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Picnics and Walks

Picnics and Walks

Picnics and Walks

Please phone parks directly as this is just a suggestion page for walks and picnics...

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Please phone parks directly as this is just a suggestion page for walks and picnics...

Picnic Spots

Ducks and geese are just waiting for small people to feed them at Zoo Lake, Emmarentia Dam and Gillooly's Farm.

Adult supervision is essential to stop them falling in the water. All three venues also provide plenty of lawn space for children to play, fly kites or roller blade, and for parents to picnic. Parking for Zoo Lake is from Westwold Way, and parking for Emmarentia Dam is just over the bridge off Olifants Road. Gillooly's Farm is in Boeing Road, Morninghill (take the Linksfield off ramp from the N3).

Other green spaces in the city include Wemmer Pan (Rosettenville Road, Pioneer Park), Thokoza Park (Ntuli Street, Moroka), and the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (Malcolm Road, Poortview, Roodepoort).



Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden (Malcolm Road, Poortview, Roodepoort)
Tel: +27 11 958 1750

Several short walks run through the Garden and the surrounding natural areas. The JCI Geological Trail gives visitors the opportunity to not only walk along the Roodekrans Ridge and in the Nature Reserve portion of the Garden, but also to learn something about the fascinating geology of the area. Guided tours can be arranged for groups.


An outcomes-based schools' environmental education programme running in the Garden caters for school groups.

Emmarentia Dam

The dam attracts a variety of bird life, while on the wide spaces to the north west of the dam people walk their dogs, picnic, jog along the pathways, or simply chill out.

Alongside the picnic area are the botanic gardens, with 2 500 specimens of succulents and more than 20 000 indigenous trees. There are also terraced ponds and fountains and a Shakespearean garden, with herbs and roses.

The Johannesburg Botanic Gardens also host several outdoor Sunday music soirées throughout the year.

Besides providing an open space where residents can relax, the Johannesburg Botanic Gardens are also involved in a seed exchange program with 300 other gardens worldwide. It provides cutting-edge scientific research, information and education about world flora through its library and educational activities.

City Parks' nature reserves
City Parks manages four nature reserves in the Greater Johannesburg area:

Klipriviersberg, in the south, has 680 hectares of open veld and unspoilet koppies for hiking. This magical spot not only offers a range of wildlife, including zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest, mountain reedbuck and duiker, it also has 150 bird species, 600 plant species and 50 tree types.

It is also a rich archaeological site, with the remains of 19 stonewalled Iron Age settlements dating back to 1500, as well as numerous Stone Age artefacts. A replica of an ancient BaTswana village gives visitors an insight into the early pastoral lifestyle of the region.

Melville Koppies, five kilometers north west of the city centre, has been declared a national monument. It contains a Stone Age camp with artifacts dating back 50 000 years and an Iron Age Furnace, discovered in 1963. The iron-smelting debris found next to the furnace was carbon-dated to around 1600.

Besides its historical value, Melville Koppies abounds with animals, a variety of grasses, indigenous trees, shrubs and spring flowers. Some of the oldest rocks on earth have also been found here: the greenstone is estimated to be 3 000-million years old.

Kloofendal, eight kilometers from Soweto in the hills of Roodepoort, is one of the first game reserves in Joburg, with zebra, black wildebeest and other small buck. The 110-hectare reserve is still under development and, according to City Parks, the area's importance lies in its environmental education and eco-tourism potential.

The Dorothy Nyembe Park in Dobsonville, Soweto is also a must-see. Its sporting facilities include netball, volleyball and basketball courts, a soccer field and areas set aside for visitors to play chess and morabaraba.

City Parks offers school tours of the various heritage trails.

To organise a school tour contact Alan Buff on 011 712 6605. 

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