Gauteng is blessed with an abundance of parks which make it possible for you to experience your own “adventures” without having to travel far. This is especially useful for city dwellers that just need to de-stress and get outdoors.
A firm Jozi favourite are the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens situated in the leafy suburb of Emmarentia. Everyday these grounds are enjoyed by 100’s of folk and on the weekends they become fairly crowded. But what’s on offer from an All Terrain perspective, where is the adventure?
Well, being situated on the Western shores of the Emmarentia Dam allows me to include the dam, the more sedentary fish on the Eastern shore or the causeway, the more energetic train and compete at the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club, a well known club whose members have won many major events, training and sailing classes are also offered as is the rather strenuous Canoe Water Polo.
Situated on western shores are the gardens, here you will find the families picnicking with the kids who amuse themselves playing soccer or just generally running around waiting for lunch. There is a small coffee shop near the main entrance but picnic baskets are welcome. It’s a big park offering ample opportunities for trail running and mountain biking, to the south dogs are allowed to walk without leads, a very popular activity over weekends and on public holidays.
It’s a substantial tract of land with car parks allowing easy access to all areas, the rose garden and fountains being a very popular wedding photo backdrop over weekends with large colourful groups visiting the park. The plant collections are world renowned and include the large rose garden, a succulent garden and a herbarium. One can get ample exercise simply by walking and exploring the full extent of the gardens, however be alert around sunset and sunrise especially in the more remote sections as there have been isolated incidents in the past. The Botanical Gardens are managed by City Parks – 011 712 6600 and given our climate are worth visiting all year round.