10 Of The Best Picnic Spots in Cape Town

best picnic spots in cape town

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Known as a multi-tourism, award-winning holiday destination, Cape Town is a go-to for millions of global travellers.

However, due to its popularity – especially during the warm summer months in the southern hemisphere – it can get busy and packed.

And that’s why you sometimes need a trump card up your sleeve: Finding a secluded spot where you can take a picnic basket – filled with your favourite snacks and a bottle of chilled wine – to kick off your shoes, relax, unwind, and breathe in the fresh Cape Town air.

Join me as I visit some of the Mother City’s most popular picnic spots and help you select the one that will tick all your boxes!

1. Best Garden-Setting Picnic – Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden

Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Rhodes Dr, Newlands, Cape Town
  • Opening times: 08h00 to 19h00 (September to March) and 08h00 to 18h00 (April to August)
  • Good to know: Entrance tickets are available at the gate or online. Kids under six years enter for free, while adults pay a standard entrance fee of R220. Pensioners and students pay discounted rates.

With a history spanning back to the early 1910s, Kirstenbosch Botanical Garden deserves the top spot on my list of the best picnic spots in Cape Town.

Recently named the best botanical garden in Africa, Kirstenbosch – one of South Africa’s 10 national botanical gardens – is located at the eastern foot of Table Mountain in Cape Town. Know for its sheer beauty, winding paths, mountain streams, and more than 7,000 plant species, this is the perfect location for your next picnic.

Measuring a staggering 528 ha in size, you’ll see and experience some of the Western Cape’s most unique plants – including the indigenous fynbos – wild birds, and reptiles.

It boasts ample picnic spots, hiking trails (check out the Silvertree Trail and Yellowwood Trail) and the very popular Canopy Walkway.

Bring your picnic basket, or if you are short on time, arrange and pick up a picnic hamper at the on-site Kirstenbosch Tea Room or Moyo restaurant.

2. Best Sunset Picnic – Signal Hill

Signal Hill, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Signal Hill Road, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Open all day from sunrise to sunset
  • Good to know: Signal Hill is open all year round and has no entrance fees.

Signal Hill is probably one of Cape Town’s most accessible tourist gathering spots. This 350-metre-high coastal peak offers visitors sweeping and uninterrupted views of Table Mountain, the City Bowl, Cape Town harbour, Table Bay and the Atlantic Ocean.

Hundreds of locals and tourists gather at this lookout point every afternoon to catch some spectacular sunsets, while the more adventurous use this as their base to paraglide down to the Sea Point Promenade.

If you get there a little early – did someone say brunch? – make sure you stick around for the noonday gun, fired every day (except Sundays and public holidays) at 12h00.

As you wind down your day, find a nice cosy spot among all the visitors, spread out your picnic blanket, pop the cork and drink in the beautiful view while watching the sunset. Just remember to pack a light jacket for when it gets chilly and windy.

3. Best Oceanview Picnic – Cape Point Vineyards

Cape Point Vineyards, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Silvermine Road, Noordhoek
  • Opening times: 12h00 – 20h00 (The on-site restaurant closes at 17h00)
  • Good to know: The Cape Point Vineyards offer a range of picnic baskets that cater to couples, small families, and large groups.

Overlooking Noordhoek Beach and just 1.2 kilometres from the Atlantic Ocean, this is a great venue to have a lazy afternoon picnic.

This family-owned vineyard is the only wine estate on the Cape Peninsula and boasts the famous Chapman’s Peak mountain range as background. While relaxing next to the estate’s tranquil dam, enjoy your favourite picnic snacks and uninterrupted views of the Noordhoek beach and the Atlantic Ocean.

This award-winning vineyard produces some of the Western Cape’s best wines, so why not enjoy a glass or two of their fruity Sauvignon Blanc, oaky Chardonnay, or a chocolatey Shiraz while having your picnic?

If you want to visit them during the week, visit the Cape Point Vineyards Community Market (hosted every Thursday from 16h30 to 18h30).

4. Best Secluded Picnic – Little Stream

Little Stream, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Klein Constantia Road, Hope of Constantia, Cape Town
  • Opening times: 09h00 – 17h00
  • Good to know: All picnics must be pre-booked. Little Stream is closed to the public on Mondays.

