A selection of the best picnic spots in Cape Town and surrounds
The sun is shining, the skies are flawless blue and the natural beauty of Cape Town and Surrounds coaxes you out from winter hibernation.
Armed with cooler bags full of cheese, muffins, grapes, strawberries, cold meat and dips friends and family all over the Cape are laying down their picnic blankets and uncorking champagne like summer’s going out of fashion.
It’s time to relax, unwind, crack out the Frisbee and appreciate some of the most scenic picnic spots in the fairest Cape. Just make sure you’re not one of those picnickers to commandeer an entire mountain only to realise you forgot your paper plates.
1 – Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Gardens is renowned for its diverse floral kingdom and its setting against the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain. Open between 08:00 and 21:00 The Silvertree Deli and Restaurant can organise picnic baskets to be enjoyed on the lawns (The Silvertree Deli and Restaurant |+27 (0)21 762 9585) or you can enjoy an open-air concert with a loaded picnic basket and Cape Wines (Kirstenbosch Ticket Office | +27 (0)21 761 2866).
2 – Table Mountain
Part of the Cape Floral Region World Heritage Site Table Mountain supports over 2 000 plant species and panoramic views of Cape Town and Surrounds. Table Mountain cableway is offering half price cable tickets from November 1st 2010 until 28th February 2010 or you can hike from Skeleton Gorge, Platterklip Gorge or Nursery Ravine (+27 (0)21 424 8181).
3 – Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif, Cape Point
Cape Point has some of the highest sea cliffs and freshest sea air in the world and is home to a variety of animals including Chacma baboons and Cape Mountain Zebra. Grassy picnic sites are surrounded by beaches and a few safe tidal pools. Open between 06:00 and 18:00 from October to March and between 07:00 and 17:00 from April to September entrance to the reserve is R55 for adults but children, students and pensioners are eligible for discounts (+27 (0)21 780 9010).
4 – Tokai
Tokai forest is carpeted in lush pine trees, eucalyptus trees, indigenous forest and wild Fynbos. Ideal for Sunday picnics with the family there is plenty of room to run around or unwind before the working week. Tokai is open between 8:00 and 18:00 from Monday to Sunday and entrance costs R5 per person (+27 (0)21 712 7471).
5 – Silvermine
Part of the Table Mountain National Park that surrounds the Cape Peninsula mountain range picnicking along the banks of the reservoir is a beautiful experience. Activities include mountain biking, bird watching, rock climbing and a short hike to a view point that encompasses False Bay and Cape Point. Silvermine is open between 08:00 and 19:00 from Monday to Sunday (+27 (0)21 780 9002).
6 – Oudekraal
Situated between Camps Bay and Llandudno and set against the 12 Apostles, Cape Town’s best kept secret is a stunning boulder-enclosed beach with its very own seal colony. There are a number of picnic sites under Milkwood trees which are ideal for relaxing family picnics (+27 (0)21 438 9555).
7 – Company’s Garden
A large public park and botanical garden in the heart of Cape Town you’ll find a rose garden, a Japanese Garden, a fish pond and an aviary. It’s a popular picnic spot surrounded by parliament, the President’s official residence, the South African Museum and the South African Art Gallery.
8 – Lion’s Head
Watch the sun set and the moon rise over Robben Island, the Atlantic Seaboard and Blouberg with a glass of wine and a chocolate brownie in-hand. The summit is easy to reach from the jeep track on Kloof Nek road. Read more about the full moon hike.
9 – Signal Hill
The original post for communication with ships at sea boasts spectacular views of the Atlantic Seaboard and the sunset. Night time picnics are a popular pastime at the 350m high summit or you can arrive before 12:00 for the firing of the famous Noon Gun.
10 – Wynberg Park
At the start of the Krakeelwater River this 22 hectare park boasts an attractive conifer garden, a selection of lawns ideal for picnics and a kid’s play area. The park is open between 08:00 and 16:00 from Monday to Sunday (+27 (0)21 689 8930).