Klipsrivierberg Nature Reserve

Johannesburg's Jewel of the South is a 700 hectare nature reserve in the southern suburbs of Johannesburg. This park has an array of wild life and flora, which are available to view on any one of the 10 trails. Trails include the Bloubos, Dassie, Beacon, Sunbird, Ruins, Kiepersol, Legae, Bakwena, Gifbol and Wildebeest. The reserve is open daily from sunrise to sunset and the entry is free.

Contact details: 011 9433578 / 4 4th St, Johannesburg South / [email protected] / klipriviersberg.org.za

Rietfontein Nature Reserve

Located in Sandton, this 24 hectare rocky ridge reserve offers short and easy hiking trails. This is perfect for kids and families, as well as those wanting a quick hike but who are short on time. The hike trails over ridges, where there are spectacular views of Sandton and surrounds. The reserve is open daily from 06:00 - 18:00 and the entrance is free.

Contact details: 011 943 3578 / 138 Holkam Street, Rietfontein Ridge, Paulshof / [email protected] / www.friendsofrietfontein.org

Melville Koppies Nature Reserve

This nature reserve and heritage site is tucked away in Randburg. It holds the last conserved remains of the Johannesburg Ridges, the remaining kraal wall from the Iron Age and indigenous highveld grasses, flowers and trees. The reserve is divided into three sections: East, West and Central. Melville Koppies East and West are open daily for hikes and walks but they advise going on scheduled walks in the West section.

Contact details: 011 482 4797 / 4 Judith Rd, Emmarentia, Randburg / [email protected] / www.mk.org.za

hiking

Kloofendal Municipal Nature Reserve

Once a gold mine, this 128 hectarre nature reserve now offers concerts, organised walks and hikes. This is a great place to go experience nature as it is a transition zone of Bankenveld, Drakensberg and Savana ecosystems. Spend the day exploring one of the many hiking trails and maybe catch a glimpse of a jackal, duiker, reedbuck, dassie, mongoose or gerbil.

Contact details: 011 760 9143 / Veronica St, Roodepoort / www.jhbcityparks.com

Golden Harvest

Although not a hiking trail or nature reserve, this 55 hectare park is still big enough for a quick hike in the city. The indigenous bushveld and pristine dam make for lovely hiking scenery. The park features a foot path to the dam, as well as a koppie with ancient smelting remains. This is a great spot for hiking with the family and dogs. And afterwards, have a delicious picnic while the kids run around and play.

Contact details: 011 712 6600 / 1st Rd, Northgate, Randburg / www.jhbcityparks.com

Sugarbush Day Trail

Located in Krugersdorp, this 8km hiking trail covers rocky paths, wooded grasslands and old mine shafts. The starting point is a stone's throw from the Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens and covers land protected by the Cradle of Human Kind World Heritage Site. And the hike ends with picturesque views of Magaliesberg. The draw to this trail is the abundant sugarbush shrubs, which flower pink-red blossoms throughout summer.

Contact details: 071 951-3667 / Robert Broom Drive, Krugersdorp

hiking trails

Zoo Lake

This park, located in the aptly named Parkview, has been a favourite among Joburg residents for many years now. And we can see why. The park boasts boat rides, a fountain, restaurant and a sports club and pub. Spend the afternoon paddling away in a boat watching the ducks go about their day. Or have a picnic under one of the shady trees for a getaway right in the city.

Contact details: 011 483 1017 | Cnr Jan Smuts Avenue and West World Street, Parkview

Golden Harvest

Based in Randburg, this 55 ha park is perfect for spending the day out with family, kids and the pooches. Spend the day fishing, braaing, picnicking or hiking. It has many dwindling paths as well as a pristine lake, making it the perfect location for a day out with the dogs. Nature lovers will love all the indigenous bushveld and resident water fowl.

Contact details: 011 712 6600 | First Avenue, Northgate

James & Ethel Gray Park 

Tucked away in Birdhaven, James & Ethel Gray Park is what remains of a bird park. As such, this park is home to many species of birds, and makes a great day out for birdwatchers. The park features grass, lawns, walking paths, ablution facilities and water bodies. Dogs will love running through the park, swimming in the streams and rolling around in the mud.

