Cape Town’s undeniable beauty has the ability to transport any visitor (or local) to an other-worldly adventure. Immerse yourself amongst its mountains, greenery, lakes and ocean vistas, top it off with some great local wine and snack your heart out at a picnic in one of these magnificent locations.
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
With an exquisite backdrop against the eastern side of Table Mountain, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden offers a fairytale-like setting with sprawling lawns, a large and luscious variety of flora, water features, ponds and plenty of walking and hiking paths. Although there is an entry fee to the gardens, the venue is well worth every cent and can easily be a full-day outing. There is a restaurant on-site as well as a souvenir shop and toilet facilities.
Table Mountain and Cape Point
Both local and international tourists come from afar to see these two grand locations, and locals are spoilt with their everyday presence.
The World Heritage Site, Table Mountain, supports over 1500 plant species and boasts panoramic views of Cape Town and surrounds, making it an unforgettable picnic spot. Hike to the top (free) or purchase tickets to take the aerial cableway and soak in the beauty of the Mother City.
Another must-see location, also a popular tourist attraction, is the most south-westerly tip of Africa, Cape Point. The reserve has some of the highest sea cliffs and freshest ocean air in the world, and is home to a variety of animals, including baboons and zebra. Beautiful beaches and tidal pools are dotted with picnic areas. The entry fee is well worth the experience of such an amazing world-class site. Mother Nature at the tip of Africa just never ceases to leave us in awe.
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, Franschhoek
Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, at the top of the Franschhoek Pass boasts spectacular 360-degree views, supplies drinking water from its springs and is home to a rich array of fynbos. With short and long hiking trails, head on into the winelands with your picnic goodies and enjoy the astounding setting of the Franschhoek winelands.
Silvermine Nature Reserve
If you’re planning a day full of activities such as hiking, biking, bird-watching and rock climbing, Silvermine is the place for you. As part of the Table Mountain National Park, the reserve is home to a large reservoir that begs for a picnic along its banks. Take the short trail to witness magnificent views over False Bay and Cape Point while you’re there.
Situated on the Atlantic Seaboard between Camps Bay and Llandudno, and set against the backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, this private boulder-enclosed beach is one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets. An entrance fee is payable to enjoy this exclusive beach and its grassy picnic area under the trees. During winter months the area is only open on weekends. This spot however is a truly magical beach setting. Feel the sand between your toes, lie pack and enjoy the ocean air.
The Company’s Garden
Two popular, yet astoundingly well-kept free gardens to enjoy are The Company’s Gardens in the city centre and Green Point Park, near the Cape Town Stadium.
Whilst Green Point Park is uniquely situated next to a luscious golf course, boasts beautiful water features and is just a 2-minute walk to the Sea Point Promenade, the large Company’s Garden and botanical haven features a rose garden, a Japanese garden, a fish pond, an aviary and plenty of shady spaces to unwind and stretch out. It is surrounded by historical buildings and museums and there are plenty friendly squirrels looking to join in for picnic snacks.
As one of the most popular spots for sundowners, Signal hill displays an extravagant view over the Atlantic Seaboard, city harbour and endless oceans. Take a drive or walk to the top with your picnic goodies on any given day and soak in glorious sunrises, sunsets or witness the canon firing at midday.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve
Set near the Stellenbosch winelands, Jonkershoek Nature Reserve is well equipped for a family day out with barbecue facilities, parking, toilets and a large garden as well as an open water aquarium. To ensure an exclusive setting, and getting the best out of its beautiful landscape, there is an entry limitation of sixty people per day on a first come, first serve basis at a small entrance fee.
These venues are just a drop in the bucket of what Cape Town has to offer in terms of nature reserves, parks and exceptional picnic spots. The many wine farms, beaches and protected natural areas offer a great variety of scenery and activities for endless picnic opportunities. All you need to decide is, what’s for lunch.