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15 Lekker Picnic and/or Braai Spots in Durban - 2019 

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15 Lekker Picnic and/or Braai Spots in Durban - 2019
Check out the best spots to braai and picnic in Durban this summer. Explore your local parks & reserves & check out the best places to put down the picnic basket and set up the braai.
Title Image

15 Lekker Picnic and/or Braai Spots in Durban - 2019

Check out the best spots to braai and picnic in Durban this summer. Explore your local parks & reserves & check out the best places to put down the picnic basket and set up the braai.
Title Image
15 Lekker Picnic and/or Braai Spots in Durban - 2019
Check out the best spots to braai and picnic in Durban this summer. Explore your local parks & reserves & check out the best places to put down the picnic basket and set up the braai.

It’s time to get off the couch, enjoy nature and perfect your braai-ing skills. Experience the best locations to enjoy nature, get outdoors and indulge in an outing with your friends and family.

Make sure to pack in the sunblock and dig out the old cooler bag, because picnic season is here to stay.

We’ve put together a list of the best picnic and braai locations in Durban this summer.

Don't forget to check what's happening in Durban today and this weekend

Locations for both Braais and Picnics

These locations offer the best of both worlds with braai facilities or bring your own braai options available.

Some locations also allow fishing with a permit, creating the perfect trifecta of relaxation in the outdoors.

Animal Farmyard

Animal farmyard offers a great day of activities for the kids. Enjoy a relaxing picnic or a chilled braai while your children play, pet the farm animals, take tractor rides or go zip-lining.

meet some new friends at Animal Farmyard@cows_mylove_

There are also great picnic and braai facilities on hand and the staff are always more than happy to help you get settled in.

If you don’t mind a drive, this farm provides excellent outing for the whole family.

Their tea garden serves breakfasts, light lunches and a variety of cakes and snacks for your picnic basket.

  • Entrance Fees: R25 pp
  • Open Hours:
    • 9 am - 4.30 pm
  • Location: 3 Lello Rd, Assagay, Hillcrest
  • Contact:
    • 031 765 2240
    • 082 979 6030

Cumberland Nature Reserve

This reserve has received many praises for its beautiful landscape and pristine conditions. It invites you to connect with nature and explore the outdoors as if you were a child again.

Explore like a kid again at Cumberland Nature Reserve@ess_em_dawood

Braai and picnic facilities are set up at calm, shady sites, with enough room between them for privacy. The braai spots are also accompanied by toilet facilities and drinking water.

The reserve is full of plant and animal life. Kudu, nyala, reed buck, bush buck, zebra, bles buck, giraffe, Impala, and other wildlife are often spotted and photographed on this reserve.

Waterfalls and streams are scattered along the rivers and visitors l usually take up the opportunity to cool off and spend part of the day exploring the waterfalls.

Hiking is very popular on the many trails throughout the reserve and camping can be arranged.

Because this picnic spot is very close to nature, remember to take precautions while you are there. ear sunblock, stay hydrated, take your rubbish with you and beware of insects and animals around you.

  • Entrance Fees: R25 pp
  • Open Hours:
    • Sunrise to Sunset
  • Location: D408, Mountain Road, Pietermaritzburg District
  • Contact:
    • 033 001 7538
    • 082 376 5600

Inanda Dam

This great spot is famous for its bass and fly fishing, as well as its canoeing. It’s one of the few sites where you can fish for your supper, and braai it. Remember to bring your own braai grid if you’re planning to use the cooking facilities.

Throw out a line at Inanda Dam@pro_linestudio7

Set up a picnic spot near the dam for a spectacular view near all of their facilities, some of which include toilets and a jungle gym.

There is also a wide variety of bird and plant species around the dam for avid bird watchers, or a visitor just wanting to enjoy nature.

If you decide to use one of their 2.5km running trails, you might spot some zebra or varieties of antelope. Camping is also an option for those wanting to extend their picnicking experience or spectate one of the various competitions being hosted by the site.

Tip: If you want to avoid the events at the dam, and are looking for a quiet day out, be wary of visiting in April, when two significant competitions take place.

