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15 Must-Visit Parks in Johannesburg

15 Must-Visit Parks in Johannesburg

Did you know Johannesburg boasts the world’s largest manmade forest within an urban city?

Covering over 22,000 hectares, the city offers vast open green spaces, parks, and reserves to explore. Whether you seek tranquil picnics or exhilarating hikes (hiking trails johannesburg), Johannesburg’s parks accommodate all tastes. 

Discover the best parks in Johannesburg and immerse yourself in nature’s tranquillity today!

Rhodes Park Johannesburg

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Address: Cumberland Rd, Kensington, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

Rhodes Park offers an ideal setting for family outings with its serene ambience and the shade of ancient trees. Rhodes Park isn’t as busy as some other parks in the city, and there’s plenty of space for picnics and exploring.

One of the park’s highlights is its majestic old trees, offering refreshing shade for visitors. Sports enthusiasts can partake in tennis matches or enjoy performances at the amphitheatre. 

Pro Tips:
If you have kids, you can request story time at the park’s library.

Mark your calendars for the Kensington Spring Fair every first Sunday in September. It’s an annual event in the park featuring a vibrant market, entertainment, and community activities.

Wilds Nature Reserve

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Address: Houghton Dr, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 643 2313

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

Wilds Nature Reserve covers 16 hectares of natural beauty, featuring native gardens and stunning city views. It offers a beautiful, unspoiled setting suitable for intimate corporate gatherings and is ideal for various photography needs, including weddings.

All year round, the Wilds stays green and attractive with bright red aloes adding colour even in winter. Plus, you can walk around the paths and enjoy the waterfalls and fountains at the reserve.

Pro Tip:
When you reach the peak of the Wilds, take a moment to appreciate the breathtaking panorama. You’ll also find a lovely sundial there, displaying time.

Zoo Lake

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Address: Corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and West World Street, Parkview, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Phone: (011) 483-1017

Zoo Lake is a go-to spot for a relaxing day in nature with its serene lake and well-kept paths perfect for strolling. It’s also a place for families to have a great time cycling around or feeding the ducks.

The park hosts some pretty neat events too, like Jazz on the Lake and Carols by Candlelight, not to mention the outdoor art scene with Artists under the Sun.

And don’t forget to check out the park’s iconic Johannesburg Heritage Coronation Fountain, a symbol of the city’s history. From the fountain, you can easily walk to the Zoo Lake Sports Club where you can play various sports or relax at the pub. 

Pro Tip:
Enjoy some African-inspired cocktails at Moyo, located inside the park, offering spacious decks overlooking the water. It offers a unique pan-African dining experience in a garden or tent setting with live Marimba music.

James and Ethel Gray Park

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Address: Edgewood Avenue &, Melrose St, Melrose, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 435 4727

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

James and Ethel Gray Park spans 36 hectares and is famous for its stunning sunrise views. It used to be a bird sanctuary and now has landscaped gardens along the Sandspruit River.

It also has a Katyn Forest Memorial, a plaque that honours the Polish victims of the Katyn Massacre and recognizes the ties between Poland and South Africa.

Pro Tip:
If you’re looking for a cosy spot to enjoy a tasty meal nearby, check out Arbour Café & Courtyard. Try their brie appetiser and chicken entrée, guaranteed to tantalize your taste buds.

Gillooly’s Farm

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Address: 47 Boeing W Rd, Bedfordview, Johannesburg, 2007, South Africa

Phone: +27 860 543 000

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 7 AM to 7 PM

Gillooly’s Farm covers 44 hectares of land and has many trails for walking and exploring. You can see many birds and fish in the lake, like storks, herons, catfish and kurper.

The farm also has many options for entertainment and relaxation. You can bring your kids to the playgrounds, have a delicious meal at the restaurant, or use the braai areas for a barbecue. 

