Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens closed after lightning strikes spark fires on Cape mountains

he Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens will be closed to the public on Sunday following veld fires in the nearby vicinity.

South African National Biodiversity Institute (Sanbi) director of marketing and communications, Nontsikelelo Mpulo, said the decision was undertaken in the best interests of public safety.

Mpulo said there are veld fires very close to the gardens and as a consequence, there is very low visibility, ash and smoke permeating throughout the ground.


Several fires, as a result from lightning strikes were reported on Saturday. Picture: SANParks – Table Mountain National Park


As a result, we have decided to close the gardens for today. We will assess the situation again tomorrow. Our thoughts are with those fighting the fires in the air and on the ground and we extend our thanks to them,” Mpulo said.

Sanbi stated that pre-purchased tickets may be refunded or changed to another date upon application to the gardens or Webticket.

According to South African National Parks (SANParks) – Table Mountain, several fires, as a result of lightning strikes, were reported on Saturday.

Areas affected include; Cecilia Forest, Silvermine, and the Cape Of Good Hope (Cape Point) main road.

“The swift response from Table Mountain National Park’s NCC Environmental Services, along with Volunteer Wildfire Services, Working on Fire crews and the City of Cape Town Fire and Rescue Services, played a crucial role in managing the situation,“ SANParks Table Mountain said.

On Sunday, SANParks Table Mountain reported that firefighting crews have been deployed from the Cape of Good Hope main road fire to a fire currently situated above Skeleton Gorge and the Hely-Hutchinson Reservoir along the Back Table within the park.


Several fires, as a result from lightning strikes were reported on Saturday. Picture: SANParks – Table Mountain National Park


“Firefighting crews and aerial resources have been deployed at first light this morning, providing crucial aerial support to contain and manage the fire effectively above Window Ravine. Unfortunately, due to strong winds, aerial resources have stood down until it is deemed safe to conduct water bombing operations,” SANParks Table Mountain said in a statement.

These popular hiking areas are affected:

Cape of Good Hope – Hiking routes from Gifkommetjie to Circles Vlei and any trails originating from Olifantsbos, as well as Sirkelvlei hiking trail and Link Road cycling route closed in the Cape Of Good Hope section have been affected and are closed to hikers until further notice.

Circular Drive has also been closed as a precautionary measure.

Back Table and Skeleton Gorge – Table Mountain

All footpaths leading to Back Table from Camps Bay and Hout Bay, Constantia Nek, Cecilia Forest, Kirstenbosch, Orangekloof hiking trails have been closed

Please be cautious when carrying out your activities above Silvermine.

Visitors are urged to exercise caution and cooperate with park authorities and firefighting teams during this time.

Emergencies or sightings of new fires can be reported via: 086 110 6417 or the Newlands Dispatch at 021 689 7438.

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