Call ahead to find out if there is anything on before planning the outing.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • R40 - Adult
    • R28 - Children
    • R28 - Pensioner
  • Open Hours:
    • 6 am - 6 pm (summer season)
  • Location: Hillcrest
  • Contact:
    • 031 766 9946

Karkloof Falls

The waterfall on Karkloof Nature Reserve makes the perfect backdrop for a picnic. The amount of water flowing depends on the season, and the rainfall, which can be anything from a trickle to a roar.

Cool down at Karkloof Falls@becca.lize

Visitors are encouraged to picnic near the base of the waterfall and even bring their own braais. You will sometimes also be able to swim in small pools at the bottom of the waterfall.

This reserve also has walking pathways, which give you the opportunity to discover the reserve’s variety of bird and animal species.

Tip: Some of the roads leading up to the picnic site are dirt roads, so be careful after lots of rain.
  • Entrance Fees:
    • Varies
  • Open Hours:
    • Enquire about opening times
  • Location: Karkloof Rd, Howick
  • Contact:
    • 072 376 3023

Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve

This gorgeous picnic spot is accommodating for all types of people. It’s home to a handful of walking trails, cycling routes, a wide variety of bird life and even a trail for differently-abled guests wanting to experience the reserve.

Do some zebra spotting at Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve@streetscene031

The Kenneth Stainbank Nature Reserve is an excellent example of coastal forest and grassland habitat, it has a vast variety of plants and animals including ; zebra, reedbuck, impala, blue, red and grey duiker, bushbuck, vervet monkey and rock hyrax.

While some reviews have said that animals are scarce, many buck and zebra have been photographed on this reserve, so call ahead to find out when is best to visit.

There is a designated braai area in the park fitted with braai facilities. You can also enjoy exciting tours of the castle on the reserve.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • Varies (Fee gets you entrance, map and spotting list of fauna and flora)
  • Open Hours: 6am - 6pm
  • Location: 14 Robin Road, Yellow Wood Park
  • Contact:
    • 031 469 2807

Krantzkloof Nature Reserve

Krantzkloof is the perfect combination of the beauty of nature, the biodiversity of conservation and the convenience of the city.

Set up a picnic along the river at Krantzkloof Nature Reserve@i_am_tait

Visitors can choose between two picnic spots, either Kloof Falls Picnic Site on the banks of the Molweni River or the Nkutu Picnic Site on the banks of the Nkutu river.

While both picnic sites have picnic facilities with benches, braai facilities and bathrooms, the Nkutu Picnic Site has a wheel-chair friendly entrance and picnic area with a wheelchair friendly toilet facilities.

For other activities on the reserve, there are self-guided walking tours marked by colour-coded signs, paired with a visitor map.

There are also BioGuides posted along the walks which can help you access information, with the help of your smartphone, about various species and features on the reserve.

Rock climbing is also a popular sport on the reserve.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • R30 - Adult
    • R15 - Children
  • Open Hours: 6 am - 6pm
  • Location: 152 Kloof Falls Rd, Kranskloof
  • Contact:
    • 033 845 1000
  • More Info: Website.

Laguna Beach

Laguna Beach is one of the only beaches that allows you to braai in and around the premises.

Have a picnic near the waves at Laguna Beach@grantpitcher

The beach is popular with sports like Jet-skiing, jogging, walking and kite-flying, so you’ll always have something to do while you’re waiting for the braai.

Swimming is only allowed on the beach during the December holidays, but with water slides and paddle pool nearby, there is no shortage of fun in the water.

This rule also means that this is one of the quieter beaches on Durban’s coast.

Fishing is allowed, and braai facilities are scattered around the beach.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • Free entry
  • Open Hours: 7 am - 5pm
  • Location: between Sun Coast Casino and Blue Lagoon,
  • Contact:
    • 031 322 4395
    • 073 435 1540

Palmiet Nature Reserve

For a more laid-back experience, visit Palmiet Nature Reserve. This site is excellent for solitude experiences because of the constant sounds of the stream in the distance.

mediate to the peaceful sounds of the forrest at Palmiet Nature Reserve@suvani_m

The reserve is serious about conservation, and because of this, no dogs are allowed on the reserve.

