The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway at Kirstenbosch Botanical Gardens in Cape Town is a curved steel and timber bridge that winds and dips its way through and over the trees of the Arboretum. Inspired by a snake skeleton, and informally called the ‘Boomslang’ (meaning tree snake), it is a low-maintenance, low-impact sculptural raised walkway. It takes visitors from the forest floor into and through the trees and bursts out above the canopy, giving spectacular 360 degree vistas of the surrounding mountains, Garden and Cape Flats.
This walkway is 130 m long, narrow and slender, with a few wider view-point areas, and lightly snakes its way through the canopy, in a discreet, almost invisible way. The walkway is crescent-shaped and takes advantage of the sloping ground; it touches the forest floor in two places, and raises visitors to 12 m above ground. It is more than just a traditional boardwalk – like a snake, it winds and dips.
The Centenary Tree Canopy Walkway was built in 2013-14 to celebrate the centenary of Kirstenbosch in 2013, and opened to the public on 17 May 2014.
Tip: Look out for labels on the trees that document their family and common names as well as information boards along the path that give details about the birds, animals and mountain peaks visible from the boardwalk.