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30 Cozy (and Safe!) Picnic Sites in South Africa 

30 Cozy (and Safe!) Picnic Sites in South Africa 

South Africa has a lot of beautiful and diverse landscapes, but also some risks and challenges that can affect your picnic experience. 

Keep reading and discover the amazing – and safe – places that South Africa has to offer for your picnic adventure.

Addo Elephant National Park 

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Address: Addo, South Africa

Phone: +27-21-200-5960

If you’re in Addo Elephant National Park in South Africa, check out their picnic area overlooking a waterhole – it’s open for day visitors. The park is known for saving wildlife and ranks third among South Africa’s national parks.

The main camp has cool stuff like a pool and restaurant, and there are other rest camps with different places to stay. Roads in the park can be tarred or gravel, and there’s an extra road from the N2 highway near Colchester.

Pro Tip:
Stay at Addo Rest Camp, the main hub of Addo Elephant National Park, offering various accommodations like houses, tents, and camping spots for a convenient and comfy adventure. 

Albert Falls Dam

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Address: Albert Falls Dam Nature Reserve, Msinsi, near Pietermaritzburg, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal

Albert Falls Dam, situated in the Umgeni Valley just outside Pietermaritzburg, South Africa, has been around since 1976. It’s not just a dam; it’s a fantastic spot for a day outdoors.

You can enjoy water sports, go fishing, and do some bird watching, making it a cool place for a relaxed outdoor hangout.

Pro Tip:
Enjoy top-notch fly fishing at Fordoun’s two dams in the Natal Midlands. Join fishing excursions for a great day out, perfect for accommodating diverse interests within large groups, whether it’s spa relaxation or fishing fun.

Budmarsh Lodge


Address: R96, Magaliesburg, 1971, South Africa

Phone: +27 83 610 1214

Budmarsh Lodge will hook you up with a delightful picnic basket for R300, perfect for two. Picture yourself chilling on their green lawns, surrounded by nature, with tasty treats and birdwatching.

Beyond picnics, Budmarsh Lodge is a cosy spot near Magaliesburg, ideal for couples seeking a getaway or as a launchpad for exploring the Magaliesberg and the Cradle of Humankind. You’ll enjoy the serenity and a touch of luxury at this retreat.

Pro Tip:
Make the most of your time at Budmarsh Lodge by hanging out in our beautiful gardens, breathing in the fresh country air, and playing fun lawn games like Croquet, Swing Ball, and Badminton.

Cape Point Vineyards


Address: Silvermine Rd, Noordhoek, Cape Town, 7979, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 789 0900

Cape Point Vineyards provides a charming picnic experience with breathtaking views, requiring Picnic Basket orders at least 24 hours in advance. Two options are available: the Standard or Vegetarian Basket for two, and the Kids Picnic Hamper.

At the Deli, a helpful runner will assist you in carrying your basket, along with pillows and a blanket, to your chosen spot. If you’d like a pre-set area, you can have that arranged by the runners for R200. 

Pro Tip:
Check out the revamped Tasting Room at Cape Point Vineyards – now serving sushi with stunning views of the picnic lawns and the Atlantic Ocean. It’s the perfect match for their delicious coastal Sauvignon Blanc wines!

Delheim Wine Estate


Address: Knorhoek Rd, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa

Phone: +27 (0) 21 888 4600

Delheim Wine Estate in Stellenbosch has cool Green Picnics by the river for R149 each, with a free wine bottle for every couple. They’ve got veggie and kiddie choices too.

Delheim is a fancy wine place on Simonsberg Mountain, doing wine stuff in a cool way. You can also do tours, taste wine, and eat yummy food with a view at their Garden Restaurant.

Pro Tip:
Try the Wine & Fynbos Cupcake Pairing for a fresh twist on eco-friendly winemaking, combining four fynbos-infused cupcakes with award-winning wines.

Durban Botanic Gardens


Address: 9A John Zikhali Road, Musgrave, Durban

Phone: +27 (0) 68 598 1396

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday – 7:30 AM to 5:15 PM

Durban Botanic Gardens is the oldest botanical garden in Africa, with lots of different plants like cycads and orchids.

People love having picnics there, so families can bring their picnic stuff and relax on the grass or under a big tree. You can have your picnic in any area unless it’s booked for a special event. 

