holiday ideas

By: Exclusive Getaways  11-11-2011
Keywords: Picnic Spots

Kirstenbosch – the majestic gardens in Cape Town that visitors and locals love to visit – has been voted one of the world’s top picnic spots by National Geographic Magazine.

To enjoy this prime, world-class picnic destination, this is what National Geographic recommends: “Pack a bottle of wine from Stellenbosch and some biltong (it’s like beef jerky)—a lot easier to carry than crocodile meat or ostrich burgers—and hike the trails through natural forests and fynbos (“fine bush” or shrubland in Afrikaans). More than 7,000 plant species and indigenous plants are cultivated in this expansive botanic garden, with exhibit areas dedicated to medicinal and fragrant plants, as well as the king protea, South Africa’s national flower.”

Kirstenbosch has huge appeal to hikers, strollers, concert-goers and picnickers. The gardens attract in the region of 750 000 visitors per year, and about three quarters of these visitors are South Africans. For many years picnicking on the rolling lawns of Kirstenbosch has been popular, particularly during the Summer Sunset Concert months.

Kirstenbosch is also well known for its Braille Trail, a short self-guided trail (15-30 minutes) that allows unsighted people to discover an indigenous forest unassisted. The trail starts and ends at the Fragrance Garden near Gate 2.

Back to picnics: take your own, or buy one from The Kirstenbosch Tea Room, tel 021 797 4883  or from the Silver Tree Restaurant, tel 021 761 2866.

If the night skies intrigue and delight you, you’ll be right at home in South Africa where conditions are excellent for star-gazing.  There are also some magnificent locations in the game-teeming wilderness areas and elsewhere, where star-gazing is on offer to guests.

One of the star-gazing experiences you’ll want to have, is in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. The Maropeng Visitor Centre offers monthly astronomy events with Vincent Nettman, their resident astronomy expert.

At the spectacular De Hoop Nature Reserve in the Western Cape, you can go on a 1-hour star-gazing and star identification excursion, during which you’ll experience the stars and constellations of the remarkably clear De Hoop night sky. You’ll also enjoy nature in all her glory at this beautiful reserve.

The wide open plains of the Karoo were made for stargazing. Guided night tours are available in the area.

The Johannesburg Planetarium, situated on the campus of the University of the Witwatersrand, was the first of its kind in Africa, and only the second planetarium ever built in the Southern Hemisphere. It is open to the public on most evenings, hosting shows such as the ‘In the Sky Tonight’ series, as well as children’s star parties and astronomy courses. 

Call our Getaway Consultants on 0860 102 907 (local) or +27 11 803-8669 (international).

Keywords: Picnic Spots

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This is one of the more picturesque places of interest in South Africa, and there are a number of picnic spots next to the river with little beaches where you can spend your whole day swimming, tanning or fishing, whilst enjoying the stunning scenery and wonderful bird life.