The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens is situated in the Gauteng province of South Africa in a city called Roodepoort. The garden hosts the magnificent Witpoortjie waterfall and covers almost 300 hectares of both landscaped and natural veld areas. The natural vegetation of the area is known as the "Rocky Highveld Grassland" which consists mainly of grassland and savanna, with dense bush in kloofs and along streams.
The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens contains a variety of wildlife with the most popular being the breeding pair of Verreaux's Eagles which have been breeding at the Garden for some years. The eagles have their nest on the rock face alongside the Witpoortjie Falls and can be regularly seen from many vantage points within the garden itself.
Their are several short walks available for the visitors that run through the garden and the surrounding natural areas. The JCI Geological Trail gives visitors the opportunity to walk along the Roodekrans Ridge and in the Nature Reserve portion of the Garden and also to learn something about the fascinating geology of the area.
History of The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens
The area in which the gardens lies has been used for recreational purposes since the late 1800's. It is believed that the Witpoortjie Falls (the main attraction of the garden) got its name from the Witpoortjie Station from which visitors would disembark at and take a walk to the falls.
The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden was started in July 1982 and is the youngest of the eight Gardens managed by the National Botanical Institute. The Garden was opened to the public on a daily basis in 1987 as the Witwatersrand National Botanical Garden. In March 2004, the Garden was renamed the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden, in honour of Mr Walter Sisulu (1912-2003) who was one of the leaders of the struggle against apartheid in South Africa.