The Makana Botanical gardens were established way back in 1853 and were the second garden established in the Cape Colony at the time.
Given the beauty of the grounds of Rhodes University, with its gardens and flower beds that invite students to the great outdoors, the university took over the maintenance of the gardens and incorporated them into their already established 203 hectares nestled in the hillside of Grahamstown.
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Makana Botanical gardens' historical nature, and its effortless attraction for 108 identified bird species, as well as five 'vagrants' (birds seen but once or twice such as the chorister robin), but the grounds had been pretty neglected over the years so that between 2004 and 2006 a rehabilitation and redevelopment programme was initiated by SANBI, whilst the Makana district granted Rhodes a 99 year lease.
The main reason for the rehabilitation was to protect the incredible array of flora in the reserve (you can imagine that after so many years of unimpeded growth, some of the tree species alone must have been incredible), although invaders have had to be felled, their timber used for for various structures that were needed on the grounds.