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September 30, 2011

My Top Five Picnic Spots in Cape Town

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

Sunset concerts at the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. Photo Cape Town Tourism

Even the word picnic is loaded with nostalgia; for me it holds memories of homemade frikkadels, chicken drumsticks and large cold drinks enjoyed with friends and family in special places.

Your picnic basket may have changed, as mine has. The frikkadels and drumsticks are from the deli and the chilled drink is more likely to be a local wine. What does remain the same is sharing this time with loved ones, in places that leave me feeling inspired and relaxed.

Here are a few of my favourite picnic spots, ranging from botanical gardens and a penguin colony to our beautiful beaches and the romantic wine countryside:

Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden

The Old Mutual Summer Sunset Concerts are set to kick off in November, giving Capetonians the perfect excuse to pack their picnic baskets and listen to the best local music in exquisite surroundings. (This recommendation has serious kudos after National Geographic Traveller this week announced Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden as one of its favourite picnic spots in the world.)

Gordon’s Bay Beach

Many a childhood summer afternoon was spent on the lawns under the trees at Gordon’s Bay Beach, where kayaks for rent allow a great time out on False Bay.

Wine countryside

Buitenverwachting Wine Estate in the Constantia Valley offers a delicious picnic in an old-fashioned basket, to be enjoyed under the oak trees. 

Clifton beach

Enjoy a picnic on the beach. Photo courtesy Shaen Adey

Oudekraal Beach

I share this one with some reluctance. One of the city’s best-kept secrets, Oudekraal Beach is a sheltered cove between Camps Bay and Llandudno. White sandy beaches are tucked between large boulders, and there are braai/picnic sites under milkwood trees. An admittance fee is charged at Oudekraal since it is part of Table Mountain National Park.

Boulders Beach

Go early to grab a spot on the beach with your picnic basket. Feeding the African penguins is strictly prohibited but catching a wave with one isn’t – an amazing experience. A conservation fee is charged for admittance.

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