Nothing merges fun, charm, relaxation, and a touch of classic romance than taking your boo on a good old picnic date. Not only are picnic dates fun, but they are also affordable, making them a cute date idea for sunny weather. Whether you prefer gourmet foodie experiences or more casual meals, there many scenic spots in and around Johannesburg to choose from depending on your tastes and interests. I mean, does it get any better than nibbling on your favourite snacks and catching some much-needed Vitamin D with your boo? I think not.

Apart from their romantic appeal, picnics are also a great way to remain in touch with nature and enjoy the ambiance of the outdoors. In light of spring, we have compiled a list of five scenic picnic spots around Joburg to help you sweep your partner off their feet.


The Wilds Nature Reserve



Extraordinary natural beauty best describes this 16-hectare nature reserve on the outskirts of Houghton. It comprises well-developed indigenous gardens, allowing you to enjoy exceptional hillside views of the surrounding urban life and natural vegetation. It is especially recommended for couples who love nature and are looking for a serene, green escape in the outdoors. This is a peaceful nature reserve offering evergreen freshness from the surrounding city. The green, manicured lawns are also perfect for a picnic. There are numerous walking routes and hiking trails.


Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden 



The Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is a vast expanse of stunning flora and fauna. It has a beautiful cascading waterfall, educational walks, and even a black eagle that nests atop the waterfall kraans. It is open on weekdays and weekends and will sometimes have a show or event taking place. What about a short hike or informative tour before you enjoy the delectable goods in your picnic basket?


Rietfontein Nature Reserve 



Rietfontein Nature Reserve is ideal for relaxed hikes, chilled picnics and just enjoying some serene natural views, not too far from the bustling city vibes of Sandton and Johannesburg. This makes it the perfect picnic spot for you, and you boo if you are based in the inner city. Located 24km north of the city in the small suburb of Paulshof and mainly comprises open veld and koppies. It has diverse wildlife including blesbok, zebra, and duiker. It is also a prized Iron Age archaeological site.

The reserve is fenced and has several nature trails and hikes, ranging from short routes to nine kilometres long. The Bloubos Spruit, translated to ‘blue bush stream’, can be seen on most of them. Popular for its beauty as well as its safety, this is ample parking space and security on duty to keep a watchful eye.


Zoo Lake 


Zoo Lake is a favourite of Joburg residents and is the venue for the annual Jazz on the Lake and Carols by Candlelight events. It is also the monthly venue for the Artists under the Sun open-air art exhibition. It also boasts the Coronation Fountain, a Johannesburg heritage symbol. Zoo Lake is a popular spot for picnicking, walking your dog, or taking a leisurely boat ride. It has its own information centre and has one of the popular African-themed restaurants, Moyo. The Zoo Lake Sports Club is another favourite with residents, offering a variety of sports amenities, a restaurant, and a pub – making the probable transition from romantic picnic to date night all the more possible.


Melville Koppies Nature Reserve



The eastern part of this reserve is the spot to be if you and your partner want to enjoy a beautiful natural setting in Johannesburg while being active too. It is seen to be the safer part of the Koppies, compared to the western side. The central area is gated, offering various hiking trails, with an entry fee charged for this part of the Koppies. However, it is still possible to have a brisk walk out in the fresh air and enjoy some refreshments on the rocky outcrops. There are however no ablution facilities here.


When organising a picnic for you and yourself and your significant other, don’t get too caught up in the technicalities. Remember that romance and bonding time are at the core of everything. Once you’ve picked out a location, everything else should be light work.


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