The National Botanic Garden
The National Botanic Garden of Namibia is a 12 hectare nature reserve in the heart of the City of Windhoek, where you can see and learn about Namibia's fascinating plants. Note that the National Botanic Garden is CLOSED AT WEEKENDS AND PUBLIC HOLIDAYS, except for the second Saturday of every month when it is open from 08:00 to 11:00.
The National Botanic Garden of Namibia strives to protect and promote the sustainable utilisation of the Namibian flora and to function as an educational and recreational nature facility for Namibians and visitors alike.
Monday to Friday, from 8h00 until 17h00 and every second Saturday of the month from 8:00 to 11:00. Entrance is free, except on weekends. Guided walks for school groups and students are available on request, but must be booked well in advance.
History of the Garden
The land was donated to the Government by the City Council of Windhoek in October 1969, and was originally earmarked as a nature reserve. Initial development started in the early 1970s with the construction of walking trails, a stormwater system and a dam. Unfortunately, due to a lack of funds, the then Department of Nature Conservation had to terminate all development activities and the garden was abandoned.
When the National Botanical Research Institute (NBRI) moved to the buildings adjacent to the reserve in 1990, the idea was born to develop the area as a Botanic Garden. Negotiations were initiated between the Ministry of Environment and Tourism and the Ministry of Agriculture, Water and Forestry (MAWF), and in February 1993 the NBRI obtained the right to develop the land into a Botanic Garden.
The garden depends on funds from the MAWF for its maintenance and development. However, in recent years it has additionally been supported by the Botanical Society of Namibia.
The National Botanic Garden of Namibia strives to protect and promote the Namibian flora and to function as an educational and recreational facility for Namibians and visitors alike. It is the only one of its kind in the country and focuses exclusively on Namibian plants. Unlike many other botanical gardens, the larger part of the garden has not been landscaped. The reason for this is 1) to conserve water and 2) to emphasise plants in their natural environment, thus allowing students and visitors to learn more about the vegetation around Windhoek, known as highland savanna. However, several special displays ensure that visitors also get to see plants from other parts of the country, such as the Desert House display on the Namib Desert or the Kunene Region.
- To create an awareness of and an appreciation for the Namibian Flora
- To educate the public, especially the upcoming generation about the importance of plants, the functions and uses of our indigenous plants, plant conservation and related environmental issues
- To serve as study area for the Namibian Flora, especially the vegetation in and around Windhoek
- To document the Flora of the Botanic Garden
- To serve as a training facility where students, researchers, extension personnel and field officers can be trained in plant surveys and plant identification techniques
- To cultivate plants for the public and promote gardening with indigenous plants
- To assist in the relocation and re-introduction of rare and threatened species
- To develop propagation methods for rare and threatened plant species
- To give a supportive service to the National Herbarium, Vegetation Survey Unit and the National Plant Genetic Resources Centre
- To serve as a tourist attraction and recreational area.
Things to see and do
A number of self guided walking trails lead through the garden. The most common woody plants are labelled and bird and plant lists are available at Reception. The garden boasts one of the densest stands of the Windhoek Aloe (Aloe littoralis), the symbol of the city of Windhoek.
The quiver tree forest and bottle trees too, are well worth a visit. They were planted here in the early 1970s and are of exceptional size and beauty. Early in the year, after good rains, you can admire some of our lilies flowering along the Lily Walk. Be sure to visit the Desert House, where some fascinating plants from the Namib Desert are displayed.
The garden also is home to a variety of mammals, birds, reptiles and insects. Bring along your binoculars and field-guides and do some bird-watching or dassie-spotting. The picnic area provides the perfect spot to end your visit. Enjoy some cooldrinks and snacks (which you need to bring along) whilst you relax in the tranquil atmosphere of the garden.
Projects for public participation
- Gathering of on-site information on the birds, insects and animals for information pamphlets
- Volunteers for the Garden tour guide group.
Rules and Regulations
- Entrance is at own risk
- Children under 12 must be accompanied by an adult
- The removal, damaging or collecting of any plants or plant material such as seeds is strictly prohibited.
- Stay on the paths
- No fires
- No camping
- No dogs
- Approach all wildlife in a respectful manner.
- Please dispose of your litter in the allocated dustbins
Download information about the garden
- Garden map [jpg 1.2 Mb]
- Pamphlet [pdf 49 kb]
- List of plants recorded in the garden [pdf 55 kb]
- List of birds recorded in the garden [pdf 365 kb]