There are also no cycling or running trails, but this means that visitors are more likely to see some of the animals that call the reserve home.

Palmiet Nature Reserve also has a significant social impact on the surrounding communities.

They host snake awareness and identification classes for adults and children, make use of volunteers for alien vegetation clearing and training local teenagers to become Palmiet Rangers.

For a truly peaceful experience, explore Palmiet Nature Reserve alone or through a guided tour, the first Sunday of every month.

Braai facilities are available on request, and picnic sites are available around the reserve.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • Free entry
  • Open Hours: 7 am - 6 pm
  • Location: Edgecliff Rd, Dawncrest, Westville
  • Contact:
    • 031 266 8015

Paradise Valley

With gushing waterfalls and beautiful hiking trails, Paradise Valley certainly lives up to its name, with four hiking trails starting from the Interpretive Centre all the way through the picnic sites.

Discover hidden waterfalls in Paradise Valley@suvani_m

Built around the ruins of The Umbilo Waterworks, this reserve is a unique mystical experience with a flowing waterfall, wooden bridges and gorgeous rivers.

Try to avoid this reserve during peak times, as it can get quite busy. Don’t try to visit on holidays like New Year’s Day, as the park can get packed.

Sundays are the most crowded day of the week for the reserve.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • R13 - Adults
    • R10 - Children
  • Open Hours: 7:30am - 4pm
  • Location: 10 Oxford Rd, Pinetown
  • Contact:
    • 031 702 3443

Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve

This reserve is a great all-around experience when it comes to exploring multiple biomes and habitats.

Braai amongst nature at Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve@drhvisuals

This hilly reserve sports habitats that include; grasslands, coastal forests, rivers, wetlands and mountains.

Because of this, there is an excellent biodiversity on the reserve, which includes over 300 species of birds living on the park, some of which include; grey crowned cranes, crowned eagles, martial eagles and ground hornbills.

They also play host to many varieties of insects like butterflies, beetles and even the largest species of earthworm in the world.

Braai and picnic facilities at Vernon Crookes Nature Reserve include well-kept ablutions for guests.

The terrain can be quite strenuous but should be manageable even if you don’t have a 4x4

  • Entrance Fees:
    • R20 - Adult
    • R10 - Child
  • Open Hours: 6am - 6pm
  • Location: Umzinco
  • Contact:
    • 039 974 2222

Locations for Picnics only

Truly enjoy the beauty of nature in these picnic spots around Durban. These locations don’t allow braai-ing, but have loads of other great entertainment for you and your family.

Japanese Gardens / Makaranga Botanical Garden

Find your inner peace at the Durban Japanese gardens. This oriental-themed picnic spot is excellent for peaceful picnics with its gorgeous collection of indigenous and exotic plants.

Find your inner zen at Makaranga Botanical Gardens@annalinedasen

The gardens are spotted with statues, running streams, waterfalls and wooden bridges.

Enjoy a stroll through one of the various paths and explore the traditional-style temples, cherry blossom trees and koi ponds.

Some trails are wheelchair friendly and are scattered with benches for anyone wanting to relax and absorb their surroundings.

Instead of worrying about packing a picnic basket, you can buy a picnic buddle at the deli in the gardens, and blankets, baskets and umbrellas can be hired out.

There are plenty of shady spots along the garden to lay out your picnic blanket and relax.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • R60 per vehicle
  • Open Hours:
    • Enquire about opening times for day visitors here
  • Location: 1 Igwababa Road, Kloof
  • Contact:
    • 031 764 6616

Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve

Although the reserve doesn't seem like much at first glance, it’s an ecological wonderland with three main types of mangroves that protect the area from the harsh coastal environment.

Explore the costal kingdom of Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve@mangrovenusha

These circumstances create a niche ecosystem that harbours some fascinating and endangered species.

The wooden boardwalk reaches through multiple types of terrain from complete swamplands to beach sand. Guests often see weird and wonderful creatures like mudskippers, fiddler crabs with one giant claw and the rare dwarf chameleon.

It’s recommended to take a guided tour if it’s your first time so that you can properly appreciate the environment. Self-guided tours are also available.