If you’re looking for something a little more secluded and away from the hustle and bustle of the crowds, this is it.

Little Stream spans three hectares of secluded forest – nestled between two wine farms on the foothills of Constantia – making this a perfect spot for a magical forest picnic. Nicknamed a mini Kirstenbosch garden, its artisan-style menu will make a romantic picnic even more special. Little Stream is perfect for a getaway for two or a lazy afternoon family lunch.

You can pack your own basket for a picnic in the garden or order a picnic platter for two from the on-site restaurant. Also, remember to pack a soft picnic blanket to spread open under the ancient trees for a laid-back and relaxed afternoon nap or reading your favourite book.

5. Best Mountain-Setting Picnic – Table Mountain National Park

Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening times: 07h00 – 15h00
  • Good to know: Ticket prices range from R70 to R420 (depending on the time of your visit) and can be purchased online.

If picnicking on top of the world is more your cup of tea, choose Table Mountain as your next picnic destination.

Measuring 1,086 metres high, Table Mountain offers uninterrupted views of Cape Town and Table Bay. You can hike up this iconic mountain (only for the brave and very fit) or take a quick 5-minute cable car ride to the top.

Once at the top, enjoy the views while munching away on your picnic basket treats. If you’ve forgotten to ring your picnic basket, pop into one of the four on-site eateries for a quick snack and a cold drink.

Table Mountain can get very busy, so ensure you get there early to avoid the crowds and queues.

6. Best Secluded-Beach Picnic – Oudekraal Beach

Oudekraal Beach, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Victoria Road, Oudekraal (Nature Reserve), Bakoven, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Open all year around (weekends and public holidays 08h00 – 18h00)
  • Good to know: Adults (with a South African ID) pay R38 entrance fee, and kids under 12 pay R19. SADC visitors (with proof of passport) pay R76, and kids pay R38.

Oudekraal Beach is another great picnic spot and boasts a secluded cove and access to the chilly Atlantic Ocean waters.

Situated between the well-known Llandudno and Bakoven beaches – along Victoria Road – Oudekraal Beach is often overlooked by many locals and tourists. This is the perfect venue to have your picnic on a white sand beach, and it also offers braai areas where you can have a quick, truly South African braai.

After snacking on all your picnic treats, go for a walk, lay back for a quick tan, or take a dip in the sea – the beach is known for its large granite boulders, making it the perfect spot for a relaxed swim.

Remember that the climb up and down to reach the beach from the parking area is quite steep, and the site is not wheelchair friendly.

7. Best Lake-Side Picnic – Silvermine Nature Reserve

Silvermine Nature Reserve, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town, South Africa
  • Opening times: 08h00 – 18h00 daily
  • Good to know: Though the reserve does not have an entrance fee, visitors pay a conservation fee to access the facilities.

Forming part of the Table Mountain National Park, this protected conservation area is another great way to experience all the beauty and splendour Cape Town has to offer.

If you’re ready for a quick hike or bike ride before settling down for your picnic, make this your destination. It’s home to a wide range of indigenous plant and animal life and offers visitors beautiful views of the surrounding area and the chance to braai and swim in the Silvermine Dam.

Remember to check out the Elephants Eye Cave Trail and Silvermine Reservoir Trail before heading home.

8. Best City-Centre Picnic – Company’s Garden

Company's Garden, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Corner of Wale and Adderley Street, Cape Town CBD, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Open from 07h30 to 20h30 in the summer months and 07h00 to 19h00 in Winter.
  • Good to know: The Company’s Garden is free of charge.

Just a hop and skip away from the city’s most well-known hotels, Company’s Garden offers a lush oasis in the middle of the CBD.

If you’re not in the mood to travel far for your next picnic, Company’s Garden is the ideal location for a late afternoon picnic. Spread open your picnic blanket, sit back, and enjoy the warm Cape Town sun. If you’re up for a stroll around the garden, check out the wide variety of age-old trees (a saffron pear, the country’s oldest cultivated tree calls Company’s Garden its home) and variety of indigenous plant life.

And, if you’re still peckish after your picnic, visit the Company’s Garden Restaurant. They serve a delectable range of modern and South African dishes, including a delicious Bobotie wrap and freshly grilled Karoo lamb chops.

