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Makana Botanical Gardens

  • 4.1

  • from 228 Google reviews

About the garden

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.

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.

Opening times

Monday to Friday 08h00 - 17h00

Useful details

Cafe or restaurant

No cafe or restaurant on site



Western District, 6139

Check local coronavirus guidance before you visit

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Find the garden

Makana Botanical Gardens
Western District
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Google reviews

  • 4.1

  • from 228 Google reviews

Sterre Manasse

2 months ago


The saddest botanical garden I have experienced so far. It lacks care and maintanance. We even felt a bit unsafe when a very loud and clearly drunk man stubbled into the garden. Like most places in Grahamstown I believe this once was an beautiful place... The plants that are still alive and blooming plus the big old trees are still beautiful to see. Don't go alone I would say.

Rachel Hunter

5 years ago


Love it here! My dogs always have the best time and we enjoy the weekly Park Run on Saturday mornings!

Joshua Weiss

5 years ago


A beautiful garden and escape from the bustle of the town. Unfortunately it is not well maintained and there is a lot of litter lying around.

Garreth Robertson

2 years ago


Unfortuantely, not in good shape at the moment, but still a a lovely walk!

Julian A. Jacobs

4 years ago


Lovely picnic areas. Serene surroundings and the walking paths are excellent.

Contact the garden

+27 (0)46 603-8240

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