Contact details: 011 435 4727 | Atholl Oaklands Road, Abbotsford

parks

Horwood Farm

This big park in Edenvale is home to luscious green lawns, park benches under leafy trees, a kids play area and jungle gym and lovely walkways, all rounded off with safe, ample parking and clean bathrooms. The park also plays host to the Horwood Family Farm market once a month. Spend the day out in the serene surroundings enjoying yummy food and drink while the kids and dogs burn off extra energy.

Contact details: 011 999 3140 | 1 Homestead Road, Edenvale

The Wilds

The Wilds Municipal Nature Reserve is a park in Houghton, crowned with koppies and indigenous vegetation. The park features water falls, fountains and evergreen nature making for a leisurely respite from day to day life. The park also has many lovely finds such as the sundial, red aloes, shaded benches and amazing views. With stone paths and meandering walkways, this location makes the perfect destination for a hike or power walk.

Contact details: 011 643 2313 | Houghton Drive, Houghton

Kloofendal Nature Reserve

Kloofendal Nature Reserve is a 128 ha park in the middle of Bankenveld, Drakensberg and Savana ecosystems. This park offers both education and entertainment with the early gold mining remains, informative plaques and amphitheater. The reserve also has several species of flora and fauna, which can be viewed while hiking on one of the hiking trails. Followed by a relaxed picnic under one of the many lapas.

Contact details: 011 760 9143 | Galena Avenue, Kloofendal, Roodepoort

park

Visit Johannesburg City Parks to find more parks, nature reserves, flagship parks and parks for hire.

Picnics

Zoo Lake

Zoo Lake offers an escape from the concrete jungle that surrounds it. The willow trees that line the banks of the lake act as a wall against the Park more traffic. What once was a favourite amongst the Joburg Randlords is now a melting pot of different creeds and cultures. Zoo Lake is a public park situated right across the road from the Johannesburg Zoo and hosts lazy boat rides, an African market and the iconic Moyo Restaurant. The park is famed for being dog-friendly and often pooches can be seen chasing sticks and catching balls. It is always busy and often varsity students from UJ and Wits frequent the park to take a break from their studies.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/53-zoo-lake

Emmarentia Dam

Set in the heartland of Joburg, Emmarentia Park has two major attractions for visitors. The Johannesburg Botanic Gardens, and Emmarentia Dam. The garden has seven distinct gardens - the Herb Garden, the Hedge Garden, the Succulent Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Chapel Garden and the Arboretum (a collection composed exclusively of trees). The dam offers rowing enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their sport within the city. 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.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/conservation-contents-95/botanical-gardens-contents-96

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

The gardens are the perfect place to have a picnic, go on a hike or take a leisurely stroll through the vegetation. The area in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is known as the ‘Rocky Highveld Grassland’ and consists of a mosaic of grassland and savanna, with dense bush in kloofs and along streams. The variety of habitats accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species. The Botanical Gardens are also famed for their abundance of wildlife, including over 220 bird species. The beautiful waterfalls at the bottom of the garden boasts a breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles that many a visitor spend a great amount of time watching.

Details: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/

bird watching

Al Fresco Dining

Moyo Zoo Lake

Take advantage of the warm weather and the sun deck or outside dining section of Moyo Zoo Lake. Have you face painted, enjoy a couple of cocktails and indulge in the best ethnic food in the city. Moyo is best experienced with friends and family, so make sure you load the car chock-full of friendly faces before heading to the restaurant. Enjoy pap en vleis like it's meant to be enjoyd - in good company!

Details: http://www.moyo.co.za/moyo-zoo-lake/

Tasha's Melrose Arch

Grab the gang and head to Tasha's at Melrose Arch for a laid back and relaxed dining experience in the shade. The heart of Tasha's can be split into two section: 1. their food is good. 2. Their service is amazing... and the third bit would be their take on the classic hamburger. At Tasha's Cafe you can grab two 125g homemade mini beef burger patties built up with red onion, tomato, and gem lettuce served with fries... and if you add an extra R5 (at the time of writing) you can change that burger into a... cheese burger! There's a reason why we've included them in the best burgers of Melrose Arch hall of fame.

