Recreational parks in and around Johannesburg

With summer holidays just around the corner and for those wanting to explore and enjoy the green spaces around north western Johannesburg. Here are some of the facilities on offer which are all easily accessible from Moonflower Cottages in Victory Park and a great days outing for all ages and interests like hiking, walking, flying radio controlled aircraft, rock climbing, cycling, canoeing, sailing, diving, archaeology or an outdoor family outing.

  • Delta Park is right on your doorstep where one can join up with the Braamfontein Spruit and take an easy stroll through to Delta Park which offers 104 hectares of both grass and woodland to explore. Popular for cycling, walking ones dogs on the numerous trails or just enjoying the numerous birdlife attracted by dams, streams and wooded areas. The park is also home to the Delta Environmental centre where a range of fascinating wildlife courses are offered to adults and children (there is also a playground). The park is open from sunrise to sunset. Delta Park, Road No. 3, Tel: (011) 888-4831, Victory Park, Johannesburg.
  • Emmarentia Dam forms part of Johannesburg’s Botanical Gardens and this vast green area includes an experience at the terraced Rose garden and Shakespeare garden where you can take a step back in time.  The sloped green embankments attract picnickers and it’s reputed to be one of the best dog walks in town. At the northeast side by the dam wall canoeists and small boat enthusiasts criss cross the damn and provide a great backdrop to sit and relax and watch all the activity or even take part.
  • Melville Koppies is one of the original heritage sites and is found just south of Melville. It is one of the few conserved remnants of Joburg’s original ridges before the Gold rush in 1886. The geology of the area dates back over three billion years and if you take one of the a guided walks offered every Saturday you can see remnants of both the iron and stone ages.
  • Northcliff Ridge Econopark is the second highest point in Joburg and offers breathtaking views of Johannesburg in all directions, newly restored the steep paths and trails make for strenuous but exciting hiking and you will also have the opportunity for rock climbing.
  • Alberts Farm was acquired by the City Council from the Alberts family and is of historical value to the area as the family was one of the first to trek up from the Cape Province to settle in the area. This particular 90 hectares of land was set aside as a green area for the benefit of the community.The cemetery in the middle of the farm contains the graves of the families who owned farms on which the townships of Sophiatown, Albertsville, Albertskroon and Greenside are now situated. The biodiversity of the land is unique in terms of species, habitat and landscape elements. It includes a wetland, the only artesian spring in Gauteng, a stream, dams, rocky ridge and natural grassland. It also forms an important habitat for birds, fish, reptiles and small mammals, and the wetland serves as an important natural purifier of polluted storm water from the surrounding built-up areas. The artesian spring feeds the main dam with fresh water. Apart from the conservational and educational importance of the area, the Farm plays an important recreational role in the social environment, with hiking, picnicking, dog-walking, jogging, cycling and fishing currently being the main attraction.
  • Kloofendaal is a bit further away and is situated off the Western bypass but should be on every avid park goers to-do list. It features the first payable gold mine on the reef and can be visied only during specific guided tours. There is an amateur educational centre featuring fauna,flora, geology and the history of the reserve as well as one of the first stamp mills brought to the Rand.For those that enjoy both history and wildlife you can have a look at www.kloofendalfriends.yolasite.com
  • Park at the end of Malachite Street in Little Falls and take a walk along a set of koppies where gold was originally discovered on the Witwatersrand by the Struben brothers. After your walk, take in the nearby old workings of the mine, called Confidence Reef by the brothers – despite the fact that the gold only lasted a year before drying up. What’s left is a series of shallow tunnels, locked but available for tours – phone  011 761 0287

Moonflower Cottages is a premier choice of upmarket accommodation situated in Victory Park Johannesburg. if you are planning a business trip, a relaxing vacation, a romantic getaway or an adventure with friends. These self-catering cottages are owner managed by Jamie MacLeod who seeks to provide upmarket, comfortable and affordable ‘home from home’ accommodation. We offer our discerning guests a tranquil stay in any one of our five self-catering apartments set in a beautiful garden setting. Should your requirement be for a short, medium or longer term stay you will enjoy each unit’s individual style of accommodation. Each cottage has its own private entrance and you will find a unique ambiance in both layout and furnishings for each chalet.

Contact Jamie on 0827709569 or check online availability in real time.

South Africa’s unique Travel, Nature and Military History makes it a ‘must visit’ destination.

Big tusker in the Kruger National park

The Kruger National Park nature reserve supports the greatest variety of wildlife species on the African continent. It is roughly the size of Wales, or the state of Massachusetts (USA), which makes it the eighth largest reserve in the world.