Pro Tip:
Book a guided tour through the Education Office for an informative golf cart adventure in the Gardens. It’s educational and suitable for all ages, plus they offer discounted rates for kids and pensioners.

Eagle’s Nest


Address: Eagles’ Nest Wine Estate, Constantia Main Road, Constantia, 7806

Phone: +27 21 794 4095 / +27 21 794 3359

Eagle’s Nest winery in Constantia is a great spot for a family picnic. You’ve got cool shade from trees and a little stream flowing nearby.

They offer picnics daily during the summer with meat, vegetarian, and kiddies’ menus, plus a bottle of wine. Nestled high in the Constantia mountain range, this winery is part of the world-famous Constantia Valley known for its top-notch wines.

Pro Tip:
Elevate your wine experience by pairing the winery’s wines with a variety of high-quality cheeses and cured meats. This tasty combination brings out the delicious flavours of both the wine and the food.

Emmarentia Dam

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Address: Main entrance is on Olifants Road, Emmarentia, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

Phone: +27 (0)11 712-6600

Emmarentia Dam offers open spaces, shady arbours, and a rose garden with ponds, making it a great spot for picnics. You can rent a canoe, go jogging, or enjoy angling and cycling activities. 

The park has a small café, but feel free to bring your own picnic basket. Families often gather on the lawns, and the wooden benches along the walkways provide moments of stillness and reflection.

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss the annual summer sunset concerts on the dam’s banks, featuring a diverse lineup of local and international musicians. 

Fyndraai Restaurant

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Address: Stellenbosch, South Africa

Phone: +27 21 874 3937

Fyndraai Restaurant at Solms-Delta offers picnic baskets for a relaxed day, just a 10-minute walk from the restaurant. It costs R145 for adults, R75 for kids.

Located in Franschhoek, known as the gourmet capital, Fyndraai adds a local twist to its modern Cape Cuisine. Their dishes reflect the Cape’s diverse culinary heritage with a fusion of European, Asian, and African flavours.

Pro Tip:
Check out Fyndraai’s special menu upgrades: try the calf’s liver and indulge in rooibos-coconut cheesecake. 

Happy Valley 

Address: 50 Beach Rd, Summerstrand, Gqeberha, 6013, South Africa

Phone: +27 (0) 41 585 8884

Happy Valley, with its nursery rhyme charm and evening lights, is a perfect spot for family strolls. The place is decked out with lily ponds, rockeries, and towering palms, creating a delightful setting.

You can even find peaceful retreats to sit and relax. Plus, there’s a sandy subway connecting Happy Valley to the beautiful Humewood Beach.

Pro Tip:
If you’re up for a game, there’s a giant chessboard on the lawn, with chess pieces available at the Beach Manager’s Office. 

Karkloof Nature Reserve

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Address: Karkloof Nature Reserve, Karkloof, Natal Midlands, KwaZulu Natal, South Africa

Karkloof Nature Reserve near Howick is a nice place for a picnic, with trees and a waterfall view. It’s part of the Karkloof Conservancy, protecting a big area of grasslands and forests.

The reserve covers 2,800 hectares, looking after lots of different plants and animals, like the Karkloof blue butterfly and monkeys. You can also try the Karkloof Canopy Tour for fun in the treetops and check out the beautiful Karkloof Falls nearby.

Pro Tip:
See cool birds like the Cape parrot, stay in lodges, and have fun on a Canopy Tour among the trees. Don’t forget to check out the lovely Karkloof Falls nearby.

Krantzkloof Nature Reserve


Address: 152 Kloof Falls Rd, Kranskloof, Kloof, 3624, South Africa

The Krantzkloof Nature Reserve is this awesome spot where the Molweni and Nkutu rivers come together in a grand way. It’s a wildlife haven with zebras, bushbucks, duikers, monkeys, and a ton of birds, more than 200 species!

You gotta pay a small fee to get into the picnic areas, but it’s totally worth it. Popular spots are Kloof Falls by Molweni River and Nkutu by Valley Drive, both with grills, tables, and toilets.

Pro Tip:
If you visit Krantzkloof Nature Reserve, don’t miss the other attractions nearby. You can enjoy a scenic ride on the Umgeni Steam Train, browse local produce at the Shongweni Farmers Market, or have a pint at the historic Stoker’s Arms.

