It's nearly Spring and time to head outdoors. Durban has picnic spots for every type of occasion and grouping. Here are our top 5:
Makaranga Garden Lodge is home to the largest private collection of Zimbabwean stone art in southern Africa and hand-selected Italian sculptures. The lodge offers 12 hectares of indigenous and exotic botanical gardens,18 ponds, meandering streams and a waterfall.
The gardens make for the perfect setting to spoil your loved ones. Guests can’t bring their own beverages and meals but the lodge offers a vast picnic menu, which includes breakfast, vegetarian and deli options.
It is open daily from 8.30am to 5.30pm. Located at 1A Igwababa Road, Kloof. Call 031 764 6616 or see www.makaranga.com/
For nature lovers
The Durban Botanical Gardens is Africa’s oldest botanical gardens and is a must for nature lovers. Travellers can picnic at the Sunken Gardens or under any tree in the gardens, or near the lake. Entry is free.
Located at 9A John Zikhali Road, Berea. See www.durbanbotanicgardens.org.za/
For the family
Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is famed for its wildlife including zebra, bushbuck, reedbuck, impala and rock hyrax. Choose between 10 picnic sites, all with striking views. The 253ha reserve has an interesting variety of indigenous flora and more than 200 bird species.
Located at Coedmore Avenue in Yellowwood Park.
Entrance R40 for adults and R20 for children.
The reserve opens from 6am. Call 060 355 7088.
For the mates
Spanning over 100ha of coastal and remnant grassland, Paradise Valley Nature Reserve boasts the Umbilo Waterworks, one of the two national monuments in Pinetown. Attractions include the waterfall, four trails and birdwatching.
Friend groups can start the day with a hike, which leads to the picnic area. The reserve opens at 7.30am daily. Located at 10 Oxford Road, Durban. Entrance R17 for adults and R13 for children.
Call 031 322 2849.
For the pets
If you want to take your furry friend for a picnic, Mitchell Park is the ideal destination. You can picnic anywhere as long as your pet’s on a leash. Entry free. Located at 10 Ferndale Road, Morningside.
Call 031 303 2275.