Alameda Botanic Gardens
Located just passed Gibraltar's cable car base station on Red Sands Rd, peace and tranquillity await visitors to the beautiful Alameda Botanic Gardens. An oasis of lush green gardens, bright bougainvillea strewn stone terraces and picturesque ponds, the gardens are also home to the Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park and stunning area known as the Dell which is a favourite spot for wedding ceremonies, or just to sit and contemplate the beauty of the surroundings.
Alameda Botanic Gardens History
Originally called the Alameda Gardens, they were established by Lieutenant Governor Sir George Don in 1816 with the upkeep of the gardens coming from public lotteries and voluntary donations. Much of the initial layout which included the planting of numerous trees, flowers and plants, as well as the construction of rock terraces, connecting pathways and ponds are still in evidence today. Commemorative busts and monuments as well as a series of cannons were also placed around the gardens to showcase Gibraltar's important military history, and several of these are listed under the Gibraltar Heritage Trust Act. After a major revamp and expansion program in 1991 Alameda was converted to a Botanical Garden.
Visiting Alameda Botanic Gardens
Situated within walking distance from central Gibraltar on Red Sands Rd, Alameda Botanic Gardens are open daily from 08:00 – 21:00 and although individuals are welcome to visit at their leisure, there are monthly group tours available for visitors who wish to learn more about the gardens history and its wonderful variety of flora & fauna. Some of the plants and flowers that can be seen in the gardens come from around the globe, although the majority of the collection comes from a variety of Mediterranean countries. Spring is the best time to view the splendid colours when most of the flowers are blooming, however there are various plants and flowers that are showcased throughout the year.
Alameda Botanic Gardens Fauna
With their strict policy on the use of pesticides there is a fantastic variety of butterflies, birds, reptiles and insects that make Alameda Botanic Gardens their home, and nature enthusiasts will be in their element when exploring the gardens residents. With Gibraltar's close proximity to north Africa, there are a huge variety of migratory birds that visit the gardens each year, and if lucky visitors may spot some rare beauties such as the splendid River Kingfisher. There are also a number of songbirds adding to the serenity of the gardens and overhead visitors will often see various birds of prey circling in search of a meal. Other fauna to be seen includes butterflies in all the colours of the rainbow, lizards, snakes, turtles and some creepy crawlies.
Alameda Wildlife Conservation Park
Located at the top of Alameda Botanic Gardens is the small but superb wildlife conservation park, a favourite with children and adults alike. Unlike a zoo, the park's policy is strictly the rescue and conservation of wildlife, either neglected as pets or seized from illegal traders. The interesting collection of native and exotic animals are looked after in excellent conditions and the knowledgeable staff of volunteers do an amazing job. If you are lucky enough to be visiting during a quiet period, the very personable Simon or one of the other volunteers may let you go in the enclosures with them to feed the animals, the cute lemurs being the star of the show.