Llandudno Beach 

Address: Victoria Road, Llandudno 7806 South Africa

Llandudno Beach is a beautiful and protected spot to enjoy a picnic and catch a stunning sunset. The soft, white sand of the beach makes it ideal for sunbathing, swimming, games, dog walks, or simply relaxing as the sun goes down

You’ll find a cosy spot, unpack your snacks, and enjoy a relaxing day surrounded by the reserve’s natural beauty. Don’t forget to take in the stunning views and maybe even spot some local wildlife.

Pro Tip:
For some extra fun around Llandudno Beach, check out nearby spots like the massive World of Birds, the biggest bird park in Africa. Or swing by Hout Bay Harbour for tasty seafood and local crafts. 

Ludwig’s Roses


Address: Plot 61, Haakdoornlaagte, Pretoria, South Africa

Phone: +27 12 544 0144

Ludwig’s Roses is a great place for picnics, family fun, tea parties, and birthdays, surrounded by beautiful roses. They have yummy food for kids, like rose-flavoured dishes, tasty breakfasts, cakes, quiches, salads, and burgers.

Kids can play on the swings, dollhouse, merry-go-round, and jungle gym at the playground. On weekends, there are tractor train rides through the rose gardens, and you can buy homemade rose products at their shop.

Pro Tip:
For a more rosy day out, visit Spiced Coffee Restaurant at Ludwig’s Roses. You can pre-order a picnic basket full of goodies and enjoy it among the flowers. 

Mitchell Park

Address: 10 Ferndale Rd, Morningside, Durban

Operating Hours:

  • Open Daily – 9 AM to 3 PM

Mitchell Park offers more than just a zoo – with picnic spots, braai areas, a playground, and a tea garden. Initially an Ostrich farm, it expanded to include various animals, including the famous Indian Elephant, Nellie, known for her unique talents.

The zoo now has smaller animals like blue duikers and South American monkeys, as well as Aldabra giant tortoises. Families can have a laid-back day exploring the walk-through aviary, the playground, and grabbing a bite at the Blue Zoo tea garden.

Pro Tip:
You can find comfortable accommodations to stay in the area, such as the Lily Lodge and the Holiday Inn Johannesburg.

Meulwater Botanical Garden

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Address: Paarl, 7620, South Africa

Meulwater Botanical Garden is a perfect place to enjoy a picnic with your family or friends. The garden has a variety of plants, flowers and trees that create a beautiful and relaxing atmosphere.

You can also explore the trails, visit the bird hide, or join a guided tour to learn more about the flora and fauna. Meulwater Botanical Garden is open daily from 8 am to 6 pm and has ample parking, picnic tables, and ablution facilities.

Pro Tip:
If you’re planning to hike, make sure to pack light and start early. You’ll enjoy the 11 km hiking trail more if you avoid the sun and have brunch by the stream.

Newlands Forest

Address: Newlands Forest, Newlands, Southern Suburbs, Cape Town, Western Cape, South Africa

Newlands Forest offers great picnic spots and BBQ facilities surrounded by lush trees. It’s a conservancy area on Table Mountain’s eastern slopes, near Newlands in Cape Town, South Africa.

Managed by the Table Mountain National Parks Board, it features walking and jogging trails easily reached from the city’s southern suburbs. Enjoy stunning views of the Cape Flats from this mountain-side haven.

Pro Tip:
Let your dog roam freely on the trails by paying R60 at the gate or get a year-long permit for R320 at the Tokai Plantation office.

Oliewenhuis Art Museum


Address: 16 Harry Smith St, Dan Pienaar, Bloemfontein, 9301, South Africa

Phone: +27 78 968 4300

Oliewenhuis Art Museum has pretty gardens and 12 hectares of nature, perfect for picnics and walks on its 4 trails. It started in 1989, sits in a beautiful garden, and uses cool tech to keep artworks safe.

You’ll find all kinds of South African art here, like paintings and sculptures. The museum even turned an old water reservoir into a cool underground gallery called the Reservoir.

Pro Tip:
Treat your little ones to a delightful African Carousel ride for just R5 per ride—simply grab tickets from the Caretakers in the Main Building’s front office.

Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve

Address: Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve, Paarl, Cape Winelands, Western Cape, South Africa

Phone: +27 (0)82 744-5900

Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve has nice spots for picnics near caves, waterfalls, big rocks, and ponds. It’s not far from Cape Town and gives you pretty views and family fun.

You can drive, ride a bike, or walk up Jan Philips Bergpad, a bumpy road, but good for tough cars or bakkies. Drive slowly, enjoy the peaceful views of Paarl valley, and check out Paarl Rock, Bretagne, and Gordon’s Rocks, with parking space at each.

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss out on Meulwater Botanical Garden near Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve – it’s a great spot for a relaxed day in nature. It’s also ideal for picnics and family fun, they’ve got picnic benches and braai spots for a chill vibe.

Paradise Valley Nature Reserve

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Address: 14 Game Reserve Ave, Rietvallei 377-Jr, Pretoria, 0181, South Africa

Phone: +27 12 358 1812

Paradise Valley Nature Reserve is a great spot for a picnic, with a beautiful waterfall and wooden bridges over the Umbilo River. You’ll also find the Umbilo Waterworks, a cool old building from 1887.

You can pick one of the four trails—Easy, Medium, Medium-Hard, or Hard—that take you to picnic areas. Grab a trail map at the front desk and have a good time with picnic spots, grills, and bathrooms.

Pro Tip:
You can choose from four trails of varying difficulty levels, all leading to a beautiful waterfall. You can also explore other attractions nearby, such as the Pinetown Museum, the Mariannhill Monastery, and the Giba Gorge Mountain Bike Park.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve 

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Address: 14 Game Reserve Ave, Rietvallei 377-Jr, Pretoria, 0181, South Africa

Phone: +27 12 358 1812

Rietvlei Nature Reserve in Centurion is a vast urban space with fishing, game viewing, and walking trails. Entrance fees are R40 for adults, R20 for kids aged 6-16, and R5 for children under 6.

The reserve, one of the world’s largest, is 3,800 hectares south of the city. It’s a wildlife haven with unique species, birdwatching, and picnic spots by Marais Dam.

Pro Tip:
Rietvlei Nature Reserve is more than just a picnic spot. You can also enjoy cycling and mountain biking, hike the scenic Smuts Trail, or visit the Irene Village Market for some local crafts and delicacies.

Sardinia Bay Beach 

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Address: Sardinia Bay, Port Elizabth, Eastern Cape, South Africa

Sardinia Bay Beach is a clean and natural place to have a picnic. It’s between Schoenmakerskop and Seaview, and you can get there by going on Sardinia Bay Road.

The beach is great for walking, and there are spots to have a picnic. You can’t fish there because it’s a Marine Reserve, but people enjoy snorkelling and scuba-diving. Also, it’s a good place to see a beautiful sunset.

Pro Tip:
Don’t miss the chance to catch a breathtaking sunset at one of Sardinia Bay’s best spots.

Shongweni Reserve

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Address: Mr461 road Dassenhoek, Outer West Durban, 3610, South Africa

Phone: +27 68 681 1859

Shongweni reserve, nestled where three rivers converge, is a haven for both adventure seekers and those seeking tranquillity. Whether you’re into rock climbing or just want a leisurely picnic, this place has you covered.

Fishing enthusiasts can enjoy the well-stocked Shongweni Dam, and families can relish in braai areas, a jungle gym, and canoes for hire. With diverse activities and an affordable entry fee, it’s a perfect spot for a day of outdoor fun.

Pro Tip:
You can explore the wild side of nature on game drives, day or night, and see amazing animals. Or, you can stay in the private bush camp and enjoy the peace and quiet of the reserve.

Spier Farm Café


Address: R310 Baden Powell Dr, Lynedoch, Stellenbosch, 7603, South Africa

Phone: +27 (0)64 830 5667

Spier offers a variety of picnics, from gourmet to vegetarian, perfect for a relaxed day on their shady lawns. You can book your picnic online in advance, selecting from options like farmhouse cheeses, cold cuts, salads, and tasty treats.

Once booked, pick up your hamper at the picnic shop and find a cosy spot on the lawn to enjoy the farm-style goodness. It’s a hassle-free way to savour a delightful picnic experience.

