I visited the Pretoria Botanical Gardens for the purpose of this blog post. For the most part, I was pleasantly surprised by my experience. It has a been a while since I have been to a nature reserve of any sorts. I forgot how liberating it feels to be surrounded by so many different fauna and flora. Since my visit, I have decided to make a point of making more regular trips to nature reserve areas. I personally think that it is very beneficial for a human’s soul.
Although I was not able to identify a lot of the fauna and flora because I was not guided- there were some signs indicating the names of the different plants. The most common that I could find of the fauna, was the cycad. There were cycads of all sizes distributed throughout the gardens. There was a lot of other green fauna surrounding the cycads that I could not identify through my own general knowledge, besides a lot of different types of ferns and oak trees.
The flora were beautiful, my favourite being the bright Crassulas. Although there was not as much flora as flora, this could have to do with the seasonal changes at the time of my visit as we were moving into to the Autumn season.
My favourite of all of the fauna and flora was the Ndebele Traditional-use Garden. I felt that this was the most South African-rich area of the entirety of the gardens. I think that this would be one of the most interesting attractions to tourists because it is something that is specifically unique to South Africa. The garden showcases various different herbs and plants that are used in traditional medicine.
The Botanical Gardens are of value to the community because they are not only an area of recreation for birthday parties and family trips, but also a garden rich in heritage and general knowledge on the different plants that surround us. It is important that we as a community are educated on the plants that surround us.
There were a few cases of pollution in this area. This is perhaps because there are not many dustbins amongst the hiking trails, only in the recreational area. I think that this also has to do with the fact that many children are taken there for school trips, and sometimes they don’t know better than to throw their plastic rubbish on the floor or in amongst the plants.
This pollution can be remedied with more dustbins in amongst the hiking trails, as well as having a better upkeep system in place. A lot of the pollution looked as if it had been there for a long time, which means that no one bothered to pick it up.
The site can be made more visible to the local community and Pretoria as a whole by advertising and having better upkeep. I think that this area has lost it’s enthusiasm by both its upkeepers and its visitors. By regaining enthusiasm, the Pretoria Botanical Gardens can become a place where people from within its community as well as outside of its community can come to enjoy nature at its finest.