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Top Picnic Spots in Cape Town
A selection of the best places to picnic in the Mother City and surrounds
Last Updated: 25 November 2022
Every year on 18 June, International Picnic Day is celebrated in many countries across the globe. Although its direct origins are not known, the informal food fun can be traced back to the end of the French Revolution and Victorian Era. It is a day for feasting, friends and family and the great outdoors.
Although it may winter in Cape Town on International Picnic Day, we can be lucky that our chilly season is a lot more forgiving than the rest of planet's. The Mother City and her surrounds are home to plenty mountainside picnic spots that offer built-in braai facilities/fireplaces and partial shelter from the chill via the leafy surrounding forests and burly mountain peaks. We’ve compiled a list below of picnic spots that are open during winter and that offer braai facilities, picnic tables and seating or ready-made picnic baskets so that you and your loved ones can enjoy International Picnic Day even in the winter!
And during spring and 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 be it winter or summer, we’ve rounded up a list 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 traverse an entire mountain only to then realise you’ve forgotten the paper plates.
TRY A FAIRYTALE ESCAPE IN NEWLANDS
Be enchanted by this garden in the heart of Newlands. With a river that runs through it, picnic tables and chairs made out of tree stumps and trails to walk along, The Upper Liesbeek River Garden is a great spot for your next family outing, walk with the dogs or a serene escape from the city without even needing to leave it. Escape to a natural paradise in the middle of the city at The Upper Liesbeek River Garden.
Riverside Road, Newlands | Cape Town | firstname.lastname@example.org
LITTLE STREAM FARMHOUSE DELI
Little Stream is one of Cape Town’s best-kept secrets. This elegant and rustic venue offers the perfect getaway from the buzz of the city. Situated on the foothills of Constantia between two wine farms, you can enjoy a magical garden picnic, surrounded by greenery from the forest setting. You could pack your own picnic basket or enjoy a meal from the artisan-style menu at the Tea Garden/Cafe. Little ones eat for free on Wednesday’s and Friday’s.
Klein Constantia Road, Constantia | 087 701 2771
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 9am and 6pm in summer and 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 R60p/p and R25 per child (7-17 years old), students and pensioners are eligible for discounts.
Kirstenbosch Ticket Office | +27 (0)21 799 8782
PICNIC WHILE WATCHING AN OUTDOOR MOVIE
Picnic and a movie – perfect date idea, right? Now make it an open-air cinema experience in some of the most gorgeous gardens and wine estates in the province, and add some delicious artisanal foods. Galileo showcases some of the best movies of all time, from rom-coms to old classics. Find out more about this experience.
Various locations | 071 471 8728 | Instagram: @thegalileo | Image: Galileo Open Air Cinema
GREEN POINT PARK
With scenic views that steal your breath away, Green Point park remains one of the treasured picnic spots in Cape Town. Discover water birds and little ladybugs on a stroll through the park. There are three playgrounds that cater to children of all ages, and an outdoor Labyrinth that offers a tranquil space to relax and reflect. With several picnic areas with tables and benches, you can set up a picnic at this park, and take in the beautiful scenery around you. The park is dog-friendly and is the perfect background for selfies too.
1 Fritz Sonnenberg Road, Green Point | 021 444 4258
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 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 R255p/p and R125p/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
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 GARDENS
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 with family and friends. The garden is open daily between 8am and 7pm during summer and between 8am and 6pm during winter.
Wynberg Park Facility Management Office | +27 (0)21 444 8849
JONKERSHOEK NATURE RESERVE
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve, which includes the smaller Assegaaibosch Nature Reserve, lies near the town of Stellenbosch and is about a fourty-five minute drive from Cape Town. The reserve boasts astounding botanical beauty, a garden, grassy lawns, a picnic and braai area, parking and toilets. When you’re done picnic-ing it up you can take a gentle stroll to the conservation station that lies just over the road to view the freshwater aquarium and information display may be viewed during office hours. The park is open between 8am and 6pm throughout the year from Monday to Sunday and entry is allocated on a strictly first come first served basis. Limitations of sixty people per day will be enforced. Entrance is R40 for adults and R20 for children between six and sixteen years old.
Jonkershoek Nature Reserve | +27 (0)21 483 0190
PLUS: Discover watersports and wine-tastings by the lake at Lakeside Lodge & Spa.
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