Pro Tip:
If you’re in the mood for something lighter, try building your own picnic with our freshly prepared to-go options. Or, swing by the pop-up Bubbles and Braai next to the Picnickery for a delicious outdoor experience.

The Free State National Botanical Gardens 


Address: Rayton Rd, Dan Pienaar, Bloemfontein, 9310, South Africa

Phone: +27 51 436 3530

The Free State National Botanical Gardens provides a perfect setting for a delightful picnic. With colourful gardens and paved walkways, it’s an ideal spot to lay out a blanket and enjoy a meal.

Beyond its scenic beauty, the garden plays a role in environmental education, offering school programs covering ecotourism, food chains, plant adaptations, and more.

Pro Tip:
Plan your visit during the spring for a blooming backdrop that enhances the picnic experience.

Durban North Japanese Gardens

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Address: Tinsley Road, Durban North, Durban, KwaZulu Natal

The Japanese Gardens are a calm place with lakes, waterfalls, and pretty bridges. You can have a quiet picnic under the willow tree and share your breadcrumbs with the ducks. 

You can also walk around the peaceful gardens with bamboo and flowers, feeling calm. The diverse walking paths, traditional ponds, and scenic viewpoints make it a perfect spot for contemplation and family gatherings.

Pro Tip:
You can enjoy a family-friendly market at Holden Hours Family Market, which offers food, crafts, live music and kids’ activities. Or you can stay nearby at Old Mill Guesthouse or Centre Court B&B for a cosy retreat.

The Lowveld Botanical Gardens 

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Address: Emnotweni Ave, Riverside park, Mbombela, 1201, South Africa

Phone: +27 13 752 8880

The Japanese Gardens at the Lowveld Botanical Gardens are a great spot for a picnic. With lots of different plants, a man-made rainforest, and a calm pool where two rivers meet, it’s a peaceful place.

You can take a walk on a trail through the rainforest to a lookout point with beautiful views of the rivers and the gorge. The garden has 600 local and 2,000 imported plants, including the country’s biggest collection of cycads. 

Pro Tip:
Explore nearby thrills like Monster Mountain Scooter at Kaapsehoop Scootours or ancient wonders at Sudwala Caves and Dinosaur Park. Stay at Kaapsehoop Gastehuis or Sudwala Lodge for a convenient experience.

Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij

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Address: Portion 260, skeerpoort, hartbeespoort, Hartbeespoort, 0232, South Africa

Phone: 083 226 7834

Van Gaalen Kaasmakerij is a cool cheese farm near Magaliesberg Mountain. They do cheese tours, have a restaurant with Dutch food, and spots for picnics by the river.

You’ll get a picnic basket for three and it’s yours to keep. After eating outside, take a stroll and grab a pic of the restaurant surrounded by big trees – perfect shady vibes.

Pro Tip:
Try the Van Gaalen trails for a fun outdoor adventure. With over 80km of paths, you can bike, run, hike, or birdwatch and enjoy the beautiful Skeerpoort Valley landscapes.

Walkhaven Dog Park


Address: Plot 77, Walkhaven farm, M5, Zwartkop, Johannesburg, 1748, South Africa

Phone: +27 71 212 9955

Walkhaven, a dog-friendly park near Muldersdrift and Lanseria, is a great place for a picnic. You can order picnic baskets or braai packs in advance for the various picnic and braai spots.

It’s a top choice for dog lovers in Jozi, with a spacious 22-hectare farm and a pet-friendly restaurant called The Walkhaven Kitchen. Your furry pals can run freely in the wide-open spaces.

Pro Tip:
Walkhaven Dog Park is more than just a place to walk your dog. You can also join various dog-friendly events that support animal causes and book a kennel for your furry friend if you need to travel.

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden

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

Phone: +27(0)86 100 1278

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Roodepoort is a cool spot for a picnic. With its vast lawns and a stunning Witpoortjie waterfall, it’s a perfect escape from city life.

You can chill out on the greenery, spot some rare birds, and relax by the waterfall. Just pack your snacks, find a shady spot, but remember, no braais or gas fires are allowed.

Pro Tip:
You can also enjoy the nursery, the gift and book shop, and the restaurant. Don’t miss the sundowner concerts over Christmas and on selected weekends.
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