The Botanical Gardens in Pietermaritzburg has been a favourite spot of our family and friends for many years. We love to go relax under the majestic beautiful old trees, the kids play for ages on the play equipment, we have birthday parties there, and let the children run free in the huge grounds.
But the last few times that we visited this park, we noticed that the state of the gardens and facilities was decreasing rapidly.
There is an entrance fee and they do have full time staff, therefore I do not understand why such a gorgeous place is being allowed to get run down so badly.
These are some of the negative things that we noticed during our last visit there:
- There is a lot of litter lying around all over the grounds;
- The disabled / family toilet is in a terrible state: dirty grimy taps in the basin that are encrusted with unknown stuff that makes them very difficult to open, there is no hand drier or towel, and it has not been cleaned for a long time;
- The ladies toilet is no better, with one of the toilet seats totally broken off, and the door to one of the other toilets does not even close;
- At the children’s playground the swing is broken, hanging askew, making it impossible to swing on, leaving the kids frustrated;
- The rest of the play equipment is not being looked after as well, getting dangerously worn and not very pleasant to look at anymore;
- There are weeds everywhere in the gardens and a lot of the beds are totally overgrown making it extremely difficult to see the plants, flowers and once neatly laid out beds;
- The cultural village is in a terrible state, so much so that the sign boards are being taken over by weeds, muck and insects.
Compared to the very neat well looked after Durban Botanical Gardens and Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, which have no entrance fees, the staff of the Pietermaritzburg Botanical Gardens have a lot of fixing and cleaning up to do, to make it feel comfortable, educational, safe and worth the entrance fee.