Plan a fun-filled al fresco feast, even when the days are getting shorter, in our all-time favourite picnic spots. By Arnold Ras
The High Flier
Where: N’wanetsi in Kruger National Park
Enjoy the sounds and sightings at this rustic picnic spot while your picnic fire blazes, then wander off to the lookout deck. The highlight is the cliff-top viewpoint, with a 180-degree view of the Lebombo Mountains and N’wanetsi River. Keep your eyes peeled for the hundreds of bird species and other wildlife that call Kruger home. Refuel and relax before heading to your next stop.
Contact: Satara Reception, +27 (0)13 735 6306/7
Where: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary
Moms and dads will score brownie points after spoiling the kids with a picnic at Mlilwane in the heart of Swaziland. Here impala, warthog and nyala roam free; please remember not to feed the animals. A swimming pool and children’s play area provide added entertainment. Gather the troops and inspire them with a visit to the Interpretation Centre to learn about Mlilwane’s intriguing history and its environment.
Contact: Mlilwane Wildlife Sanctuary, +268 2528 3943/4
The Riverside Rambler
Where: Nkuhlu in Kruger National Park
Situated on the banks of the picturesque Sabie River in the park’s Maroela Region between Skukuza and Lower Sabie, the Nkuhlu Picnic Site offers a viewing deck to encounter Kruger’s impressive hippos and crocodiles up close and personal. Relax under Natal mahogany trees and make use of the site’s gas braais or traditional braai facilities for an outdoor feast on the river’s edge. Don’t forget your binoculars as wildlife is in abundance.
Contact: Skukuza Reception, +27 (0)13 735 4196
The Water Baby
Where: Shongweni Dam & Nature Reserve
O u t l o o k . We all have things we like and dislike. The tough part is some of those that we dislike are unavoidable. This might create the illusion that we are just drifting through life and have lost one of our most important gifts which is "choice" or free will. But the fact of the matter is it's still there and you can still choose how you see things. We can either be positive or negative in our outlook. If we choose to see these things as opportunities rather than burdens then I'm pretty certain outcomes will turn out a little different and we might learn a thing or two in the process 🌲 #visualsoflife #Hpsafallingwater
Waterfalls, forests, water sports and fishing, what more could you wish for? This National Heritage Site near Durban encompasses 51 hectares of water and is a picnic paradise for the whole family. Lay a blanket next to the dam, enjoy spectacular views of Shongweni Hill and let the youngsters run free. If you’re planning a weekend visit, arrive early and choose a spot near the dam’s historic wall, built in the 1920s.
Contact: Shongweni Dam & Nature Reserve, +27 (0)31 765 7724
The Beach Bum
Where: Oudekraal in Table Mountain National Park
What an incredible morning in Cape Town. Being out on the Atlantic doing stand up paddle over the most phenomenal kelp forests and trying to not fall while a smack of jelly fish (non poisonous) surround you plus enjoying a colorful beach breakfast picnic is making it extremely hard to think about returning to the chill of New York!!! Thank you @Ellermanhousehotel for arranging this magical day #standuppaddle #oudekraal #capetown #eatingthroughmyworldcapetown
Oudekraal, between Camps Bay and Llandudno, is one of South Africa’s most beautiful picnic destinations. Surrounded by giant boulders and views of the Twelve Apostles buttresses, the relatively shallow, crispy-clear ocean is a playground for young and old alike. Make use of the facilities and leave all that heavy braai equipment home. Each spot offers a unique setting, perfect for a no-sweat picnic lunch. Life’s a beach…
Contact: Oudekraal Picnic and Braai Site, +27 (0)21 712 7471
The Forest Fairy
Where: Krisjan-se-Nek in Garden Route National Park
Spend quiet time surrounded by lush forest and green pastures in the Knysna section of this national park at Krisjan-se-Nek Picnic Site, which is also the start of the 3km or 9km Circles in the Forest hiking trails. Pack your swimwear as there are several waterholes to cool down in or unwind by playing ball games on the large lawns. Wooden tables, benches, braai facilities and ablutions are available.
Contact: Diepwalle Forest, +27 (0)44 382 9762
Where: Cobham Nature Reserve
Part of Emerald Stream, the most perfect swimming spot, even the baboons were hanging around near by 🐒⛰ #slowshutter #slowshutterapp #cobhamnaturereserve #drakensberg #giantscuptrail #hiking #hikingofficial #hiking_lifestyle #hikingculture #hikingworldwide #southafrica #southafricaza #southafricaza #beautifulsouthafrica #meetsouthafrica #thisissouthafrica
Anglers will fall hook, line and sinker for the rolling grasslands, valleys and gorges of the uKhahlamba-Drakensberg Park. Make fresh-water fishing in the Pholela River a family affair and take time out next to the water to reconnect with loved ones. Cobham has no braai facilities, so you will have to pack your own kit. Remember, only fly tackle is permitted and you need to obtain a permit at the Cobham office.
Contact: Cobham Nature Reserve, (0)33 702 0831
The Earth Child
Where: Matopi at Mokala National Park
Picture unspoilt nature, sightings such as the black springbok, and no fences! Mokala, 70km from Kimberley, is known not only for red sandscapes, but also signature Kalahari thornveld transforming the landscape into an almost mystical environment. Make memories with a soulful picnic, have a down-to-earth braai, or simply be quiet and content in nature. There’s a bird hide for twitchers close by.
Contact: Mokala National Park +27 (0)53 204 8000
Picnic with pizzazz: Wild’s gourmet picnic salad
- Wild rocket
- Gorgonzola chunks
- Cashew nuts
- Black olives
- Red onion rings
- Rosa tomatoes, cut in half
- Whole red grapes
- Raw enoki mushrooms
- Melon slices
Toss the ingredients together with some olive oil, lemon juice or red-wine vinegar, honey, salt and pepper, and it’s ready.