Pro Tip:
Just a stone’s throw away from the farm lies Victoria Yards, a thriving community of artisans, craftspeople, and creators. On the first Sunday of each month, attend the First Sunday Marketplace for guided tours on art, garden design, and fashion.

Johannesburg Botanical Garden

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Address: Olifants Rd, Emmarentia, Randburg, 2195, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 712 6600

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

Johannesburg Botanical Garden is one of the city’s green lungs, covering an area of 81 hectares with over 30,000 trees and 2,500 succulents.

The garden boasts several themed sections, such as the Shakespeare Garden where plants mentioned in Shakespeare’s plays are grown and the Herb Garden where medicinal and culinary herbs are cultivated.

Moreover, the most popular attraction at the botanical garden is the Rose Garden, which boasts over 10,000 roses of different varieties and colours.

Pro Tip:
Drop by Doppio Zero Greenside, just 4 minutes away from the park. It offers a tasty array of Italian dishes, from pasta and pizza to salads and baked goods, ensuring a satisfying dining experience.

Melville Koppies East

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Address: 15 6th St, Melville, Randburg, 2109, South Africa

Phone: +27 79 532 0083

Operating Hours:

  • Open 24/7

Melville Koppies East is a small but beautiful reserve that used to be neglected and invaded by exotic species. Through the efforts of the City Council, it has been restored to its natural glory.

If you love hiking, the park offers a scenic 1-km trail open daily from dawn until dusk, perfect for both humans and their furry companions. Alongside free entry for all ages, you can enjoy stunning views of rocky ridges at the summit.

Pro Tip:
Head to the far eastern edge of the reserve to enjoy a scenic view of the old Rustenburg Road. There, you’ll find a bunch of wild coffee, shrubs with white flowers and red berries that attract birds and insects.

Horwood Farm

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Address: Homestead Rd, J P Bezuidenhout Park, Edenvale, 1609, South Africa

Phone: +27 11 999 3140

Operating Hours:

  • Open 24/7

Horwood Farm is a spacious and beautiful park in Edenvale that offers a variety of activities and amenities for families and individuals. It’s well-maintained and clean with safe parking and bathrooms. 

Children will love the play area and jungle gym where they can slide, swing, climb, and explore. There’s also a skate park for the adventurous ones where they can show off their skills on skateboards, roller skates, or bicycles.

It’s a free-entry park that welcomes everyone who wants to have a fun and relaxing day out.

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss the Horwood Farm Market, a monthly event that showcases the best of local produce, crafts, and entertainment. It’s held on the first weekend of every month, so mark your calendars and join the fun!

Delta Park

Address: 77 Craighall Rd, Victory Park, Randburg, 2195, South Africa

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

A peaceful oasis in Randburg, Delta Park offers three scenic dams and a variety of grasslands and woodlands to relax in. Its southeast corner offers serene surroundings, featuring picnic areas and opportunities to immerse in nature.

In the park’s Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary, you can explore a sensory trail and bird-watching hides where you might spot birds like the African wattled lapwing and the helmeted guineafowl.

Delta Park also has an environmental centre that provides educational activities for children aged six to 13 years old as well as interesting wildlife courses for adults.

Pro Tip:
If you’re looking for a sweet treat after enjoying the park, head to Goddess Cafe Linden, just a two-minute drive away. You’ll love their delicious red velvet cake, gluten-free orange almond cake, and cappuccino cream.

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

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Address: 129 Peggy Vera Rd, Kibler Park, Johannesburg South, 2091, South Africa

Phone: +27 84 804 4073

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is the biggest nature reserve in Johannesburg, and it is only 10 km away from the city centre.

You’ll be amazed by the diversity of wildlife and plants that live there. You can see animals like zebra, wildebeest, and blesbok roaming freely in the reserve.

The reserve has a rich history and culture with archaeological sites and historical buildings. It has nine trails tailored for diverse fitness levels and interests as well as the Silent Pool, a dam formed by excavation.

Pro Tip:
Walking in the reserve is generally safe but proceed at your own risk. Follow these safety measures:
Walk with a friend or group.

