Parks and gardens
Did you know?
The Company's Garden in Cape Town, the country's oldest public garden, receives an estimated 700 000 visitors a year?
If you want an instant getaway from city life, there are no better places to go than South Africa's parks. Smell the roses, watch the birds, go boating, listen to music, take a walking trail - you can do all these and more in any of the beautiful and diverse South African parks.
The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens are only a short drive from the city centre. In the evening you'll see canoeists and small boat enthusiasts working out on the dam. Early morning sees the joggers, cyclists and dog-walkers, and during the day you can enjoy the sumptuous rose gardens, feed the ducks, admire the amazing collection of succulents or just sit in the shade of more than 20 000 indigeneous trees.
Zoo Lake is a Johannesburg institution where city dwellers chill out by boating, walking, picnicking or attending a monthly open-air art exhibition or grooving at the annual Jazz on the Lake concert. The internationally recognized Johannesburg Zoo is right next door.
Another favourite South African park is Delta Park, one of Johannesburg's largest green lungs. Take a walking trail round one of the 3 dams, spot birds in the Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary, or just take time to stand and stare.
Mitchell Park in Durban is always a riot of colour all the year round, noted for its gorgeous displays of flowers, trees and shrubs, whilst the 150-year-old Durban Botanic Gardens has a renowned orchid house and collection of rare cycads.
There are many lovely parks in Cape Town, but a visit to the famous Company's Garden established in 1652 by Dutch settlers, one of the city's premier tourist attractions, is a must. It boasts South Africa's oldest cultivated pear tree (circa 1652) and is surrounded by some of the city's most important landmarks.
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