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Johannesburg Botanical Garden What You Need to Know

Johannesburg Botanical Garden: What You Need to Know

If you’re into nature, greenery, relaxing views, family bonding, and outdoor physical activities, then the Johannesburg Botanical Garden is one of the best tourist spots you can visit when in the area. It has different gardens for you to check out and appreciate.

Aside from enjoying the varied flora of the area, you get to enjoy other amazing activities here such as going on a picnic with your family, running with your friends, and walking your dog. 

With all these exciting choices, this guide will help you enjoy the garden to the fullest!

Things to Know

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

Operating Hours:

  • Monday to Sunday, 6:00 AM to 6:00 PM

Contact Number: +27117126600

Cost: Free of charge


How to Get There

By Taxi: The fastest way for you to get to the Johannesburg Botanical Garden is via taxi, as it will only take you around 10 minutes to travel from the city’s centre. 

However, you have to pay extra for convenience, as this is the priciest option at ZAR 200 one way.

By Car: Another quick option for getting to the garden is via your own car, as this will also take you around 10 minutes if you’re coming from the centre of the city. We recommend this option if you’re travelling with your family or a large group.

Best Time to Visit

The best time to visit the Johannesburg Botanical Garden is from May to September. During this period (dry season), South Africa has very little chance of rain, meaning you can enjoy the sights and flora without worrying about getting soaked.

However, in terms of the time of day to visit, we recommend that you come to the garden early in the morning, as it can get extremely hot mid-day. Plus it’s more comfortable working out or walking your dog if it isn’t too hot out!

What To Do: Activities Offered by the Johannesburg Botanical Garden

From iam_a.ndy

One of the highlights of a visit to this botanical garden is the breathtaking views of the Emmarentia Dam. Here, you and your family can just relax along the different benches scattered across the lawn of the dam as you take in the magnificent scenery.

It’s also one of the most tranquil spots in the city, and it’s great especially if you want to wind down a bit after a busy work week. There are also canoe clubs, braai events, and families just having a picnic here, adding to the peaceful vibe of the dam.

Pro Tip:
You can also call the Botanical Garden or check their website for any upcoming events at the Emmarentia Dam. They usually hold rock concerts on the banks of the dam, making it one of the most memorable musical events in the area.

From iimuhk 

This botanical garden is home to seven different gardens, and we like that each one has something unique to offer. Bring the entire family to these different areas and expose yourself to the different flora found in the following spots:

  • Chapel Garden: This garden is usually where weddings are held here and has numerous roses and herbs scattered around the romantic venue.
  • Shakespeare Garden: The plants located in this garden were often alluded to by the famous playwright, hence, its name. These include lavender, marjoram, camomille, and mint.
  • Rose Garden: One of the most visually stunning gardens onsite, this area has fresh roses planted depending on the season. It’s surrounded by flowering cherries making it an awe-inspiring site to take selfies or family photos.
  • Hedge Garden: The hedge garden features 58 different hedges that will surely make you whip out your camera or phone to take pictures of these cute and interesting flora formations.
  • Herb Garden: This herb garden doesn’t just feature herbs used for medication but also cosmetic and culinary ones, making this spot a great learning opportunity for you and the entire family.
  • Arboretum: The botanical garden’s arboretum is one of the most unique areas you can visit, as this area houses oaks from other countries (like Portugal and Spain) along with other plants like silver birches, English oaks, and redwoods.
  • Succulent Garden: If you want to experience a mini dessert with cute cacti, then the succulent garden is the garden you need to visit. It’s filled with succulents and silica sand, closely simulating a desert environment.
Pro Tip:
The different gardens sometimes feature plants coming from different countries requiring special handling. As such, we recommend that you call the botanical garden management at 011 782 0517 for strictly scheduled viewings.

From limebluejozi

The Johannesburg Botanical Garden also boasts wide open spaces, trails, and paths where you and your loved ones can get moving and stay active. During your visit, you might even see a few people running, walking, stretching, or walking their dogs.

Most of the jogging and running are done along the Emmarentia Dam’s banks while brisk walks are done along the trails surrounding the different gardens. These walks will usually take around 30 minutes to 2 hours depending on your speed and chosen trail.

Pro Tip:
You can also go fishing at the banks of the Emmarentia Dam. We recommend visiting during the weekends, as these are the days when most other anglers visit—perfect if you want to share fishing tips and tricks.

From ma_nyawose

With tons of green grassy lawns and areas covered with and shaded by trees, the Johannesburg Botanical Garden is one of the most tranquil and ideal spots to have a picnic in Johannesburg.

There’s a cafe right in front of the park, and you can buy your supplies there, but the botanical garden management allows bringing your own picnic basket and food items. Customise your picnic experience based on your and your group’s preference!

