There’s nothing better than spending a day relaxing outdoors with family and friends. These five great picnic spots in Durban promise beautiful scenery, open space for kids to play and a relaxing day out for everyone.
1. Durban Botanical Gardens
The Durban Botanical Gardens is a great local space for an easy picnic with the family. Pack a basket filled with your favourite goodies and head over to Africa’s oldest surviving botanic garden. This is a public park so make sure you know the rules before you go there. Leave the kids balls at home and that bottle of wine, and make sure your dogs are on a lead if they’re joining you. Entrance is free, but donations are welcome and go towards the Durban Botanic Gardens Trust to support the maintenance and development of the Gardens.
Address: 9A John Zikhali Road, Berea, Durban
Opening hours: Open every day of the year including public holidays
Contact: Information Office 031 322 4021 / email@example.com
2. Paradise Valley Nature Reserve
Situated in Pinetown, the Paradise Valley Nature Reserve is a scenic escape just outside of the city. Take in the natural beauty of these surroundings just 20 minutes from central Durban, which include a majestic waterfall, 100 hectares of coastal forest, grasslands and the Umbilo River. The reserve has four walking trails ranging from gentle to hard and has braai facilities and a picnic area for visitors to soak up with natural beauty surrounding them. Entrance fees as R15 for adults and R11 for children.
Address: 10 Oxford Road, Pinetown, Durban
Opening hours: Open daily, 7am to 4pm
Contact: 031 702 3443
3. Krantzkloof Nature Reserve
The Krantzkloof Nature Reserve offers an oasis of peace, tranquillity and beautiful surroundings for those needing an escape from the city. The reserve boasts 9 waterfalls and a rich biodiversity including 50 mammals, 253 birds, 35 reptiles, 150 butterfly, 273 tree and over 1500 plant species. There are also plenty of rare plants and three types of rock within the reserve – Granite basement, Natal Sandstone and instrusive Dolerites. The main river in the reserve is the Molweni River, which has 7 tributaries – the largest of which is the Nkutu River which has formed its own gorge. The reserve has a few self-guided walks which are marked with colour coded route markers. Visitor guide and maps can be purchased at the picnic sites.
There are two picnic sites available: Kloof Falls Picnic Site and Nkutu Picnic Site. Entrance fee for the picnic sites is R40 per adult and R20 per child.
Address: Kloof Falls Picnic Site 152 Kloof Falls Road, Kloof and Nkutu Picnic Site 62 Valley Drive, Forest Hills.
Opening Hours: Kloof Falls open daily all year, 6am to 6pm. Nkutu Picnic Site is only open on weekends and public holidays.
4. Japanese Gardens
The Japanese Gardens in Durban North provides a zen experience with beautiful oriental landscaping including tradition lily ponds, sculptures, a wide variety of plants and peaceful walkways. There’s also a playground for the kids, an expansive grass lawn for them to play on, a small stream and a tea garden. It’s the perfect spot for a lazy family picnic with plenty of space to relax and for the kids to play. Entrance is free, making it a budget-friendly outing.
Address: Prospect Hall Road, Prospect Hall, Durban
Opening hours: Open 7 days a week. Weekdays hours 8am to 6:30pm, Saturdays 8am to 6pm and Sundays 8am till 5pm.
Contact: 031 311 6975
5. Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve
This 76-hectare reserve has the largest population of Mangrove trees in Durban. Take the family to see black, red and white mangrove, sand dunes on the shoreline, interesting birdlife including the mangrove Kingfisher and the water dike and the very strange mudskipper fish as well as fiddler crabs. Three trails will lead you to the bird hide and the swamp, and a pretty cool boardwalk is incorporated into the mangrove forest. Visitors can expect a great picnic site and thatched gazebo for a comfortable visit. Entrance is free, making this another budget-friendly spot. Donations are accepted, so feel free to leave something to contribute towards the running of the facility.
Address: Riverside Road, Prospect Hall, Durban
Opening hours: Every 3rd Sunday of the month, 8am to 1pm
Contact: 082 559 2839