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10 top picnic spots in Cape Town
A selection of the best places to picnic in the Mother City and surrounds
A selection of the best places to picnic in the Mother City and surrounds
During summer, there are simply few better things to do than arm yourself with cooler bags full of cheese, muffins, grapes, cold meat and more; head outside; lay down the blanket and just relax with friends and family. So, to help you cash in on this enjoyable experience, we’ve rounded up an overview of some of the most scenic picnic spots in Cape Town and surrounds. Now, just make sure that you're not one of those picnickers that commandeer an entire mountain only to then realise you’ve forgotten the paper plates.
TOP PICNIC SPOTS IN CAPE TOWN
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
The Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden is renowned for its diverse flora and its beautiful setting against the Eastern slopes of Table Mountain. The gardens are open between 8am and 7pm in summer and between 8am and 6pm in winter, and picnics can be enjoyed on the hectares of sprawling lawns (you can bring your own basket or pre-order one for one or two people from Moyo restaurant – call+27 (0) 21 762 9585). You can also enjoy an open-air concert on Sunday evenings during summer here, with a loaded picnic basket in tow. Be warned that you are required to pay to enter the gardens; an adult ticket costs R55p/p and children, students and pensioners are eligible for discounts.
Kirstenbosch Ticket Office | +27 (0) 21 799 8782
Recognised as falling within a World Heritage Site and recently named one of the New 7 Wonders of Nature, Table Mountain supports over 1500 plant species and boasts panoramic views of Cape Town and surrounds, making it an idyllic picnic spot. Aerial cableway tickets can be purchased at the physical office or online via Webtickets.co.za. A one-way ticket costs R125p/p for adults and R60p/p for children under 18, while a return ticket goes for R240p/p and R115p/p respectively (online tickets are slightly cheaper); kids under the age of four ride for free. Alternatively, you can hike up with all your picnic gear through Skeleton Gorge, Platteklip Gorge or Nursery Ravine.
Cableway Information Line | +27 (0)21 424 8181
Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif at Cape Point
Cape Point, the most southwesterly tip of Africa, has some of the highest sea cliffs and freshest ocean air in the world, and it’s home to a variety of animals, including chacma baboons and Cape mountain zebra. Grassy picnic sites are surrounded by beautiful beaches and there are a few safe tidal pools too. The reserve is open between 6am and 6pm from October to March and between 7am and 5pm from April to September; entrance is R125p/p for adults and R65p/p for children aged between 2 and 12 years.
Cape Point Reserve | +27 (0)21 780 9010
Tokai Forest is rich with fragrant pine trees, indigenous vegetation and wild fynbos. Ideal for relaxed Sunday picnics with the family, the woodland area boasts plenty of room for kids to run around and is the ideal setting within which to unwind before the start of the work week. Picnickers can also swing by the Tokai Forest Market between 9am and 2pm on Saturdays on their way to the forest to top up the basket with delicious treats. The area is open daily between 7am and 5pm from October to April and between 7:30am and 5pm during the winter months. Entry costs R25p/p for adults, R15p/p for under 12s and R22 per car entering the forest.
Table Mountain National Park Head Office |+27 (0)21 712 0527
Boschendal Wine Farm
With expansive lawns and spectacular gardens, Boschendal Estate, which rests in a valley between Franschhoek and Stellenbosch, is a truly idyllic setting for a picnic. Thus it comes as no surprise that the property has been a famous alfresco dining spot for decades now. Guests can choose from two different picnic offerings that each offer a unique experience. The first is the classic Boschendal Picnic, which happens on the Rhone Estate (known as the wine-making and tasting area of the estate) where guests can indulge in a fully serviced affair at carefully laid-out tables or on a picnic blanket under beautiful oak trees. Those looking for a more casual experience can opt for the second option, the Werf Garden Picnic which takes place on the Pavilion Lawn and offers a more relaxed, partially serviced and kid-friendly offering. The wicker picnic basket for both offerings is generally chock-full with everything from freshly baked bread and salads to pasture-reared roast chicken (the menu changes according to the seasons). Picnic baskets are available all year, except during June, July and August or when it’s particularly rainy, and must be booked in advance by calling +27 (0)21 870 4274 or mailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Classic Boschendal Picnic: This offering costs R440 per basket and is enough for two adults to share, R280 for a basket for one and R85 for kids under 12. Prices include a 10% service fee and exclude beverages. This picnic option is available daily.
Werf Garden Picnic: This offering costs R360 per basket and is enough for two adults to share, R195 for a basket for one, and R85 for a basket for kids under 12. Prices include a 10% service fee and exclude beverages. This picnic option is available from Wednesday to Sunday.
Note: Boschendal hosts Live Music Picnics on the first Sunday of every month.
Boschendal Estate | Helshoogte Road | Franschhoek |+27 (0)21 870 4274
Silvermine Nature Reserve
Part of the Table Mountain National Park, the breathtaking Silvermine Nature Reserve claims a large reservoir that just begs Capetonians to picnic along its pretty banks. Other activities in the area include mountain biking, bird watching, rock climbing and hiking (there’s a short trail that goes to a view point that looks over False Bay and Cape Point). Silvermine is open between 7am and 6pm during the summer months and between 8am and 5pm during winter. Adults pay an entrance fee of R45 and children under the age of 12 enter for R25.
Table Mountain National Park Head Office | +27 (0)21 712 0527
Situated between Camps Bay and Llandudno and set against the backdrop of the Twelve Apostles mountain range, this stunning, private boulder-enclosed beach is one of Cape Town's best-kept secrets. There are a number of grassy picnic sites under milkwood trees that are ideal for relaxing alfresco meals with family and friends.Entry to this private zone costs R35p/p (R20p/kid), and the beach is open to the public between 8am and 6pm every day, and only on weekends between 1 June and 1 October.
Table Mountain National Park Head Office |+27 (0)21 712 2337
The Company's Garden
This large public park and botanical haven in the heart of Cape Town features a rose garden, a Japanese garden, a fish pond, an aviary and plenty of spaces to unwind and stretch out. It's a popular picnic spot and is surrounded by the South African Parliament, a presidential residence, the Iziko South African Museum, the South African National Gallery and The Company Garden’s Restaurant. The garden is open daily between 7am and 7pm.
The Company’s Garden | +27 (0)21 426 1357
Watch the sun set and the moon rise over Robben Island, the Atlantic Seaboard coastline and Blouberg with a glass of wine and a chocolate brownie in hand at the top of this iconic Cape Town mountain, which happens to make for a breathtaking picnic spot. The summit is relatively easy to reach within an hour, and hikers can start from Signal Hill Road. Read more about hiking this mountain at full moon.
This landmark flat-topped hill, which once bore signal flags used to communicate with ships at sea, boasts spectacular views of the Atlantic Seaboard and is a perfect spot from which to watch the sunset. Night-time picnics at the top of the 350m-high mountain are a popular pastime; otherwise, you can arrive with your basket just before 12pm to catch the firing of the famous Noon Gun.
Based at the start of the Krakeelwater river, this 22-hectare park boasts an attractive conifer garden, a kids’ play area and a selection of lawns ideal for picnics. The garden is open daily between 7am and 7pm during summer and between 7:30am and 6pm during winter.
Wynberg Park Facility Management Office | +27 (0)21 444 8849
Don't feel like putting together your own picnic? Read more about the Picnic Company, the Cape Town-based basket professionals who’ll sort out your alfresco meal for you.
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