Stay alert while walking or running.

Inform someone of your whereabouts and expected return time.

Bokkie Park

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Address: 38 Southvale Rd, Leeuwpoort 113-Ir, Boksburg, 1459, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 24-minute drive

Phone: +27 (0)11 999-5254

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 8 AM to 5:30 PM

Bokkie Park is a charming destination for families, featuring a playground, petting farm, and free-roaming bunny rabbits.

Visitors can enjoy camel and pony rides on weekends. Plus, the park’s beautiful dam attracts various water birds.

With ample shaded areas and facilities, Bokkie Park is ideal for picnics and barbecues and provides a perfect setting for quality time with loved ones amidst nature’s beauty.

Pro Tip:
Just 7 kilometres away from the park, you’ll find the East Rand Mall. This mall offers a wide variety of stores, including major chain stores and specialized shops.

Rietfontein Nature Reserve

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Address: 138 Holkam Rd, Rietfontein, Sandton, 2191, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 28 minutes

Phone: +27 11 943 3578

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

Rietfontein Nature Reserve, near Sandton and Johannesburg, offers an ideal setting for leisurely hikes and relaxed picnics. This 25-hectare reserve is home to the FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre, which cares for and releases birds.

You can stroll along a well-maintained 2.5-km circular trail and see various birds like little swifts and Cape glossy starlings. You might also spot buck and grey loeries in the hills. 

Pro Tip:
The reserve offers walking trails, and you’ll want to explore the beautiful indigenous green space. Opt for comfortable shoes, such as sneakers or hiking boots, to make your nature walk enjoyable.

Golden Harvest Park

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Address: 1 1st Rd, Randburg, 2194, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 32 minutes

Phone: +27 11 712 6600

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 6 AM to 6 PM

In the north of Johannesburg, there’s a beautiful 55-hectare park with winding paths around a calm dam and natural bushland. Surprisingly, many locals don’t know about this hidden gem.

You can bring a book about plants and animals and take a slow walk to see the native plants and birds around the dam. As you explore, you’ll also encounter an old iron smelting area on top of a hill.

Pro Tip:
Prioritize safety by walking in large groups. Even if the park is fenced and guarded, having company ensures a more enjoyable and secure experience.

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

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Address: Malcolm Rd, Poortview, Roodepoort, 1724, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 37 minutes

Operating Hours:

  • Open daily – 8 AM to 5 PM

The Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is a peaceful escape with lush greenery, a beautiful waterfall, and diverse wildlife. It’s home to rare Verreaux’s eagles and 600 plant species, including charming lithops.

There are paths for walks and a bird-watching spot situated at Sasol Dam, located in the northwest corner of the garden. Even during busy times, you can find quiet spots for picnics, making it a great place to relax.

Pro Tips:
Explore the Roodekrans Ridge at the park for a chance to spot reptiles, antelope, and even the occasional jackal.

For comprehensive information on the park’s flora and fauna, visit the Visitor Information Centre.

Lion & Safari Park 


Address: R512 Pelindaba Rd, Broederstroom, 0240, South Africa

Distance from Johannesburg: 53 minutes

Phone: +27 87 150 0100

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Friday – 8 AM to 5 PM
  • Saturday & Sunday – 8 AM to 6 PM

Lion & Safari Park, situated in the tranquil Hartebeespoort area, spans 1,000 hectares of wilderness. This renowned destination offers guided safari tours and comfortable tented camping options.

The park’s highlights include guided game drives and exciting animal feeding sessions. There’s also the Bull ‘n Buck and Wetlands Restaurant offering food like springbok shank, eland fillet, and duck egg creme brulee.

Families can enjoy the expansive children’s playground. Shopping enthusiasts can explore the 5 Dome Shopping Experience, a shopping centre featuring exquisite jewellery and other treasures.

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss the lion feeding sessions at 12 PM and 3 PM on weekends and public holidays.

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