The Company Gardens founded in 1652 is the oldest formal garden in South Africa. It was created by the first European settlers to grow fresh produce for the blossoming shipping trade that was stopping off in the newly formed port of Cape Town. The “Company” in the gardens refers to the Dutch East Indian Company who were the de facto owners of the settlement of Cape Town. Initially it was used primarily for growing vegetables, but over time trees, shrubs and flowers were added making it one of the most celebrated gardens in the world of its time. Due to its location near the CBD, the park is an urban oasis for city workers needing a break from the rat race. At lunch times the garden comes alive with impromptu picnickers. The garden’s main thoroughfare, the oak lined Government Avenue offers the opportunity for a wonderful shady amble or the chance to stop and feed the friendly squirrels who scurry with joyful abandon across the gardens. If you feeling just a tad more active and want to make a day of it with your family, The Company Gardens is home to the National Museum of South African, the South African National Gallery, Cape Town Cathedral and a Planetarium. There is regular crafts markets in the gardens and a delightful tea room with a terrace if you forgot to pack your own lunch.
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Image Credit - City Of Cape Town