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Hike Harold Porter garden + see Betty’s Bay’s prettiest waterfall

Fynbos gardens, guided tours, hiking trails and waterfalls

Last updated: Friday, 8 December 2023

Harold Porter in Betty’s Bay is a natural oasis along the coast, surrounded by fynbos and wild flowers, streams and mountains. It’s a 2-hour drive from Cape Town and costs under R50 per person. Plus, there’s a hike that takes you up to gorgeous clear caramel-coloured waterfalls. And it’s open 365 days a year.


Harold Porter consists of 10 hectares of cultivated fynbos garden and 190.5 hectares of pristine natural fynbos. Image: Sheri Haw

LEARN ABOUT CAPE FYNBOS

The garden has been around for 80+ years. It’s located in Betty’s Bay, along Clarence Drive, one of the most beautiful roads in South Africa. It lies in the heart of the Cape Fynbos region and includes sweeping mountain slopes, deep gorges, and four vegetation types that occur naturally in the Overberg.

The fynbos gardens showcase a range of plant species, from proteas and ericas to restios and geophytes. Educational information boards about the plant and animal life are spread out in the garden, making it easy for visitors to take a self-guided tour along the paths. Guided tours are offered daily for those who want to learn more about the garden’s plant life and history. 


The garden has a souvenir shop, indigenous plant sales, and an area for event hire. Image: @fokkebok

HIKE THESE TRAILS WITH GORGEOUS VIEWS

There are various paths and trails you can walk within the gardens or into the surrounding kloofs. Some are easy, while others require a good level of fitness. The shortest trail, Disa Kloof totals 950m and takes about half an hour each way, making it ideal to bring the kids along for a stroll.  

The Fynbos and Zigzag trails comprise one long and one short trail and follow a path amongst the natural fynbos. These trails have hiking and walking routes. Both hug a route along the slopes of Bobbejaanskop and The Plateau, with the reward of magnificent views over Betty’s Bay to the sea. 

Other trails, like the Leopard’s Trail, require you to obtain a permit from the office at the entrance. This trail winds up through the forest, includes several river crossings, and ultimately, leads to a waterfall and rock pools, with two smaller ones along the way. Please note that no swimming is allowed.


Information plaques related to the fynbos and regional ecosystems can be found in and around the gardens. Image: Elroy Pace

PICNIC AND STROLL THROUGH THE GARDEN

With well-manicured lawns and lots of shady spots, the garden makes a quiet haven for a picnic. There are several picnic areas where visitors can enjoy a meal surrounded by nature, and each area is equipped with tables, benches, and braai facilities. 

Stroll along the winding pathways and enjoy views of the surrounding mountains or hike through the garden’s forested areas. Along the way, hikers can spot a variety of bird species or even encounter the occasional baboon.


There are multiple amber pools in the garden and the largest one can be found as you enter. Image: Sheri Haw

VISIT HAROLD PORTER IN BETTY’S BAY

Harold Porter Botanical Garden is open: Monday to Friday, 8am to 4.30pm; Saturday and Sunday, 8am to 5pm
Find it: Clarence Drive and Broadwith Road | Betty's Bay
Cost: From R20 for kids and R50 for adults
Contact on: 087 260 9755 

By Khadeeja Adams

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