The world over, South Africans gather to celebrate Heritage Day the way we know best – over a fire, cold beverage in hand, with friends and family, admiring our beautiful country. Wherever you are in the world (whether you’re in a park in London or in someone’s backyard in Melbourne explaining the difference between a barbecue and a braai) check out some of our top braai spots in South Africa.
1. Krismis Camp, Paarl Mountain Nature Reserve
What a view! Braai in a magnificent setting amongst the fynbos. As much as Paarl Mountain is a monument, it is also a nature reserve made prominent by its huge granite rocks. Day visitors are welcome to braai here and explore the bike trails. The reserve is open throughout the year, including weekends and public holidays.
Braaing is only permitted in the designated areas. No dogs or music is allowed.
2. Wynberg Park
Formerly known as King Edward Park, Wynberg Park is one of the most breathtaking braai spots in South Africa. The sprawling green lawns provide the perfect space for children to run around (if the kiddies play area is too busy) with lots of room for a game of soccer or frisbee while the fire crackles.
The best part? Entrance is completely free!
3. Mzoli’s Place, Gugulethu
Mzoli’s is world-famous and needs little introduction. Buy your meat in the attached butchery and give it to the professional braai masters to prepare perfectly for you. Bring your own booze or buy from a spot nearby, as well as your own paper napkins, crockery and cutlery. Pull up a seat at any of the communal tables and enjoy some in-house beats while you mingle with the locals.
4. Green Hole on Leisure Island, Knysna
Perfect for a dip in the river, you’ll have to be early to grab one of the 10 coveted braai spots. There are 10 separate braai facilities with sheltered eating areas.
Camping, alcohol and loud music are prohibited.
5. Preekstoel and Kraalbaai, West Coast National Park
Make the most of the season for Namaqualand daisies and braai by the Langebaan lagoon. At Preekstoek braai spot you will have your own semi-enclosed braai area. This area hums with visitors during spring and summer, so get there early to reserve your spot!
Alcohol is not allowed on the premises. Braaing is free, but there is a small conservation fee payable at the gate. Download the registration form to speed up your wait at the gate.
6. Silvermine Nature Reserve
Arguably one of the best braai spots in South Africa, Silvermine is a great all-year-round picnic place. There are braai areas peppered all around the reservoir – perfect for a dip between braaing. The best spot to go for a dip in the dam while braaing in the secluded braai spots on the banks. If you feel like getting active, pick from any of the stunning hiking trails nearby.
Free entrance for Wild Card holders.
7. Newland’s Forest, Cape Town
Perfect for a festive forest walk with the family before getting down to the serious business of braaing. Bring your own wood and grill, and relax under the shady pine trees.
Tucked between Camps Bay and Llandudno, you’ll easily drive right past if you miss the sign. Accented by large boulders and clear waters, this is the perfect place for a bit snorkelling, swimming, tanning and braaing all in one! Get there early to secure a private braai spot with your very own ocean view.
Free entrance for Wild Card holders.
9. Gariep Dam Forever Resort, Free State
Braai where the braai masters braai with a fabulous view of the dam. If you’re lucky you might spot a Cape Mountain Zebra too.
Book a stay at one of the nearby lodges or pitch your tent at the resort and enjoy a relaxing camping trip with the family.
10. Modjadji Nature Reserve, Limpopo
Named after the rain-making queens of the ancient Modjadji tribe, the Modjadji Cycad Reserve is home to the world’s largest collection of, you guessed it, single-species cycads. The unique forest that’s formed around the reserve is home to blue wildebeest, nyala, waterbuck, impala and over 170 species of birdlife. Braai with views of the ancient Modjaji cycads!
Permits are required as you enter, and there is a kiosk for any essentials.
11. Emmarentia Dam in Roosevelt Park, Gauteng
Pitch your picnic blanket beneath one of the shady Willow trees, while the statues and fountains provide the perfect backdrop to your Heritage Day braai. Once you’re done braaing, enjoy a walk in the beautiful botanical gardens nearby.
Entrance is free to the park.
12. Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Gauteng
Voted one of the best braai spots in South Africa, spend a day in the country’s oldest nature reserve. Home to various animals, including zebra, kudu, impala, red hartebeest, giraffe and sable, you’ll soon forget you’re in the city. Adventure seekers can choose from three different hiking trails, horseriding routes as well as mountain biking trails.
South Africa undoubtedly has the friendliest people, incredibly beautiful natural resources and a multitude of wonderful cultures. So, make sure you stock up on plenty of firewood and ice ice baby. We’d love to hear about your favourite braai spots in South Africa for a chop ‘n dop in the comments below. Happy Heritage Day celebrations!
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