Founding of the garden

The Kwelera National Botanical Garden (NBG) in East London is South Africa’s 10th national botanical garden and the first to be established in the Eastern Cape.

It encompasses the Kwelera Nature Reserve, an important biodiversity corridor of the region and of a developed section that is to be built on 10.48 ha adjacent land not yet open to the public. Unique factors include the rich biodiversity, scenic and heritage features.

With estuarine, riverine, vegetated dune systems and history of human activity this garden reflects the natural beauty the Wild Coast region has to offer.

The Kwelera National Botanical Garden has been twice gazetted – as the Kwelera Nature Reserve (KNR) forming part of the East London Coast Nature Reserves under the National Environmental Management: Protected Areas Act (NEM:PAA), as well as a national botanical garden under the National Environmental Management: Biodiversity Act (NEM:BA).

The Kwelera National Botanical Garden (KwNBG) was declared on 25 July 2014 and officially opened by the DEA Minister in September 2014.

Kwelera NBG development fact sheet

Latest developments are:

  • The declaration of the intention to declare the acquired 10ha farmland portion purchased by SANBI in March 2016 as part of the Kwelera National Botanical Garden. This 10ha portion will be used as the landscaped/cultivated area of the garden where most of the garden’s infrastructure will be built.
  • Appointment of Environmental Assessment Consultants beginning October 2017 to undertake a basic assessment process for the proposed infrastructure developments proposed for the reserve/natural portion of the garden as well as those proposed for the 10ha/cultivated portion of the garden.
  • Appointment of Landscape Architects beginning October 2017 to design the landscaped portion of the 10ha.

A public meeting was held on 06 February 2018. This was the formal platform for all public comments regarding the proposed developments.

Both the EIA process and landscape plan, running concurrently, should be completed by Mid-2018.

Furthermore, we hope to see some civil works commencing in the 2018/2019 Financial year. The garden will be developed in phases, beginning with phase one in the reserve portion of the garden after the EIA process has been finalised. The 10ha portion is also planned to be fenced during this period.


Kwelera National Botanical Garden
PO Box 43

View on Google

Important document

Kwelera Rules brochure.

General enquiries:
Nomama Mei
Curator: Kwelera National Botanical Garden
Tel.: +27 43 737 0061/0071


Scroll to top