Picnics are a must in the warmer months of the year. The sun shining brightly, birds chirping cheerfully and your favourite food and drinks: what could be better on a hot summer afternoon?
Gauteng residents are fortunate to have a multitude of grassy areas in the province just waiting to be explored. Some of these are well-known and others less so. You might have hiked, cycled or walked your dog in these parks but have you ever just whiled away the hours beneath the shady trees?
Pack a basket with delightful eats and treats, invite your loved ones or simply enjoy some alone time. Here are some beautiful picnic spots to try.
1. James and Ethel Gray Park
This park was named after former Johannesburg mayor in 1946, James Gray and his wife Ethel. According to the Rosebank Killarney Gazette, the couple even hosted the royal family when they visited South Africa in 1947. Here, you can kick back and spread out on the rolling hills, take in the stunning city views from a lookout point or enjoy one of the many walkways.
Area: Melrose, Johannebsurg
2. Pretoria National Botanical Garden
This oasis of fauna and flora offers a welcome reprieve from the city rush. A birding haven, the gardens contain over 220 bird species. Aside from the indigenous plant species, the area is also home to small mammals like mongoose, scrub hares and duikers.
Area: Brummeria, Pretoria
Entry: R40 p/p
3. Lethabo Estate
This luxury picnic spot kicks it up a notch. Book a date and choose between a Gourmet, Luxury or Boudoir basket for you and your significant other. Picnics are set up with a mattress, cushions and throws beneath a gazebo on a private stretch of river. Options include vegetarian, vegan and Halaal menus.
Price: From R595 per basket
4. Kievits Kroon Country Estate
If you are wanting a luxury picnic and a casual one all in one, this is just the location for you. The pristine estate offers stretched out lawns and enough shade to enjoy a lazy afternoon. Perfect for a date or special occasion, here you can let down your hair and admire the ‘winelands of Gauteng’.
Area: Kameeldrift-East, Pretoria
Price: R295 per basket
5. Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens
Another fan-favourite. Relax among the abundant wildlife that inhabit the gardens and you might spot a rare animal. The gardens are home to honey badgers, jackals, rheedbuck and hedgehogs, as well as a breeding pair of Verreaux’s eagles nesting on the cliffs near the waterfall.
Area: Brummeria, Pretoria
Entry: R60 p/p
6. Delta Park
One of the biggest parks in Johannesburg, it comprises 108 hectares of grassland and woodland, and hosts three tree-lined dams. The Delta Environmental Centre offers a range of courses to adults and children if learning more about wildlife in the area interests you.
Area: Victory Park, Johannesburg