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BOTANICAL GARDENS

The botanical gardens provide an enchanted, tranquil retreat and an opportunity to commune with nature, offering an environment where you can enjoy and appreciate all the wonderful splendours that only nature can bring.

This superlative botanical garden and exclusive resort lies close to the banks of the Bobokazi River and is situated in the Nokwane valley, renowned for its scenic beauty, spectacular rock formations and majestic mountain range. This idyllic setting with panoramic, unbroken views of the surrounding countryside sits proudly against the backdrop of fertile cultivated agricultural lands.

Summerfield Botanical Garden is unique in its design as an ‘Integrated Botanical Conservancy and Leisure Resort’ in which nature conservation remains the ‘raison d’être’ and cornerstone of all the activities of the Botanical Garden. Summerfield is wholly committed to environmental conservation and has initiated ‘The Green Appeal - A Global Imperative’ programme which seeks to sensitise, educate and secure funding for the conservation of flora and fauna. The Garden is a national conservancy which boasts the largest collection of exotic and tropical palms and plants in the Kingdom of Swaziland, including a vast collection of indigenous trees, pre-historic cycads and rare indigenous plant species.

The establishment and development of this vast and lush botanical garden can be directly attributed to the passion and love for gardening shared by the extraordinary couple who own it. Their absolute unwavering commitment to the conservation of indigenous flora and their tireless efforts to transform an abandoned and barren property, which they purchased from owners who had left Swaziland many years ago, into an oasis for both flora and fauna, bears testimony to the creativity, resourcefulness and resilience of these lovers of nature.

The first step in restoring this 100 hectare, barren and environmentally degraded property was to truck in enormous quantities of fertile topsoil to re-contour the eroded land and replant what had been lost over the many years of neglect. Indigenous plant species that could thrive with no use of pesticides and herbicides were brought in. Fruit and flowering trees were planted to help attract wildlife and birdlife back to the area. Trees, shrubs and grasses, which do not require much water, were a high priority as the lack of irrigation and a sufficient water supply proved to be a very great challenge. The thousands of plants and trees brought onto the property had to be watered by hand using a single tractor and a rather rickety old trailer carrying drums of water drawn from the river. There were many setbacks experienced along this journey such as drought and devastating bush fires that destroyed vast areas that had been painstakingly restored, only to be lost in just an instant.

However disheartening these experiences may have been, the labour of love continued. Today, as you encounter the 100 hectares of Summerfield Botanical Garden along a dramatic quarter-mile avenue of Jacaranda trees, you have the sense of having stumbled upon a hidden oasis, a tranquil and exotic hideaway within what is already considered to be one of the world’s most unique and beautiful Kingdoms……………. The Kingdom of Swaziland

Bird watching is yet another favourite past time at Summerfield Luxury Hotel & Botanical Garden and bird spotting is excellent all year round, especially during the summer months of November to March when the migratory species have returned.
The lakeside water gardens provide a serene oasis to a wide variety of small game and waterfowl and play host to a brilliant kaleidoscope of butterflies and birds providing the ideal nesting-place for our much loved Lemon Doves.
Guests are offered a unique opportunity to commune with nature and indulge in gentle country pursuits in an environment that captures the traditions and charm of a more gracious age.

Summerfield Botanical Garden is the first government recognized Botanical Garden established in the Kingdom of Swaziland.
This 100 hectare garden features a lake with waterfalls and cascades and boasts both indigenous and exotic plants including a cycad garden, succulent garden, water garden with Koi, orchards & palm gardens.

Details
The Kingdom of Swaziland is endowed with a great variety of plant species which may be attributed to the different geo-climatic features of the country. Swaziland is one of the countries in Africa where the overall plant diversity is said to be at the highest level. Swaziland’s biodiversity presently provides substantial benefits for it’s people.
The conservation of biodiversity is recognized as a global issue, requiring global attention and appropriate action. Countries are dependant upon each other’s biodiversity and the loss of biodiversity anywhere in the world, represents a loss to all mankind.
Each year, thousands of indigenous plants are gathered from Bushveld, grasslands and forests, putting severe pressure on the species collected. In addition, the habitat in which these species occur is shrinking as more and more natural vegetation is destroyed, for agriculture, fuel, timber, industry and human settlements.
Many of the plants collected in Swaziland are used for medicinal purpose. Research has shown that the massive demand for bark, roots and whole plants from wild populations is causing a critical decline in population numbers of some species and may lead to numerous extinctions. It is estimated that about 80% of the Swazi population resort to traditional medicine for their health care needs. Traditional medicine is embraced by many people because it is accessible, affordable and it is interwoven with the culture of the people. These medicinal plants are usually collected from the “wild” without any consideration for conservation and many, therefore, are threatened with extinction.

Overall objective
The overall objective of the development of Summerfield Botanical Garden is to promote the sustainable use, conservation, appreciation and enjoyment of the exceptionally rich plant life of the Kingdom of Swaziland for the benefit of all our people and  for future generations. To promote sustainable development in the context of a balanced relationship between economic development, quality of life and environmental health.

 



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