Details: http://www.tashascafe.com/

Dog Parks

James & Ethel Gray Park

Pretty laid back and relaxed, James & Ethel Gray Park is a great place to take your new puppy as it's not as busy as those mentioned above. The park is patrolled by local security and managed and monitored by the Melrose Rates Payers' Association, owing to a clean and safe environment. Be sure to take your leash with as we're not too sure about leash laws here – we've seen doggies off their leashes but can't confirm whether this is the rule.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/122-james-a-ethel-gray

 

Golden Harvest

This park is a stone's throw away from NorthGate and boasts 55ha of walking space and a very special hiking path that goes around the dam. The venue is a local favourite and a popular Sunday braai spot. Be sure to check it out whenever you're in the area. Bring a ball along, and maybe your sausage dog as well.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/39-golden-harvest

Walkhaven

A stone's throw away from the Cradle Of Human Kind lies a safe space for dogs to run free, kick it with the cool kids and make new friends. With 22 hectares of awesomeness, your dog will feel right at home at Walkhaven. There are two dams for the dogs to swim in, various hiking trails, braai and picnic facilities that have been spread out to avoid congestion, and loads of maintained space in which to walk, picnic, play and enjoy a day out. The best part is that dogs are not required to be on a leash – in fact, the facility prefers them to run around and play freely. Just be sure to clean up after your dog (poo bags are available in the bar and on the deck area). The park also has a little pub and grub area which serves cold beer and hot pizza, and the restrooms are serviced regularly and remarkably clean. Check the link below to find out about the entrance fee.

Details: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Walkhaven/

Public Pools

Zoo Lake Public Swimming Pool

From its Cape Dutch Architecture to its crisp, clean water the Zoo Lake Public Pool is a summer hot spot. Entrance won't break the bank but be sure to take some sun screen and floaties with. For a very, very long time this public spot has served the community to the fullest extend. Crisp clean water fill the main and kiddies pools. This is also where Desmond and the Tutus played a free show for the kids with their faces covered in ice cream and sunblock. If it were up to us we'd label this venue a heritage site.

Details: 57 Lower Park Dr, Parkview, Randburg, 2193

Linden Swimming Pool

With a half Olympic sized main pool indoors, a smaller pool outside, and a baby pool, the Linden Swimming Pool complex is a hidden gem in the heart of suburbia. Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic basket and soak up the sun and go for a splash or three. The entrance fee is kept low and pensioners get in for free. Season passes are also available at a once-off fee. All pools except for the baby pool are heated. The facility is handicap friendly as well, including everyone in the fun.

Details: https://www.jozikids.co.za/listing/linden-indoor-heated-public-swimming-pool/

By Shawn Greyling

 

 

Picnics

Zoo Lake

Zoo Lake offers an escape from the concrete jungle that surrounds it. The willow trees that line the banks of the lake act as a wall against the Park more traffic. What once was a favourite amongst the Joburg Randlords is now a melting pot of different creeds and cultures. Zoo Lake is a public park situated right across the road from the Johannesburg Zoo and hosts lazy boat rides, an African market and the iconic Moyo Restaurant. The park is famed for being dog-friendly and often pooches can be seen chasing sticks and catching balls. It is always busy and often varsity students from UJ and Wits frequent the park to take a break from their studies.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/53-zoo-lake

Emmarentia Dam

Set in the heartland of Joburg, Emmarentia Park has two major attractions for visitors. The Johannesburg Botanic Gardens, and Emmarentia Dam. The garden has seven distinct gardens - the Herb Garden, the Hedge Garden, the Succulent Garden, the Shakespeare Garden, the Rose Garden, the Chapel Garden and the Arboretum (a collection composed exclusively of trees). The dam offers rowing enthusiasts the opportunity to enjoy their sport within the city. 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.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/conservation-contents-95/botanical-gardens-contents-96

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

The gardens are the perfect place to have a picnic, go on a hike or take a leisurely stroll through the vegetation. The area in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is known as the ‘Rocky Highveld Grassland’ and consists of a mosaic of grassland and savanna, with dense bush in kloofs and along streams. The variety of habitats accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species. The Botanical Gardens are also famed for their abundance of wildlife, including over 220 bird species. The beautiful waterfalls at the bottom of the garden boasts a breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles that many a visitor spend a great amount of time watching.

Details: http://www.sanbi.org/gardens/walter-sisulu/

bird watching

Al Fresco Dining

Moyo Zoo Lake

Take advantage of the warm weather and the sun deck or outside dining section of Moyo Zoo Lake. Have you face painted, enjoy a couple of cocktails and indulge in the best ethnic food in the city. Moyo is best experienced with friends and family, so make sure you load the car chock-full of friendly faces before heading to the restaurant. Enjoy pap en vleis like it's meant to be enjoyd - in good company!

