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Spread over an area of 16 hectares, this splendid inner city park is a haven for nature lovers. The Wilds offers the city's outdoor enthusiasts a chance to leave behind the city's urban landscape without having to venture beyond the city's limits. Paved paths make their way across the reserve, leading you past tranquil gardens, shimmering pools and babbling waterfalls. The hilly terrain offers splendid views of the city and makes for a moderately challenging hike. Bird watchers will find much to capture their fancy as they make their way across the park. The Wilds is also home to some hard to find indigenous flora and plant species. Although the park is popular amongst local dog walkers, it is best to explore this verdant wonderland in a group. The park is split down the middle by Houghton Drive, however a number of walkways connect the two sides to one another. Look for the sundial that marks the highest point of The Wilds. The spot also offers some splendid vistas to admire. Certain areas of the Wilds are available on hire for weddings and corporate events.
Though relatively small in size, the Koppies pack quite a punch both in terms of the abundance of wildlife and in good ol' outdoor fun. There's lots of hiking to be had, plenty of plants and animals to see, and much pristine greenery to enjoy, as picnics are not permitted here. So keep to the paths to minimize your ecological footprint and commune harmoniously with nature. No dogs allowed.
Take a break from the busy city life and enjoy an family-outing at Emmarentia Dam. Spread across 18.53 acres (7.5 hectares) of land, this dam is popular picnic spot amongst tourists and locals alike and is equipped with barbecue facilities for you to enjoy a hearty meal with your loved ones. The dam is surrounded by several botanical gardens and boasts of splendid vistas. Besides, this spot usually sees flocks of migratory birds and is popular destination amongst the avid bird-watchers and photographers. Emmarentia Dam has a canoe club nearby where you can enjoy water-sport activities and also houses a tea room for you to relish a quick bite with some refreshments. Even your furry-friend can accompany you here as this is a well-known dog-walking area.
Not wholly given over to showcasing indigenous flora, these gardens feature little-known succulent flowers and bulb collections, an alpine collection, as well as an admirable cycad collection. A rose garden and herb garden complete the picture. A large dam runs adjacent to the gardens, and fishermen, canoeists, windsurfers, cyclists and the general public pass through continuously. Springtime brings a dazzling spectacle of cherry blossoms, while the autumn foliage of the many deciduous trees bequeath their own beauty to those who pass by. Picnics are allowed almost everywhere and a kiosk supplies light meals and refreshments.
Braamfontein Cemetery is one of the oldest cemeteries in the city. Located along the Enoch Sontonga Avenue, it has the graves of the brave soldiers who were killed during the World War I and II. It also has a monument that was erected in the memory of all those who died in the dynamite explosion at the Braamfontein station. You can also visit the memorial dedicated to Enoch Sontonga, who composed South Africa's National Anthem. To schedule a visit or obtain further information, please call ahead.
The Johannesburg Botanical Garden is an expansive green space that proves to be a respite to the local population in the busy city. Located close to Emmarentia Dam, the gardens pose great scenic potential. Apart from that a great variety of indigenous flora is also displayed in a well-organized manner. Of the different gardens inside The Shakespeare Garden and The Rose Garden attract most number of visitors. The large lawn area is used by local joggers and picnickers, and there might be an occasional concert as well.
If you want to get away from the hustle and bustle of the large city, look no further than the serene Observation Ridge Park which is home to several bird sanctuaries. This large park has beautiful landscape and is perfect for hiking. Whether you want to bird watch or enjoy the view, the Observatory Ridge Park offers the perfect location.
A serene oasis of lush green pastures and some old-fashioned houses, Shepstone Gardens lies in the heart of the city's old town. The beautiful landscape is perched atop the time-honored Witwatersrand Ridge. Established in the early years of the 20th Century, the gardens were laid out by Modderfontein Dynamite Company. Sandstone edifices, well-paved walks, aromatic flowers and pristine ponds form a breathtaking landscape. Be it a wedding, cocktail party or any other private event, Shepstone Gardens offer a wonderful milieu for a wide range of intimate ceremonies. The gardens also offer a refreshing break from the city hustle, welcoming leisure seekers to spend a peaceful time in its lap.