Zoo Lake: A Serene Oasis in the Heart of Johannesburg


At the heart of Zoo Lake is its namesake body of water, which serves as the focal point of the park. The lake itself is a man-made reservoir, originally constructed in the early 1900s to supply water to the nearby Johannesburg Zoo. Today, it is a popular recreational destination for locals and tourists alike.

Tranquil Waters and Scenic Beauty

One of the defining features of Zoo Lake is its scenic beauty. The tranquil waters of the lake reflect the surrounding trees and sky, creating a serene and picturesque setting. Visitors can take leisurely strolls along the paved pathways that wind their way around the lake, enjoying the peaceful ambiance and natural beauty of the surroundings.

In addition to its scenic charm, Zoo Lake offers a range of recreational activities for visitors to enjoy. Picnicking is a popular pastime, with numerous grassy areas and shaded spots perfect for spreading out a blanket and enjoying a meal al fresco. Families and friends gather here to relax, socialise and soak up the sunshine on lazy afternoons.

Photo Credits: Rati Matsha

Recreational Bliss

For those looking to get active, Zoo Lake offers various options. The park features tennis courts and a popular jogging trail that loops around the lake, providing an ideal setting for outdoor exercise. Visitors can also rent rowboats and paddleboats to explore the tranquil waters of the lake at their own pace. The rowboats currently cost R20 per person.

Zoo Lake is also known for its vibrant cultural scene. It is worth noting that fishing or swimming at the lake is not permitted.

Bird Life

One of the highlights of Zoo Lake is its iconic bird life. The lake is home to a diverse array of bird species, including ducks, geese, swans, and herons. Birdwatchers flock to the park to observe these feathered residents in their natural habitat, making it a popular destination for wildlife enthusiasts. You are welcome to bring seeds or bread along and feed the ducks, swans and pigeons that hang out around the lake.

Photo Credits: Rati Matsha

Points of Interest Nearby

Another notable feature of Zoo Lake is its proximity to the Johannesburg Zoo. Located just a short distance away, the zoo is home to a wide variety of animals from around the world, making it a popular attraction for families and animal lovers. Many visitors to Zoo Lake combine their visit with a trip to the zoo, creating a full day of outdoor fun and adventure. Looking for a bite to eat? Be sure to visit the popular family-friendly restaurant, Gioia Trattoria.

For More Information

For more information about The Joburg Zoo, visit

Address: Jan Smuts Avenue Corner Westwold Way, Johannesburg.

Zoo Lake is a hidden, found in the heart of Johannesburg. With its scenic beauty, recreational activities, cultural events, and abundant wildlife, it offers something for everyone to enjoy. Whether you’re looking for a peaceful retreat in nature or an exciting day out with family and friends, Zoo Lake has it all.

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