Egoli lays claim to one of the largest urban forests in the world. It goes without saying, then, that Johannesburg provides prime picnic spots for those lazy weekend afternoons.

If your weekend is still unplanned and you fancy consuming delicious sweet and savoury treats, washed down with premium South African wine, this is where you should throw your blanket:

Gillooly’s in Bedfordview

Not to be confused with the infamous Gillooly’s Interchange, which is responsible for many a daily headache among motorists, Gillooly’s Farm plays host to those seeking an escape from the daily grind.

It offers a beautiful lake, braai facilities, picnic spots and a hiking trail to work up your appetite. Bird watchers can bring their binoculars along; Gillooly’s is home to more than 50 bird species.

Gillooly’s Farm Johannesburg

Gillooly’s Farm. Photo courtesy Rodric84

Where to find it: Boeing Road West, Bedfordview, Johannesburg
Cost: Free
Contact: 011 453 8066

Rietvlei Zoo Farm, located between Alberton and Mulbarton

Rietvlei Zoo Farm is especially accommodating towards kids. There are Putt-Putt facilities, a bird aviary, a steam train and farm animals, among other things to keep the little ones entertained.

The lush lawns, natural wetlands and willow oak trees provide the perfect setting for a family outing.

Rietvlei Zoo Farm

Rietvlei Zoo Farm

Where to find it: 101 Swartkoppies Road, R554, Johannesburg South
Cost: R30 per adult, R20 per child, R10 for pensioners and the disabled. Parking in the picnic area will set you back R40, parking is free at the Farm Main Entrance.
Contact: 011 024 1512/4

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens in Little Falls

Huge lawns, an impressive waterfall, more than 220 bird species and a myriad of plant life that is on display makes this the ideal picnic spot.

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Where to find it: End of Malcolm Road, Poortview
Cost: R27 per adult, R22 for pensioners, the disabled and students, R12 for scholars, children under six enter for free.
Contact: 086 100 1278

Zoo Lake in Rosebank

Take a row around the dam before settling down on the grass for a picnic lunch, and perhaps throw around a frisbee or a ball, if you’re feeling energetic.

Zoo Lake Rosebank

Zoo Lake, Rosebank

Where to find it: Corner of Jan Smuts and Avenue and West World Street, Parkview
Cost: Free
Contact: 011 483 1017

Rhodes Park in Kensington

One of the oldest parks in Johannesburg, Rhodes Park provides a bowling club, a library, jungle gyms, tennis courts, with stepping stones and railway sleepers leading the way past waterfalls and ponds.

With summer on its way, the numerous old trees provide ample shade.

Where to find it: Corner of Cumberland and Ocean Street, Kensington
Cost: Free
Contact: 011 622 1829


About The Author

Angie Gallagher

Angie Gallagher is a freelance writer in the Upper Karoo. Aside from writing content for Counting Coins, Angie has tried her hand at a few juvenile attempts at poetry filled with storms and stress, and a marginally successful radio station, Radio Grootoor, recorded on cassette tapes when she was ten.

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