9. Best Budget-Friendly Picnic – Green Point Urban Park

Green Point Urban Park, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: 1 Fritz Sonnenberg Rd, Green Point, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Open from 07h00 to 19h00 daily
  • Good to know: Access to Green Point Urban Park is free.

This is one of my favourite places to visit when I’m in Cape Town. This beautiful and well-maintained park is close to the Sea Point Promenade and is a great venue for a laid-back afternoon picnic.

Covering about 12 hectares in size, the park is home to a range of habitats, including wetlands and indigenous fynbos. There is ample space for kids to run around, and the park also has a huge play area where they can burn off all the extra energy.

Its sprawling lanes and trees provide the perfect setting for your picnic. If you have not packed a picnic basket, pop into the Park Cafe for a quick snack and a hot cup of Rooibos tea.

10. Best Forest-Setting Picnic – Newlands Forest

Newlands Forest, Cape Town
  • Where to find it: Table Mountain National Park, Cape Town
  • Opening times: Open 24 hours a day
  • Good to know: Access to Newlands Forest is free of charge.

Newlands Forest forms part of the Table Mountain National Park and is a favourite among locals and tourists for a daily hike, a walk with their dogs or a forest-setting picnic.

Located on the eastern slopes of Table Mountain, it receives more rainfall annually than any other part of Cape Town. You’ll often run into a waterfall here, while the surroundings are dotted with wild mushrooms, mossy rocks and an abundance of critters and insects.

A great spot for a family outing, Newlands Forest provides ample space for kids to run around and explore the area and designated picnic spots. Free parking is available at the Newlands Forest car park, while you can expect to pay R25 to park at any of the nearby parking spaces.


What should I take to a picnic?

Make sure you pack the following items when venturing out on your next picnic:

  • Food: Pack all your favourite snacks, including your choice of cheese, crackers and freshly baked bread. Make sure you also pack some uniquely South African snacks such as biltong and droĆ«wors (dried sausage) to make your picnic extra special.
  • Drinks: Pack a bottle of your favourite South African wine and beer. Don’t forget the water – to keep you hydrated and cool on a warm sunny day.
  • Ice: To keep your drinks and food chilled.
  • A wide-brimmed hat: Cape Town’s sun can get extra hot at times, so make sure you take a large hat to protect you from the sun.
  • Sunscreen: Make sure you pack sunscreen with a high SPF rating.
  • A picnic blanket
  • Cutlery and glasses
  • Napkins and wipes

Can I bring my dog to a picnic?

Cape Town is a very pet-friendly holiday destination and you are allowed to take your dog with you to many of the picnic spots. However, many of Cape Town’s beaches do not allow dogs.

Remember, most spots will require that you keep your dog on its leash. To be safe, check if you are allowed to take your dog along before visiting your favourite picnic spot.

What other attractions can I visit in Cape Town after my picnic?

If you’re in the mood for exploring after your picnic, visit the following places:

  • Slave Lodge: Located on the corner of Adderley and Wale Streets, this is a must-visit if you are interested in learning about South Africa’s history of slavery. One of Cape Town’s oldest buildings, the Slave Lodge’s history dates back to the 17th century and offers visitors an intimate glimpse into Cape Town’s rich history.
  • Iziko South African National Gallery: If you’re into South African art and culture, pop into the National Gallery. The gallery houses an impressive range of historical, modern and contemporary artworks from South Africa, Africa and around the world.
  • Iziko South African Museum: Located right next to Company’s Gardens, this is another must-do when visiting the Mother City. The museum has a vast collection of historical, scientific and cultural artefacts which celebrate South Africa’s rich natural and cultural history.
  • Go for a walk on the Sea Point Promenade. Stretching from Mouille Point to Bantry Bay, the Promenade is the gathering place for all locals and visitors. Take a lazy stroll along the ocean, breathe in the fresh ocean air, or just soak up the sun.
  • Visit the V&A Waterfront. With more than 450 retail outlets and more than 80 restaurants, everyone must visit the V&A Waterfront at least once. Rub shoulders with locals and visitors from around the world, while browsing the crafts markets and enjoying a cold drink.
  • Visit the Two Oceans Aquarium. Learn more about South Africa’s ocean life and get to know some of the sea’s inhabitants. Perfect for families with kids, this is a must-do when visiting the Mother City.

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