Home to one of the world’s 6 floral kingdoms, South Africa has one-tenth (23 200) of the world’s flowering plants, of which nearly 19 000 are endemic, making it the richest region in the world in terms of species to area – 1.7 times richer even than Brazil. It is the only country in the world to contain an entire floral kingdom.

It is home to more kinds of mammals than North and South America combined; or Europe and Asia together.

South African grasslands have approximately 30 species per square kilometer  greater than the biodiversity of rain-forests.

Table Mountain in Cape Town is believed to be one of the oldest mountains in the world. Standing at just over 1000 meters  it dominates the city’s skyline. Table Mountain can be seen as far as 200 kilometers out to sea.

  • South Africa has the third highest level of biodiversity in the world.
  • Paarl is South Africa’s third oldest town and home to KWV Cellars- the largest wine cellar in the world (covering 22 hectares).
  • Kimberley’s ‘Big Hole’ is the largest hand-dug hole in the world and is deeper than Table Mountain is high. Kimberley also has the only drive-in pubs in the world.
  • Mpumalanga province is home to the Blyderiver Canyon, the third largest canyon in the world – and the largest green one. The Grand Canyon in the U.S. is the biggest, and the Fish River Canyon in Namibia the second, but both are very dry.
  • The Tugela Falls in KwaZulu Natal, at 948m (3110ft), is the second highest waterfall in the world.
  • The world’s best land-based whale-watching spot is located in Hermanus, Western Cape.
  • Mossel Bay is in the Guinness Book of records as having the second most moderate climate in the world.
  • Seal Island in False Bay is the only place in the world where Great Whites consistently breach (leap completely out of the water) to catch their prey, mainly seals. It also boasts the highest frequency of Great White shark attacks in the world.
  • In 1991, South Africa became the first country in the world to protect the Great White shark.
  • According to ‘Trivial Pursuit’, Graaf-Reinett in the Western Cape has the world’s biggest grapevine.
  • Fossilized footprints were found at Langebaan Lagoon, Western Cape, in a sand-dune-turned-rock. The 117,000 year-old fossils are the oldest known footprints of an anatomically modern human.
  • Most of the world’s proto-mammalian fossils are found in the Karoo region.
  • The 2,02 billion year-old crater in Vredefort is the oldest known crater on Earth. The general estimate of its original diameter is roughly 300 km, which makes it the largest crater on the planet, as well.
  • The Sterkfontein Caves, in Gauteng, is the site where the oldest human skeletal remains were found in the world (3,5 million years old). This is the place where the human race was born!
  • Close to Oudtshoorn are the Cango Caves, a 3 km long sequence of caverns of glittering stalagmites and stalactites, which makes it the longest underground cave sequence in the world.
  • The Boesmansgat is renowned as the second deepest sinkhole (about 299 metres) and the largest of its kind in the world. Many attempts have been made at world records in cave-diving in this exceptional sinkhole.
  • The St. Lucia estuarine system, in Kwazulu Natal, is the largest estuarine system in Africa.
  • South Africa is home to the world’s smallest succulent plants (less than 0.39 inches) and the largest (the baobab tree).

And from an Entertainment perspective:

  • South Africa has the second oldest Film Industry in the world.
  • The Cape Argus Cycle Tour is the largest timed cycle race in the world.
  • South Africa has the longest wine route in the world.
  • South Africa has the highest commercial bungi jump in the world (710 feet).
  • M-Net is Africa’s largest pay television service, delivering 24-hour programming to dozens of countries across the continent.
  • South Africa has the most luxurious train in the world, The Rovos Rail.
  • The Lost City Resort is the largest thermal resort in the world as well as the largest building project undertaken in the southern hemisphere.
Military History:
South Africa has the world’s second oldest air force, established 1920.
The Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902) was the first war of the 20th century and saw the introduction of trench warfare, the first large-scale use of concentration camps for non-combatants, and the most prolonged period of guerrilla warfare by a conquered nation’s military against a victorious army.
Camouflage was first used in battle by the Boers, who used camouflaged trenches and adapted battledress to blend into treeless landscapes.
The world’s first news footage and propaganda films were shot during the Anglo-Boer War.
Technologically, it saw the first use of a generation of weapons that are still with us today – automatic handguns, magazine-fed rifles, and machine guns.
The Guinness Book of Records lists the Anglo-Boer War as Britain’s most costly war outside of the two World Wars.