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Local picnic spots to visit before summer ends

With level 3 restrictions in place, our options are limited when it comes to outdoor activities, which will make things all the more sweeter when we’re able to explore once again

By Travel Reporter | January 14, 2021 | Travel Leisure

Picture: Unsplash

That’s why the guys at Fever-Tree tonic have put together a list of picnic spots to visit in South Africa to make the most of what’s left of summer.

Please note opening times may change due to level 3 restrictions.

Taroko Trail Park, Johannesburg

Located in Modderfontein Nature Reserve in Johannesburg, the Taroko Trail Park is beloved by locals who want to enjoy a trail run or cycle. But if you aren’t the active type, there’s plenty more to the reserve.

As a fantastic green escape from the hustle and bustle of the city (without travelling too far!), it’s the perfect spot to enjoy some sun, fishing and take in the scenery.

The park is open every day from 6am to 6pm, but on Wednesday you can join their night sessions where the trail’s hours are extended until 9pm.

Entrance fees for the reserve start at R30 per adult and R15 per child under 12.

Shongweni Dam Reserve, Durban

Really more than a nature reserve, Shongweni Nature Reserve is a delight for adults and kids alike.

With its stunning setting and exquisite mountain backdrop, it’s no wonder it’s a national heritage site.

Emerging after a spate of neglect, the dam and reserve offer a wealth of activities to keep the whole family entertained, so get there early.

As one of the best birdwatching spots in Durban, there are over 250 species of bird found here, as well as rhino, buffalo, giraffe, wildebeest, zebra, warthog and kudu.

Plus, you can enjoy rock climbing, fishing and canoeing, not to mention night and day game drives.

Open every day from 6am to 6pm, entry costs R70 per adult and R50 per child (under 15). Kids under 7 get in for free.

Addo Elephant National Park, Port Elizabeth

Just an hour’s drive from Port Elizabeth in the Eastern Cape, Addo Elephant National Park is South Africa’s third-largest national reserve and is open to everyone who wants to bask in the fauna and flora of our country – and spot an elephant or two.

Addo is home to one of the densest African Elephant populations on earth, roughly 550 of them, as well as the rest of Africa’s ‘Big 7’ - rhino, lion, buffalo, leopard, and as you head to the coast, the southern right whale and great white shark.

After a day of driving in the park and seeing how many animals you can spot, what better way is there to top it all off by pulling into Jack’s Picnic Site?

South African citizens pay R86 for adults and R43 per child under 12, and the gates are open from 7am to 6pm. We recommend looking at one of their camping spots and making it a proper getaway.

Silvermine Nature Reserve, Cape Town

The Silvermine Nature Reserve forms a part of the Table Mountain National Park and can be found just minutes away from the Cape Town city centre.

The park travels along 221 square kilometres of mountainside and coast, and the Silvermine section is a top pick for Capetonians to enjoy hiking, cycling and bird watching and to stop in at the Silvermine reservoir for a dip.

Pull in, pull out the picnic and settle in for picturesque views of the Southern Peninsula. And, if you have time, be sure to visit one of the many beaches located in hiking distance of the reserve.

Open from 8am to 6pm daily, South African citizens will pay R35 per adult per day and R15 per child per day.