is filled with leafy trees and has dozens of spacious green lungs with 2 328 parks, all actively serving the communities in which they lie.
Below is a list of Johannesburgs top reserves. For more information, events or group bookings, please contact Johannesburg City Parks at tel. (011) 712-6600 or mail firstname.lastname@example.org. See also Johannesburg City Gardens and ParksKloofendal Nature Reserve
Nestled along Galena Avenue, just north of Horison and to the west of Christiaan de Wet Road in the Roodepoort suburb of Kloofendal, the Kloofendal Nature Reserve offers urbanites a retreat from the hustle and bustle of city life.
Just 25 kilometres from the city centre, it is home to a number of small mammals such as zebra, black wildebeest, reedbuck and other small buck. With a lovely stone amphitheatre, this scenic ecotourism reserve is ideal for a morning ramble before attending one of the many open air events hosted here.
Two circular trails twist between distinctive silver leaf proteas, which speckle the quartzite outcroppings, and Highveld bush. There is a dam with a hide, but most birders will be looking out for rare migrating warblers and the world famous black eagles, which nest in the nearby Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens.
Galena Avenue, Kloofendal, Roodepoort
Telephone: (011) 712-6600
The reserve is open every day of the week, including public holidays, from 6am to 6pm. Melville Koppies Nature Reserve
This magnificent reserve, divided into three sections, offers something for everyone with an interest in nature, geology or history. It is situated five kilometres northwest of the city centre and has been declared a national heritage site and nature reserve.
Some of the oldest rocks on earth have also been found here. Besides its historical value, Melville Koppies is a refuge for small animals, including tortoises, civets, mongooses and chameleons.
The central Melville Koppies section, with its Iron Age furnace and criss-crossing paths, is open four Sundays each month for three hours. The gates are open from 8.30am to 11.30 am on the first and third Sunday, and on the second and fourth Sunday from 3pm to 6pm.
There is a myriad of paths in Melville Koppies west open from sunrise to sunset, with great views and walks of up to four kilometres along grassy slopes and rocky ridges. An entrance to this section is at the end of Third Avenue, Westdene. Melville Koppies east is also open daily from dawn to dusk. This is public open space so take normal precautions for your safety.
Judith Road, Emmarentia
Telephone: (011) 482 4797 Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve
The Reserve, 11km south of Joburg city centre, is a 680 hectare nature reserve, known as "Stone River Mountain". Mainly open veld and koppies, the reserve is home to 150 bird species, 600 plant species, wildlife, including blesbok, zebra and duiker, as well as a rich archeological site. It boasts the highest concentration of identified Iron Age sites on the Witwatersrand.
There is also the remains of a BaTswana village and the walls of a house built in 1850 by one of the early "voortrekkers", Sarel Marais. The area is fenced and a replica of the BaTswana Village can be seen. The Bloubos Spruit ("blue bush stream") can be seen on most of the nature trails, which range from short routes to 9 km.
The reserve is open to the public from sunrise to sunset and is overseen by horse patrols.
Safe parking is available at the Silent Pool in Frandaph Drive, Mondeor, from where the walks begin. Delta Park
One of Johannesburg's biggest green lungs and an amblers paradise, Delta Park offers 103 hectares of grassland and woodland to explore. Thousands of people enjoy the myriad of walking trails, which link three beautiful tree-lined dams. Many of the pathways are paved and offer easy access for wheelchairs.
A comfortable walk around the perimeter of the park could take the better part of the morning, pausing to study the different plants. If you prefer a longer walk, go right down to the park's southern border and walk along the Braamfontein Spruit trail, Johannesburg's major stream bordering Delta Park.
Within the park there is also a sensory trail and bird viewing spots as it incorporates the Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary.
Craighall Road, Victory Park
Telephone: (011) 888-4831 Emmarentia Dam and Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
The combined area of the dam and its gardens is over 100 hectares, which is fortunate as this glorious emerald of a park, with its contrasting areas of activity and serenity, draws an inordinate amount of visitors on a daily basis. The park is only six kilometres from the city centre.
The dam is a popular destination for energetic canoeists and small-boat enthusiasts. Sailing, canoeing and diving club facilities are housed on its eastern embankment.
In the northern section, take a pleasant stroll through a rose garden, indigenous herb patch, or view an amazing collection of succulents at the Johannesburg Botanic Gardens.
Olifants Road, EmmarentiaZoo Lake
Zoo Lake is a favourite of Joburg residents and is the venue for the annual Jazz on the Lake and Carols by Candlelight events. It is also the monthly venue for the Artists under the Sun open air art exhibition.
It also boasts the Coronation Fountain, a Johannesburg heritage symbol. Zoo Lake is a popular spot for picnicking, walking your dog or taking a leisurely boat ride. It has its own information centre and has one of the popular African themed restaurants, Moyo. The Zoo Lake Sports Club is another favourite with residents, offering a variety of sports amenities, a restaurant and pub.
Cnr Jan Smuts Avenue and West World Street, Parkview
Telephone: (011) 483-1017 Rietfontein Nature Reserve
The Reserve is some 24 kilometres north of the city in the small suburb of Paulshof. This 25-hectare indigenous green space with its quartzite koppie evokes in all visitors a feeling of being in the country. As the bush is completely indigenous there is a marvellous array of birdlife.
138 Holkam Street, Rietfontein
Telephone: (011) 712-6600 Golden Harvest Park
Near the Northgate Dome is a pristine 55 hectare park with rolling walks around a dam and indigenous bushveld. It is filled with unspoiled indigenous bushveld and is a breath of fresh air in a region carpeted with townhouses and cluster developments.
Take a field identification guidebook and spend some leisurely time exploring this natural area with its original grasses and trees. There is a footpath to a dam with resident water fowl. At the koppie an ancient iron smelting area reminds us that Johannesburg is enveloped by history.
The park is completely fenced with a guard at the gate. There is an entrance fee.
First Avenue, Northgate Florida Lake
Large, cool shade-bearing trees dot the lakeside of this popular Roodepoort nature spot. Numerous small craft can be seen on the water over weekends while people from Joburgs flatlands come to soak up the sun, turning the dam and its embankments into a colourful canvas of outdoor living.
A number of outdoor facilities can be rented, while a childrens playground and putt-putt course provide additional entertainment. For the birding enthusiast there is a wide range of aquatic birds to delight in as the dam is situated next to a bird sanctuary, with the dam serving as a natural habitat.
Golf Terrace, Florida Dorothy Nyembe Park
Dorothy Nyembe Park, named after the prominent 1950s ANC activist, is in Soweto. The picturesque 26-hectare park has sporting facilities and areas have also been set aside for residents to play chess and morabaraba, a traditional African board game.
Walking trails, an environmental centre and an amphitheatre for concerts and other local productions contribute to the parks popularity. Unusual sculptures and signage add to its unique character.
The sparkling dams are fed by a natural wetland running through the park and attract a variety of bird species.
Corner of Mashinini and Mofolo roads in Mofolo South, Soweto.
Telephone: (011) 938-7600 Where to Stay
Accommodation in Johannesburg Metropole are found in areas such as Sandton
, Johannesburg City
and Kempton Park
near OR Tambo Int Airport.Other Things to Do
Johannesburg offers a host of attractions and activities, and offers the visitor many things to do