Green Havens

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Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens 

The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens  are most definitely a hidden green gem. Whether one wants to escape from the daily hustle and bustle, catch some rays on a beautiful and sunny day, or spend time having a family picnic, this is the perfect place for kids and adults alike. Romantic picnics are a regular occurrence at these gardens, particularly on balmy summer days. It is a highly recommended location for chilling by the majestic Witpoortjie waterfall, or attempting to catch site of the black eagles that reside at the top of the koppie. If you're lucky to have the opportunity to catch sight of these spectacular birds in flight, make sure you take a closer look through the telescope provided. 
There is a variety of fauna and flora, just waiting to be marveled at. According to The South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), the gardens span over 300 hectares, and there are 600 plant species to be found. For birdwatchers, it is useful to note that there are 220 species of bird, and even small animals such as jackal and antelope can be sighted. If you want a truly memorable experience of the gardens, a hike to the top of the koppie is recommended, particularly for outdoor enthusiasts. These Botanical Gardens are virtually unspoilt, therefore all visitors are urged to dispose of all litter and waste upon leaving, as for all of Johannesburg’s parks. Further entertaining venues on the premises include a nursery, gift shop, and restaurant as well as a ‘dome’ for sundowner concerts, depending on the occasion. Why visit The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens? Maybe because they were voted the best picnic spot in Gauteng for five years in a row, which is an impressive feat, to say the least. 

Select different Virtual Tour views below so as to obtain a great idea of how magnificent the Gardens actually are!

Emmarentia Dam
Dog lovers – listen up! If you are looking to treat your canine companion to a leisurely stroll within an expanse of natural beauty, set aside a time to head to Emmarentia Dam. To clear your mind and unwind, take a moment to sit on a bench next to the tranquil waters, or visit the adjoining Johannesburg Botanical Gardens for a picnic, or a stroll through the immaculate pathways surrounded by an expanse of grass, and various specimens of trees, to name but a few spectacular sights. Get away from the shopping malls and take refuge in an environment filled with the sounds of children's laughter, and dogs taking a splash in the dam. 
Watch the canoeists and windsurfers gather for their regular meetings on the water, away from the crowd, and see the colourful kites breezing through sapphire blue skies. During autumn, the views are breathtaking,from the majestic trees, to the clear blue sky. Egyptian Geese frolic daily, and grass banks accommodate for those gathering to watch the popular summer sunset concerts. If you are free on a Sunday morning, gather up your crew for a day of fun in the sun, in the heart of suburbia. 
Alberts Farm Conservancy
The Alberts Farm Conservancy in Albertskroon is yet another natural expanse of greenery found in the heart of the suburbs. It is interesting to note that this ‘field’ contains a single artesian spring, which sprays clean trickles of water throughout the course of the year, and, another magnificent characteristic is of course the picturesque dam, inhabited by Egyptian geese. A wide range of other birdlife and plant species can be found at this conservancy which is situated on Northcliff Ridge. Fishing is a popular activity here, particularly on weekends whereby fishing fiends occupy the dam practicing their skills. Oftentimes, residents and visitors can be seen walking their dogs or having a relaxed braai. It is a tranquil hideout to simply relax under the many beautiful trees surrounding the water. Alberts Farm is one of Johannesburg’s most ‘natural’ parks, and the environment and surrounds are clearly conserved in an eco-friendly manner. 
The Alberts Farm Dam - the central focus of the Farm
Zoo Lake 
Zoo Lake is a popular spot, situated across the Johannesburg Zoo. Annual events such as Jazz on the Lake and Carols by Candlelight take place at this social yet natural hang out. Monthly events include the Artists under the Sun exhibition, while entertainment consists of Moyo, one of South Africa’s most popular restaurants, as well as Zoo Lake Bowling Club, where friends and members catch up with a few pints. The Coronation Fountain, which is a heritage symbol, is definitely a sight to be seen, while floating along the water on a boat is the preferred mode of relaxation.

The Virtual Tour below gives you a great view of the Zoo Lake