Know, grow, protect and enjoy South Africa's indigenous plants

Location: Gauteng, South Africa

Gauteng Branch

The Gauteng Branch was officially formed when the Pretoria Branch joined forces with the Bankenveld Branch. Both branches have a rich history within BotSoc, with the Bankenveld BotSoc members first supporting the local botanic garden, now known as the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (WSNBG), in 1983. The Pretoria Branch was established in 1992 to support the development of a theme display exhibiting the diversity of the north-eastern interior within the Pretoria National Botanical Garden (PNBG).

About the branch

Today, the Gauteng Branch continues to support both these gardens and a variety of other projects in the area. This includes activities such as educational presentations, site visits to a number of lovely green spaces, conservation projects, volunteer opportunities and support for CREW (Custodians of Rare and Endangered Wildflowers). There are also regular outings for members, such as Bird Walks, Spider Walks, Frog Walks, and a Geological Walk for the more energetic BotSoc members.

About the Area

This branch not only covers the incredible botanical gardens, Walter Sisulu NBG and the Pretoria NBG, but also the surrounding environs of the Gauteng area. Each of these gardens is home to incredible sights and indigenous plants. The 310ha Walter Sisulu NBG is set around the gorge of the spectacular Witpoortjie Falls, and contains the Critically Endangered Roodepoort Reef Mountain Bushveld. ‘Keystone’ species for the WSNBG include the Critically Endangered Albertina Sisulu Orchid, the Endangered Southern Mountain Reedbuck and the iconic Verreaux’s Eagles of Roodekrans, one of only two remaining breeding pairs of Verreaux’s Eagles in the greater Johannesburg area. The Albertina Sisulu Orchid is the most threatened plant species in Gauteng and one of the most threatened species of orchid in the world.

The area around the Pretoria NBG falls within the grassland biome, and is dominated by grass species, bulbous plants and smaller trees or bushes. The natural vegetation type present here is Marikana Thornveld. Important tree taxa in this vegetation type include Senegalia caffra (hook thorn tree) and Vachellia tortilis subsp. heteracantha (umbrella thorn tree).

Cool Facts


Over 230 species of flowering plants, including over 40 different grass species, have so far been recorded by SANBI’s plant taxonomists in the natural grassland of the PNBG.


The Gauteng Branch supports civil action groups involved in urban conservation programmes, for example in the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, Groenkloof Nature Reserve and in the protection of patches of natural habitat in the Pierre van Ryneveld residential area.


In the WSNBG, look out for the breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles as they nest on the cliffs alongside the Witpoortjie Waterfall in the WSNBG. Follow the Black Eagle project Roodekrans for more.


The WSNBG is home to astonishingly high levels of biodiversity, in terms of both fauna and flora. Approximately 700 indigenous plant species, 35 mammal species and 220 bird species (including 24 raptors) have thus far been recorded.


Contact the Branch Chair

Richard Hay

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Contact your branch to network in the following areas:


Free State


Southern Overberg


Garden Route

KZN Coastal




KZN Inland






Monday to Friday 08h30 to 16h00. Closed on weekends and public holidays.

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