Make the most of the warm sunny Gauteng weather and head out to one of these outdoor spots. Grab those blankies and baskets of goodies, and don’t forget the kids. Soak up some Vitamin D while getting in some quality family time or just enjoy the tranquil outdoors with a good book in one of these beautiful spots.
Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens, Roodepoort
The Garden and nature reserve is home to an abundance of wildlife with about 240 bird species recorded on site. Picnic with the sound of a waterfall splashing in the background. There are several walks available and event venues for hire. Most of the botanical garden is wheelchair-friendly too.
The garden is open every day from 08h00 to 17h00.
Address: End of Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort, Gauteng, South Africa
Pensioner: R65 (Free entry on Tuesdays)
Student: R40 (valid student card required)
Scholar: R20 (grades 1 – 12)
Children under 6 yrs: Free
Modderfontein Reserve, Modderfontein
The 275-hectare private Modderfontein Reserve is managed by the Endangered Wildlife Trust. Picnics are popular at the Fish Eagle Dam. This facility has limited capacity and offers braai and ablution facilities. You can go Bird watching. Fishing is allowed at Dam 3. Daily Permit is required and is strictly catch and release. Or join the free Parkrun every Saturday.
Open from 6:00 – 18:00 daily
Address: Modderfontein Reserve, Arden Road (off Ardeer Road), Modderfontein
R30 per adult, R15 per child under 12
James and Ethel Gray Park
Named after the early Johannesburg historians, James and Ethel Gray, this little park snuggled in the affluent suburb of Birdhaven, just south of glamorous Melrose Arch, was originally a bird sanctuary. It is still home to an assortment of feathered residents, and after a R5-million upgrade the park should become a favourite of Joburg residents. It was recently named one of the best picnic sites in Johannesburg.
The Sandspruit River flows through its 36 hectares, creating an attractive, tranquil atmosphere. Landscaping incorporates both indigenous vegetation and neat lawns and there are meandering walkways and new ablution facilities. It is completely fenced.
Address: Region B, Zone 1, Atholl Oaklands Road, Abbotsford
It is a public park and free to enter.
Pretoria National Botanical Garden
The Pretoria National Botanical Garden is wedged between Pretoria Road and Cussonia Avenue in Brummeria, in eastern Pretoria, Gauteng, and flanks a central rocky ridge that runs from east to west. It’s a welcome green belt that breaks the urban sprawl. Home to an abundance of birds and small wildlife. There is a conference centre and cafe on site.
Open Monday – Sunday: 08h00-18h00, no entry after 17h00.
Children under 6 years: Free
Senior citizens: (60+) R15 /Free on Tuesdays (Produce ID for verification)
Jumping castle: R150 (subject to daily restrictions)
Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Pretoria
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve, located adjacent to the Fountains Valley at the southern entrance to Pretoria, was the first game sanctuary in Africa. Activities in the reserve include hiking with several trails from easy to challenging, mountain-biking, game drives and horse riding; there is also a popular 4×4 route on the reserve. Apart from the abundant game, the reserve also hosts a large variety of bird life. There is a picnic area with braai facilities under shady trees and and a lawn with playground for the kids.
Open from 06:00 to 19:00 Summer (September to April)
Address: Christina De Wit Ave, Road, Pretoria, 0027
Adults (18 to 59 years): R45,00
Pensioners (60 years or older) and persons with disabilities: R29,00
Schoolchildren (7 to 17 years): R29,00
Preschool children (0 to 6 years): R14,00
Emmarentia/Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
Experience a scenic view of Jo’burg. The park is renowned for its dam and some of the live music events hosted at the location. Picnic goers also can hire the paddle boat and benches skirting the barrier. It consists of large, grassy, open spaces scattered with trees and used by runners, picnickers and dog walkers. It hosts the occasional concert season and kite-flying competitions.
Open 6am to 6pm
Address: Olifants Road, Emmarentia, Johannesburg
Entrance is free
The park is fenced and gates at all the entrances are staffed by security guards.
NB: Prices and operating times are subject to change.
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