Welcome to Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens

spacer Simply, one of the most beautiful and important botanical gardens in the world. Maintained by the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI). Nearly half of all plant species found in the southern half of Africa exist on one tiny sliver of land surrounding Cape Town. The Cape Floral Kingdom is home to an astonishing 6,200 species of plants found nowhere else on earth, many of them are found in Kirstenbosch. (You can see the photo in a larger format and read about the technical details, here.

The View From Table Mountain

It was too windy for the cable car to operate when we started out, so Jamison Warren — a teacher from Austin, Texas — and I enjoyed a hike to the top of Table Mountain, with views of Cape Town and hundreds of plant species I had never seen before lining the winding path to the top. The weather was perfect, a rare gift for a Cape Town winter.

The view above is looking south (in the middle of the picture), with False Bay barely visible on the left and the affluent beach community of Camps Bay on the Atlantic to the right.

The panorama comes from 80 individual photos and was produced by a GigaPan EPIC device. You can read more technical details about the picture here. Be sure to zoom in to explore the image.

Kirstenbosch Update: Thanks for your support!

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens, South Africa, 2011

I arrived back in the States yesterday after a 17-hour flight from Johannesburg to learn that the Kirstenbosch Project didn’t raise enough money to qualify for funding. Disappointing? Of course, but not really surprising given the amount still needed when I was last able to get Internet access with just 30 hours left.

First, a large collective shout-out to all 24 donors whose pledges ranged from $5 to $1,250. (Big round of applause). You guys rock.

You should know that the project isn’t over. Later, when my body has had a chance to regroup after the flight and time-zone changes, I’ll begin thinking about alternate ways to reach the goal – producing a catalog of prints from Kirstenbosch. The Gardens remain vitally important centers of plant biodiversity. Outside of South Africans, most of us don’t realize their ecological significance and their beauty. The need to spread the word about Kirstenbosch remains, and I intend to do what I can to achieve that end.

Once again, thank you, all, for pledging your support. And thanks to Kickstarter for the opportunity to get arts projects funded. It didn’t happen this time, but so many wonderful projects have become realities because of Kickstarter. I plan on continuing to support Kickstarter ventures and I urge you to do the same.