Cape Town’s world-famous Kirstenbosch botanical garden is no stranger to accolades – and we’ve just heard that its latest feature has won an award of its own. The tree canopy walkway, affectionately known as the boomslang (tree snake), was voted South Africa’s Most Beautiful Object by delegates at the 2015 Design Indaba.
The boomslang, which was completed in 2014, is a curved steel and timber bridge that winds and dips its way through and over the trees (see the feature image by Adam Harrower at the top of this page). It takes visitors on a journey through nature, rising up from the forest floor and out above the canopy, giving spectacular panoramic vistas of the surrounding mountains and garden. The design and construction of the walkway was a collaborative effort by architect Mark Thomas and structural engineer Henry Fagan, inspired by the form of a snake skeleton.
Every year, Design Indaba invites experts and leaders in the creative community to nominate a locally made product or project that they consider to be the most “beautiful”. They are free to interpret the concept of beauty in whatever way they like. The result is always a diverse and throught-provoking roundup of work produced in the past year.
Kirstenbosch national botanical gardens
No visit to Cape Town is complete without a walk through Kirstenbosch, one of the most highly acclaimed botanical gardens in the world. The garden lies in the heart of the Cape Floristic Region, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, making it the first botanic garden in the world to be included within a natural World Heritage Site. More than just a garden, Kirstenbosch is part of a nature reserve that contains natural mountainside forest and fynbos along with a variety of animals and birds.
Getting to Kirstenbosch from the Bay Atlantic Guest House is easy – a mere 25 minutes drive around the front of Table Mountain and down the M3. Or take the scenic route along the coast to Hout Bay and then cut over the back of the mountain via Constantia Neck. This map gives a snapshot of the the locations.