Hidden in the depths of a densly forested area, surrounded by freshly spun
Golden orb spider webs (and no less complex), Guinea fowl with their week old chicks and Cape Robins scratching in amongst the fallen leaves that make up the forest floor,
there is something growing unusually fast in this, my all time
favourite Kirstenbosch Gardens.
This extraordinary development is getting more exciting by the day,
reaching heights never before reached in this part
of the enchanted garden, puncturing the skyline at it highest point.
It is not a Wild Almond, nor is it a Cape Saffron,
a Keurboom, nor is it a Tree Fuchsia.
It is none of these beautiful trees which inhabit this
“garden within a garden.”
This is something that is fondly referred to as “The Boomslang”
or literally translated the tree snake, and snake it does
high into the canopy, visually appearing as the skeletal
structure of this African snake.
It is made of steel and wood and is now being painted
a subtle green with wooden slats being laid underfoot.
This is a structure designed and created
to meander through the tree canopy and soon
hundreds of visitors daily will be able to enjoy the vistas.
People in wheelchairs babies in pushchairs,
everyone will be able to glimpse the spectacular views into the tree tops,
bird watch or count waterfalls cascading off Table mountain
(one of the modern wonders of the world)
or gaze out towards Table Bay and the mountains that envelop and surround us.
Specialist teams are now putting the finishing touches
to this huge and exciting engineering marathon,
gently and carefully working around the treasure that
grows on the sloping ground below.
Although built as part of the Garden’s centennial celebrations in 2013,
the walkway will be completed in April 2014.
It has been planned with meticulous precision,
with virtually no changes to the pre-existing and hugely sensitive environment
but with such foresight that generations to come will
benefit from this amazing addition
to my favourite garden.