Details: http://www.moyo.co.za/moyo-zoo-lake/

Tasha's Melrose Arch

Grab the gang and head to Tasha's at Melrose Arch for a laid back and relaxed dining experience in the shade. The heart of Tasha's can be split into two section: 1. their food is good. 2. Their service is amazing... and the third bit would be their take on the classic hamburger. At Tasha's Cafe you can grab two 125g homemade mini beef burger patties built up with red onion, tomato, and gem lettuce served with fries... and if you add an extra R5 (at the time of writing) you can change that burger into a... cheese burger! There's a reason why we've included them in the best burgers of Melrose Arch hall of fame.

Details: http://www.tashascafe.com/

Dog Parks

James & Ethel Gray Park

Pretty laid back and relaxed, James & Ethel Gray Park is a great place to take your new puppy as it's not as busy as those mentioned above. The park is patrolled by local security and managed and monitored by the Melrose Rates Payers' Association, owing to a clean and safe environment. Be sure to take your leash with as we're not too sure about leash laws here – we've seen doggies off their leashes but can't confirm whether this is the rule.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/122-james-a-ethel-gray

 

Golden Harvest

This park is a stone's throw away from NorthGate and boasts 55ha of walking space and a very special hiking path that goes around the dam. The venue is a local favourite and a popular Sunday braai spot. Be sure to check it out whenever you're in the area. Bring a ball along, and maybe your sausage dog as well.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/39-golden-harvest

Walkhaven

A stone's throw away from the Cradle Of Human Kind lies a safe space for dogs to run free, kick it with the cool kids and make new friends. With 22 hectares of awesomeness, your dog will feel right at home at Walkhaven. There are two dams for the dogs to swim in, various hiking trails, braai and picnic facilities that have been spread out to avoid congestion, and loads of maintained space in which to walk, picnic, play and enjoy a day out. The best part is that dogs are not required to be on a leash – in fact, the facility prefers them to run around and play freely. Just be sure to clean up after your dog (poo bags are available in the bar and on the deck area). The park also has a little pub and grub area which serves cold beer and hot pizza, and the restrooms are serviced regularly and remarkably clean. Check the link below to find out about the entrance fee.

Details: https://www.facebook.com/pg/Walkhaven/

Public Pools

Zoo Lake Public Swimming Pool

From its Cape Dutch Architecture to its crisp, clean water the Zoo Lake Public Pool is a summer hot spot. Entrance won't break the bank but be sure to take some sun screen and floaties with. For a very, very long time this public spot has served the community to the fullest extend. Crisp clean water fill the main and kiddies pools. This is also where Desmond and the Tutus played a free show for the kids with their faces covered in ice cream and sunblock. If it were up to us we'd label this venue a heritage site.

Details: 57 Lower Park Dr, Parkview, Randburg, 2193

Linden Swimming Pool

With a half Olympic sized main pool indoors, a smaller pool outside, and a baby pool, the Linden Swimming Pool complex is a hidden gem in the heart of suburbia. Visitors are welcome to pack a picnic basket and soak up the sun and go for a splash or three. The entrance fee is kept low and pensioners get in for free. Season passes are also available at a once-off fee. All pools except for the baby pool are heated. The facility is handicap friendly as well, including everyone in the fun.

Details: https://www.jozikids.co.za/listing/linden-indoor-heated-public-swimming-pool/

By Shawn Greyling

 

 

What Is It?

In training to complete your first marathon or just need to get out of the house and get your heart rate up? No matter what your reason, you can get moving at the Golden Harvest Parkrun. It's a free timed run which takes place every Saturday morning at Golden Harvest Park in Northriding. All you have to do is register before your first run (click here to register), lave up your running shoes, do some stretching and off you go. Just don't forget to take a printed copy of your barcode along with you. Also, every week they grab a post-run coffee at Doppio Zero at Bellaire’s Mall. It's the perfect opportunity to hang out and meet fellow runners.

When Is It?

Every Saturday morning at 08:00.

Where Is It?

Golden Harvest Park, 01 First Avenue, Northgate, Northriding, Randburg, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

It's FREE!

For More Information

For more information about this parkrun, visit www.parkrun.co.za.

Also, check them out on Facebook.