If there’s one thing all South Africans love even more than our Ouma rusks and Hilux bakkies, it’s a good old-fashioned braai. Sizzling coals, the smell of searing meat and the sun on our skin ─ give South Africans these things, and we’re in shisanyama Shangri-La. We’re so fond of this pastime, we’ve even given the official national holiday, Heritage Day, celebrated on the 24th of September, a dual name and purpose ─ National Braai Day.
Well, Braai Day is around the corner and here at TravelGround we take our heritage responsibilities very seriously. That’s why we’ve compiled a list of the top public braai spots in each province, giving every South African a prime spot to park their Prado for a day of sizzling fun!
Kraalbaai Beach is located on the Langebaan Lagoon and forms part of the West Coast National Park. It is easily accessible by car or boat, making it an ideal spot for a relaxing day at the beach and offers a peaceful setting for a picnic or braai. The famous Preekstoel braai facility is particularly perfect for large groups. Boating and water sport enthusiasts can also enjoy the warm, calm waters of the lagoon. So, pack your braai grid and bathing suit for a formidable Braai Day on a legendary Western Cape beach!
Tariffs: R59 per adult and R30 per child outside flower season. R83 per adult and R42 per child in August and September*
Hours: 07:00 to 19:00 (summer) and 07:00 to 18:00 (winter)
Contact: 012 428 9111
This lovely resort is a 30-minute drive west of Port Elizabeth, midway between PE and Jeffrey’s Bay. It is heaven on earth for Braai Day visitors, offering brick braai sites with wooden picnic tables dotted along the Van Stadens River. The estuary’s crystal clear lagoon is a magnificent sight to behold. Visitors can rent canoes, paddle skis, pedal boats and dune boards by the hour, explore the surrounding sand dunes or just relax in the sun around the lagoon.
Hours: 07:00 to 18:00 (summer) Monday to Friday; 08:00 to 18:00 (summer) Saturdays, Sundays and Public Holidays; 07:00 to 17:00 (winter) Monday to Sunday and Public Holidays
Contact: 041 582 2575
Mokala National Park, situated approximately 70 kilometres from Kimberley in the Northern Cape, is one of SANParks’ latest additions. The isolated dolerite hills create a sense of serenity and seclusion, where visitors can relax in the unspoilt beauty of the sandy plains that skirt the horizon. The park’s activities include bush braais and breakfasts under a 400-year-old camel-thorn tree, guided game drives to see black wildebeest, buffalo, giraffe, rhino, white-backed vultures, and roan antelope, and guided rock art tours. The Matopi and Kameeldoring picnic areas with braai and ablution facilities are certainly some of the top braai spots in the area and are a must for a Braai Day out and about in the Northern Cape!
Tariffs: R41 per adult and R21 per child*
Hours: 07:00 to 19:00 (16 October to 15 March); 07:00 to 18:00 (16 March to 30 April); 07:00 to 17:30 (1 May to 31 July); 07:00 to 18:00 (1 August to 15 October)
Contact: 053 204 0158
Koppies Dam Nature Reserve
Koppies Dam Nature Reserve is located just outside the town of Koppies, 70 kilometres northeast of Kroonstad in the Highveld. The dam is popular among fisherman with its waters chock full of yellow fish, mud fish, carp and barbel. Water sports like windsurfing, sailing and skiing are also very popular. Reed and thatch shelters with braai facilities are dotted along the shores of the dam, so day visitors can bring along their fishing and braai gear for a blissful day under the Free State sun.
Entrance fee: Free*
Hours: 08:00 to 16:30
Contact: 056 777 2034
Groenkloof Nature Reserve in known for being the first game sanctuary in Africa and is located next to the Fountains Valley at the southern entrance to Pretoria. This 600-hectare reserve is managed by the Department of Nature Conservation and is just a stone’s throw from the Voortrekker Monument and Klapperkop Nature Reserve. Visitors can enjoy hiking, 4×4 trails, game viewing or cycling on the premises. Wildlife on the reserve include zebra, jackal, duiker, kudu, impala, blue wildebeest, blesbok, red hartebeest, ostrich, giraffe and sable ─ all free roaming and relatively tame. There are plenty of picnic and braai areas in the reserve, offering the perfect Braai Day break far from the city’s noise.
Entrance fee: R25 for adults, R18.50 for pensioners and children between 7 and 17, and R10 for children under 7*
Hours: 05:30 to 19:00 (summer) and 07:00 to 18:00 (winter)
Contact: 012 358 9999
False Bay Park
False Bay Park is situated along Lake St Lucia’s western shore and lies within the iSimangaliso Wetland Park, which spans an incredible 280-kilometre of the coastline. Swimming is forbidden due to crocodiles in the water, but other recreational activities such as reef diving, hiking, fishing, canoeing and boat cruises on Lake St Lucia are available. A Braai Day along this beautiful shore is a favourite pastime among locals and is certainly a must-do activity for any visitor seeking the riches of nature.
Tariffs: R25 per adult and R18 per child under 12*
Hours: 06:00 to 18:00
Contact: 021 975 2189
Modjadji Nature Reserve
This reserve stretches over 305 hectares and is located close to Modjadjiskloof. It features the world’s largest concentration of a single-species cycad, also known as the Modjadji palm, and offers a superb setting for day visitors, gazing over the cycad forest to the lowveld and the Kruger National Park. Visitors can expect to see large game such as blue wildebeest, waterbuck, nyala, impala and bushbuck, and over 170 bird species. Facilities include an information centre, kiosk, picnic areas and, of course, braai sites. Visitor permits should be obtained at the reserve entrance whereafter a day of fresh air and braai bliss can be enjoyed.
Tariffs: R10 per person and R20 per vehicle*
Hours: 07:30 to 16:30
Contact: 074 834 0383
The Mac Mac Pools is a popular picnic spot in a shallow rocky river which drops into a series of natural swimming holes. It is located in the Sabie/Graskop area on the Panorama Route and there are shelters and picnic spots with braai facilities, toilets and a beautiful nature trail for guests’ enjoyment. This lovely walk winds its way to the base of the miraculous Mac Mac Falls, which is also a great picnic spot.
Tariffs: R30 per person*
Hours: 08:00 to 16:30
Contact: 013 754 2724
Wolwespruit Nature Reserve
This reserve on the Vaal River is about 130 kilometres from the Bloemhof Dam and 22 kilometres south of Leeudoringstad. Due to it relatively small size, it is one of the least-known parks in North West. The reserve offers great birding opportunities and visitors can angle in the rapids of the Vaal River surrounded by unmatched natural scenery. This park is also a favourite among mountain bikers, offering spectacular trails. There are designated braai areas in the reserve and free-roaming antelope, black wildebeest, kudu and zebra are often seen in these parts. If you truly want to take in the natural beauty SA has to offer, spending your Braai Day in this reserve is a must!
Tariffs: R30 per person*
Hours: 05:30 to 18:30
Contact: 018 581 9705
If there is one thing South Africa has no shortage of, it’s braai spots. And with these epic picks from all over the country, you’ll have no reason to stay at home this Braai Day!
*Please note that all tariffs mentioned are subject to change.