Pro Tip:
If you’re not sure about where to have a picnic, you can approach park staff and ask about designated picnic areas. The botanical garden has marked certain areas as designated picnic areas for your safety and convenience.

Nearby Attractions

Address: Northern Pkwy & Data Cres, Johannesburg, 2159, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 17 minutes


Contact Number: +27112485000

Operating Hours

  • Thursday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Closed from Monday to Wednesday

If you’re travelling with your family and young kids, then Gold Reef City Theme Park is a must-visit! This is an amazing family theme park in the middle of Johannesburg where you can experience different rides and attractions.

Some of their group or family rides include Balloon Wheel, a carousel, and City Bus. There are also dedicated kid’s rides (e.g., cups and saucers, dragon ride, convoy trucks, and elephant ride) that will surely make your little ones smile.

Address: 5th St, Sandown, Sandton, 2031, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 20 minutes


Contact Number: +27112176000

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Saturday, 9:00 AM to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday, 9:00 AM to 6:00 PM

After enjoying your day at the Johannesburg Botanical Garden, you can head on over to Nelson Mandela Square for fine dining and great shopping options. You can score fantastic designer apparel and items here such as shoes, clothes, and gadgets.

The square also has fantastic dining options to make your tastebuds sing! Some of the more popular ones to check out include RocoMamas, Cappino, Nonna’s Italian Kitchen, Tashas, Hard Rock Cafe, and Trumps.

Address: Northern Parkway and Gold Reef Road, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 18 minutes


Contact Number: +27113094700

Operating Hours

  • Wednesday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM
  • Closed on Monday and Tuesday

Once you’re done appreciating the beauty of Mother Nature at the botanical garden, you can immerse yourself in the culture and history of South Africa by visiting the nearby Apartheid Museum. 

This site is a great place to learn more about the country’s struggle against apartheid and its more recent (20th-century) history. 

You can check out their permanent exhibitions pertaining to race classification, segregation, and violence for an educational and insightful trip.

Address: Shop U 30 Keyes, Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 11 minutes


Contact Number: +27 83 329 2320

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Sunday, 8:30 AM to 5:30 PM

Once you’ve satisfied your senses with the flora of the Johannesburg Botanical Garden, you can then check out the country’s fauna at the nearby Johannesburg Zoo. This is another popular tourist destination thanks to the varied animals present onsite!

Some of the animals in the zoo include different birds, predators (like hyenas and lions), reptiles (like snakes and rare frogs), hoofed animals (like zebras and hippopotamuses), and primates (such as gorillas and chimps)—an animal lover’s paradise indeed!

From chansmith7

Address: 22 Erlswold Way, Johannesburg, 2132, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 12 minutes


Contact Number: +27116465513

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Sunday, 9:00 AM to 4:30 PM

The South African National Museum of Military History details the different wars that involved the country, so if you’re curious about these different conflicts, this is the best place to visit and learn. 

You’ll see tons of photos, war relics (like tanks and planes), guns, and military uniforms used by the South African army through the years. Your group can also request museum staff for a tour of the facility and use its extensive library during weekdays.

Where to Eat: Best Restaurants Near the Botanical Garden

From jenaidereddy

Address: 54 Bath Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 12 minutes


Contact Number: +27113448442

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Sunday, 6:30 AM to 10:30 AM, 12:00 NN to 3:00 PM, and 6:00 PM to 10:00 PM

Level Four Restaurant is a great restaurant near the botanical garden where you can sample amazing dishes and enjoy the great vibe of its dining area. They serve steaks, salads, and decadent cakes that will surely fill you up after you tour the garden.

Address: 1, The Firs, Hyatt Centre, Oxford Road & Biermann Avenue, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 12 minutes


Contact Number: +27118803945

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Saturday, 12:00 NN to 10:00 PM
  • Sunday, 12:00 NN to 5:00 PM

If you love your steaks, then the Grillhouse Rosebank is the restaurant to be. Aside from its impressive and elegant interiors, they also serve some of the most mouthwatering grilled meats (e.g., t-bone, sirloin, and ribeye) you can ever have here in Rosebank

Address: 85 4th Ave, Melville, Johannesburg, 2109, South Africa

Distance from the Garden: 6 minutes


Contact Number: +27114822900

Operating Hours

  • Monday to Thursday, 9:00 AM to 8:00 PM
  • Friday, 9:00 AM to 9:00 PM 
  • Saturday, 8:00 AM to 9:00 PM
  • Sunday, 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM

Bambanani is the perfect Italian and family restaurant located just 6 minutes away from the botanical garden. You can indulge in authentic pizzas and thick juicy burgers while the kids enjoy fun and games in the nearby kiddie playground!

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