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Kruger National Park

Skukuza Indigenous Plant Nursery

Plant List

Nursery brochure

Location:

The nursery is situated 4km from the Skukuza Camp between the Skukuza Staff village and the Golf Club. It are sign posted from the main Paul Kruger-Skukuza camp road.

Visiting Times:

During weekends and Public Holidays, the nursery is run by the Lowveld Honorary Rangers. During these times the nursery will be open from 08:00 to 16:00 and closed for lunch from 12:00 to 13:00.

  • Monday - Friday: 07:00 - 16:00
  • Open on public holidays including New Years Day
  • Closed on Christmas Day

Plant Prices

Bag size/ tree height

Current retail price

New retail price

4 litre trees and shrubs including aloes and Barberton daisies

R 25

R 35

4 litre ground covers

R 15

R 20

20 litre tree < 1m

R 70

R 100

20 litre tree > 1m

R 70

R 200

20 litre tree > 2m

R 70

R 250


The Nursery Today

Management of the nursery now falls under the SANParks Scientific Services department, which aims to develop the nursery facility into a hub of botanical research and education that will encompass a wide spectrum of programmes to benefit the whole of the KNP. This service will also extend to facilitate education of both visitors, staff and particularly school learners about the value and unique attributes of our botanical heritage, it’s role in biodiversity and the need practice plant conservation on a global scale.

Set out under a cool canopy of tall trees, the nursery is neatly laid out with detailed information of each plant species, from how big and how fast it grows to local medicinal uses of the specific plant. The staff is also knowledgeable on what plants to select for indigenous gardens and what conditions each plant require to grow. Another exciting feature not to miss is the Wetlands Board Walk which begins at the nursery car park and ends in the nursery grounds. The board walk, constructed by Working for Wetlands, provides an opportunity to view this rehabilitated wetland area and the birds and animals that live in this threatened habitat.

The Honorary Rangers run the nursery over the weekends and have compiled a comprehensive booklet providing lists of trees and shrubs that will attract birds and butterflies to your garden including those species that will grow on the Highveld. Visit the Skukuza nursery today and see for yourself the vast array of trees and shrubs that can enhance your garden and help to replace invasive exotic species. Take a piece of the Kruger Park home with you or give a gift that keeps on growing. The Skukuza Nursery has an indigenous plant to suit your garden, however big or small.

History

Not many visitors to the Kruger National Park (KNP) are aware of the impressive indigenous plant nursery, which is open to everyone, just outside Skukuza camp. In the early 1970’s, the nursery was only an area of 100x45m near the current Directors office complex bordering the Skukuza camp. The area around here was planted as a botanical garden during 1970/71 and in July 1973 the first horticulturalist, Mr Scholtz, was appointed with the responsibility of looking after the small nursery, the botanical garden and the gardens of all the rest camps.

The nursery as it stands today, between the staff village and the golf club, was started by Mr Harry Matthysen during 1975. The office buildings and information complex were built during 1983/84 and the primary function of the nursery, during this time, was to provide indigenous plants free of charge to staff members in an effort to encourage indigenous gardens in the staff village and the camps.

Over the years the nursery has increased in size and improved on the cultivation and propagation techniques of selected KNP indigenous plants. Ona Davies took over the management of the nursery in 1990 and over the years built up the impressive selection of trees and shrubs that is available today. Ona made contact with experts in the field of plant cultivation and learnt the secrets of cultivating selected indigenous plants found in Kruger from seed. In fact, most of the plants in the nursery have been grown from seed collected in the KNP, by field and section rangers in all the different landscapes of the Park.

The nursery now has stock of over 185 KNP plant species ranging from trees and shrubs to aloes and other interesting succulents. Included in this are the critically endangered Adenium swazicum (Swazi Lily) and the Wild Ginger (Siphonichilus aetheopicum) both of which are under cultivation in the nursery. The nursery is also well known for the beautiful impala and kudu lilies, both of which are for sale here.

It consisted of a space of 100m x 45m and had only one garden hose of 35m, with 28 leaks, as equipment. The office and one desk was made of split poles and there were only 3 100 plants. The area chosen to build the new (present) nursery in the Skukuza staff village was so dense with vegetation that Matthysen and his team were chased by three (3) lions when they went there to inspect it. The Skukuza nursery is now located 4 km from Skukuza camp on the main Kruger Gate road.

Due to public demand for indigenous plants, the nursery was opened to the public in 1977. Impala lilies and cycads are available to be purchased. At one stage it was the largest indigenous nursery in South Africa and it played an important role to educate the public on the benefits of indigenous plants. The current buildings were erected in 1983. As the only access road was through the staff village, a road from the main Kruger Gate road was built in the early 1980’s to make public access more convenient.