Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs offers an excellent retreat from the urban jungle that surrounds it, whether you are a watersports enthusiast, fishing fanatic or simply looking for some peace and tranquility. A large variety of avian life inhabits the area around the dam that borders the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens.

Did you know?

Louw Geldenhuys, the creator of Emmarentia Dam, named the dam after his wife.

Emmarentia Dam is situated less than 6km from the Johannesburg city centre, and just a few minutes from Sandton, making it the ideal location for anyone in town on business who wants to experience the natural side of the city.

The suburb of Greenside is aptly named, boasting an abundance of outdoor splendor. The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, right next to the dam, are home to approximately 30 000 trees, more than 4 500 rose bushes and a stunning herb garden.

Members of the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club train on this stretch of water throughout the year and most of them are extremely friendly and will happily give advice about canoeing as well as other outdoor spots to visit in the city.

Fish that can be caught in Emmarentia Dam include bass, barbel and carp. A freshwater fishing license is required, which you can obtain from the South African Post Office (SAPO).

Avian life at Emmarentia Dam includes bishops, weavers, moorhens and geese, as well as many other species of water birds. This is a popular dog walking spot and a great place to meet other canine lovers if you happen to be one.

Photographers, in particular, will enjoy Emmarentia during the autumn months (April and May) when the leaves on the trees start to change. There are often very vivid thunder storms in the summer months (November to March), during which spectacular photographs of lightning above the water can be taken.

There are an abundance of nightlife options down the road from Emmarentia Dam, in the form of the restaurants and bars in Gleneagles Road, which remain festive until the early hours of the morning.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Johannesburg City Parks
Tel: +27 (0)11 712 6600
Fax: +27 (0)11 339 2692

How to get here

Emmarentia Dam is in the Johannesburg suburb of Greenside, well serviced by taxis and buses.

Best time to visit

Johannesburg is at it’s greenest between November and April, but Emmarentia Dam is open to the public throughout the year.

Around the area

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens are adjacent to the dam. The suburb of Greenside is worth exploring as is the nearby suburb of Parkhurst.

What to pack

If you are interested in birds, of which their are many species around the dam, bring binoculars and a camera. A hat and sunscreen are also recommended.

Related articles