Modderfontein is an urban forest. Driving through from Edenvale into the mud fountain town, you travel along a road bordered with pine trees and giant oaks. However, once you reach the centre of town, the jacarandas take over the scenery. Covering the streets in purple confetti, these trees, which originate from Brazil, romantically hang over the Modderfontein surrounds. Take a trip down to the dam at the reserve to see them in full bloom, or take a hike up one of the trails for a better view.
Kensington spans 52 streets, making it one of Joburg's largest suburbs. This is also jacaranda central. Take a slow drive up Highland Road, travelling through a blanket of fallen flowers. There are a number of historical sites to visit here, too, including the Scottish War Horse Memorial and Jeppe High School for Boys. From these viewpoints, you can see the vast covering of the jacarandas and take a few snapshots of the Joburg skyline.
With rolling views, you’ll be able to see the purple blanket that adorns Joburg in summer. Though it’s not the highest location, it definitely does the job. The Koppies also offer a lot more, with the indigenous flora currently in bloom. Stop in at sunrise for an unforgettable experience. If you wish, you can even bring your dogs for a walk as there are a number of pathways to explore.
Observatory Ridge is the highest point in Joburg, which looks out over Houghton, Orange Grove and beyond. At 1,808 metres above sea level, Observatory Ridge offers a view of the sprawling expanse of our beautiful city. For those of you who didn’t know, there is also a commemorative British Indian Army monument that was erected over 100 years ago. So, go on and get yourself that perfect eagle's eye view of the jacarandas in bloom, while also taking in some history. If you visit on a Sunday, you can stop by Sylvia's Market before heading home. Sip on craft cocktails or tuck into a gourmet burger under one of the old clubhouse's jacarandas.
This is the second highest point in Joburg, at just one metre lower than Observatory Ridge. Northcliff Hill overlooks the CBD to the right and the northern suburbs to the left. Northcliff Water Tower has long been known as one of the top romantic spots in the city. Take your sweetheart to see the spring blossoms in all their glory. Northcliff Hill is also one of the best places to see the pink, burnt orange and amber Joburg sunset, so be sure to take a picnic blanket and some champers along on your date. You can drive up to the top of the hill or take a mammoth hike. Either way the view is sure to be stunning.
Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff
If hiking isn’t your scene, then why not opt for the posh view from the Westcliff? High tea at Four Seasons Hotel is an unforgettable experience offering a decadent sweet and savoury smorgasbord, plus stunning views from the Westcliff ridge. You’ll be able to take in the jacarandas from a position of complete luxury, with a plate of Petit Fours in hand. To walk off the calories, take your car around to the top of the Westcliff steps and give them a jog up and down!
Joburg is one of the world's largest man-made forests. But, you don't need to be out in nature to experience it. The inner city offers fantastic views of concrete meets greenery. Once the tallest building in the Southern hemisphere, Carlton Centre offers a 360 degree panoramic view from the 50th storey. Just R15 will get you to The Top of Africa viewing deck, from where you will be able to view all things purple and jacaranda.
Lastly, we recommend Tyrwhitt avenue in Rosebank. Swap your car for a stroll down this jacaranda lined street. The incredible purple canopy makes it feel as though you are in a magical world whilst you crack the oyster-shaped pods beneath the soles of your shoes. These jacaranda trees are recognised as being part of the history and heritage of the Rosebank area, giving it its characteristic atmosphere. While you are here, stop by the Keyes Art Mile to experience an array of world class galleries, restaurants and boutiques.
Despite the fact that they’re now considered invasive and can no longer be planted, Jacarandas do generally have a 200-year lifespan, meaning that we’ll be able to view them for a long time yet. So get your camera ready and head out for some violet adventures.
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