the Johannesburg Botanical Garden consists of South African succulents as well as plants from Namibia, Madagascar, Zimbabwe, Ethiopia, Saudi Arabia, the Canary Islands, Europe, Asia and the Americas. The succulents are housed in six glasshouses - pots and pots and pots of beautiful, bulbous plants Viewing by appointment only. Contact (011) 782-0517

Lots to see

Making plans to stay local or explore a new area? Use the Places map to explore and find out more details of gardens around your current location. To find gardens and garden centres near you download our free app.
Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play


Subscribe for the latest updates from Candide

What is Candide?

Candide has everything for plant lovers – buy plants from independent sellers and book tickets to visit inspiring gardens near you. Identify plants in seconds from a single photo and learn how to care for them with our in-depth guides.


Learn how to care for your plants and share your growing successes on Candide’s free app for your phone or tablet.

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

Germinated in Bristol © 2021 Candide