25 of the Best Picnic Spots in South Africa
There’s no better way to enjoy summer than with a lazy picnic under the trees. Here are some of South Africa’s best picnic spots; some where you can bring your own food and others where you can buy a pre-packed basket.
- Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Roodepoort has large open lawns, great facilities, and a beautiful Witpoortjie waterfall backdrop. Contact +27(0)86 100 1278
- Emmarentia Dam has open spaces, shady arbours, walkways, and a rose garden with ponds and a fountain. Rent a canoe or go jogging, angling, and cycling. You’ll find it hard to believe you’re so close to the city centre! Contact +27(0)11 782 7064
- Walkhaven is a dog-friendly park near Muldersdrift and Lanseria. There are several picnic and braai areas, and braai packs and picnic baskets can be ordered in advance. Contact +27(0)71 212 9955
- Rietvlei Nature Reserve and dam in Centurion offers fishing, game viewing, bird hides, and walking trails. Entrance is R40 for adults, R20 for children aged 6 – 16, and R5 for children under 6. Contact +27(0)12 358 1810/1/2
- Spiced Coffee Restaurant at Ludwig’s Roses lies on a rose farm north of Pretoria. Book in advance to order a picnic basket of treats and beverages. The venue offers tractor rides, rose talks, and a kiddies’ playground. Contact +27(0)12 544 0144
- Budmarsh Lodge will fill your basket with tasty treats so you can spend a peaceful afternoon on the lawns, under the trees, spotting the resident birdlife. Baskets cost R300 for 2 people. Contact +27 (0)11 728 1800
- Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij is a cheese farm at the foot of the Magaliesberg Mountain that offers cheese-making tours, a restaurant, mountain biking, and picnic spots on the banks of the river. Picnic baskets are packed for up to 3 people…plus you keep the basket. Bookings are essential. Contact +27(0)12 207 1289
- Cape Point Vineyards in Noordhoek overlooks beautiful vineyards and ocean. Deli-style picnics are available on weekends, from 11am to 8pm. Items cost between R15 and R45 each and there are magnificent wines too. Contact +27(0)21 789 0900 (weekdays) or +27(0)83 444 7088 (weekends).
- Newlands Forest has lovely picnic and braai facilities under the canopy of trees. Contact +27(0)21 422 1601
- Llandudno beach is well protected from the infamous South Easter winds and a beautiful spot to watch the sunset.
- Eagle’s Nest winery in Constantia is ideal for family picnics, with shady trees and a little stream running through. Picnics are available daily throughout the summer (October – April) with a choice of meat selection, vegetarian menus, including a bottle of wine. Kiddies’ menus are also available. Bookings and a 50% deposit are essential. Contact +27(0)21 794 4095
- Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve has a range of picnic sites scattered near caves, waterfalls, huge granite rocks, and reservoirs. Contact +27(0)21 872 3658
- Delheim Wine Estate in Stellenbosch hosts eco-friendly Green Picnics along the river’s edge, 7 days a week, until the end of April 2014. Picnics costs R149 per person and includes a bottle of wine per couple. Vegetarian and kiddies options are available. Contact +27(0)21 888 4607
- Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms-Delta offers freshly packed picnic baskets that you can enjoy at the estate’s picnic area, approximately a 10 minute walk away. A guide will carry your basket and assist you in selecting the perfect spot near the forest, river, or dam. Baskets cost R145 per adult and R75 per child. Pre-booking is essential. Contact +27(0)21 874 3937
- The Lowveld Botanical Gardens is home to a rare collection plants, the first man-made rain forest, and a tranquil pool where the Crocodile and Nels Rivers meet. Be sure to visit the waterfall! Contact +27(0)13 752 5531
- Albert Falls Dam in the Umgeni Valley is ideal for a day outdoors. Enjoy water sports, fishing, and birding. Contact +27(0)33 569 1202
- Karkloof Nature Reserve near Howick has a forested picnic site with braai facilities and views of the waterfall. Contact +27(0)33 330 5305.
- Durban Botanic Gardens is the oldest surviving botanical garden in Africa, with indigenous and exotic plants including cycads, orchids, and palms. Don’t miss the popular Old Mutual Music at the Lake events this summer! Contact +27(0)31 322 4021
- Mitchell Park is a mini zoo and garden in Morningside with picnic spots, braai areas, a playground, and tea garden. Contact +27(0)31 303 2275.
- The Japanese Gardens is an enchanting valley of lakes, waterfalls, and rustic bridges. Picnic beneath the willow and share your breadcrumbs with the many waterfowl. Contact: +27(0)31 311 6976
- Addo Elephant National Park has a picnic and braai area overlooking the waterhole at the rest camp. Day visitors are welcome. Contact +27(0)42 233 8600
- Happy Valley is a delightful nursery rhyme setting with coloured lights in the evenings. Connected to Humewood Beach, it is filled with lily ponds, rockeries, and gigantic palms. Contact +27(0)41 506 1423
- Sardinia Bay Beach is an unspoilt marine reserve with picnic and braai facilities. Contact +27(0)41 584 0584
- Oliewenhuis Art Museum is surrounded by beautiful gardens and 12 hectares of natural vegetation, offering picnic spots and access to 4 walking trails. Contact +27 (0)51 447 9609
- The Free State National Botanical Gardens is a colourful landscaped garden spanning a valley between striking dolerite koppies. The garden features paved walkways, nature talks, and moonlight walks. Contact +27 (0)51 436 3530
What other areas would you like to find a great picnic spot?
Main image supplied by Cape Point Vineyards