The south side of the reserve has an educational centre and thatch gazebo as well as a picnic area.

Tip: It’s best to visit this reserve in summer if you want the full experience of the fauna and flora.
  • Entrance Fees:
    • Free entrance (donations welcome)
  • Open Hours: 3rd Sat monthly, 8am – 1pm
  • Location: Riverside Rd, Prospect Hall
  • Contact:
    • 082 559 2839

Durban Botanical Gardens

These botanical gardens are a great place to enjoy a traditional picnic. With well-kept lawns and walkways, it's a great experience for any picnic.

have a relaxing picnic among the flowers at Durban Botanical Gardens@leshagovender_platinum_moments

The botanical gardens also have an orchid house with orchids all year round.

The gardens are the oldest botanical gardens in Africa and were initially started as an experiment growing exotic crops, but are now a thriving botanical experience.

They also have a fantastic tea garden, where the scones are highly recommended.

The park also offers guided tours, but these need to be booked in advance and are well worth the small fee.

  • Entrance Fees:
    • Free Entry
  • Open Hours:
    • Winter (16 April - 15 September): 7.30 am - 5.30 pm
    • Summer (16 September - 15 April): 7.30 am - 5.30 pm
  • Orchid House: 9 am - 5 pm
  • Information Office: 8 am - 4. 30 pm
  • Location: 9A John Zikhali Rd, Musgrave
  • Contact:
    • 031 309 9240

Mitchell Park

This mini-zoo is an excellent mixture of entertainment and relaxation. The park is home to a variety of small zoo animals for you to see, including; monkeys, crocodiles, cranes, buck, racoons, flamingoes, wallabies, and tortoises.

Have a fun day out with the kids at Mitchell Park@ethanlundy

The park also hosts a tea house for a tea-time break from the city, surrounded by shady trees and lush flower beds.

Mitchell Park makes an excellent outing for the kids, with a sand-pit and jungle gym for their enjoyment.

This mini-zoo started off as a failed ostrich farm, which was then converted into a majestic zoo, even housing an Indian elephant named Nellie. The grandeur of the zoo has been scaled back over the years, but the zoo still houses a group of fascinating animals.

Tip: Saturday mornings are a peaceful time to visit the park, but Sundays are very busy compared to the rest of the week.
  • Entrance Fees:
    • R10 - Adults
    • R7 - Children
    • R4 - Pensioners
  • Open Hours: 8 am - 4 pm
  • Location: 10 Ferndale Rd, Morningside
  • Contact:
    • 031 303 2275

Shongweni Nature Reserve

This beautiful nature reserve is so much more than just a picnic spot, as the fantastic facilities in around the nature reserve provide many options for entertainment as well.

Experience a picnic with a view at Shongweni Nature Reserve@roxyyysavage

The Shongweni (meaning column of smoke) Dam hosts many types of passive water sports like canoeing and paddle-skiing, while the hiking trails provide a great experience for horseback riding or hiking on foot.

While on a hike, guests are likely to experience the wide variety of bird life on the reserve, which are often photographed on this location.

Rock climbing is another sport that is enjoyed on the reserve.

Picnic spots are in the plenty with lookout points all across the reserve. On weekends, guests get access to picnic spots near the historic dam wall.

If you wish to extend your picnic adventure, camping sites are available on the reserve with most amenities provided. The camping sites, however are without power, so remember to pack in torches and other battery-operated camping equipment.

Tip: These grounds are often used for team-building and other outdoor activities, so call ahead and ask about any events on before planning a stay-over.
  • Entrance Fees:
    • R37 - Adult
    • R25 - Child
    • R25 - Pensioner
  • Open Hours:
    • 6 am – 6 pm (April to September)
    • 5 am - 7 pm (October to March)
  • Location: Mr461 Rd, Dassenhoek
  • Contact:
    • 031 769 1283

Find new and wonderful secret picnic spots this year and experience a retreat back to nature. Enjoy the array of activities available at these various locations to make the most out of the the long hot summer days this year.

Remember to come prepared so you don’t miss out on all the great opportunities that can accompany your picnic and relish in the quality time spent with your loved ones.

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