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Dotted with a myriad of gardens, trees and grassy open expanses, the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens and Emmarentia Dam draws picnickers, dog walkers and joggers. The Dam also offers an array of water-sports, plus excellent opportunities to spot local garden bird life and waterfowl.

The Shakespeare Garden
One of the most popular attractions in the park, the Shakespeare Garden draws inspiration from the herbs mentioned in the Bard’s works. Plants include mint, camomile, marjoram and lavender, with each herb’s Shakespearean mention noted alongside. In further celebration, each year a festival of song, music and comedy is held in the garden to celebrate the birthday of William Shakespeare.

The Rose Garden
The terraced formal Rose Garden is a true beauty spot. Thousands upon thousands of roses scent the air in the springtime, and elegant water features and walkways link the seven gently-sloping terraces. The garden is surrounded by Japanese cherry trees, and alongside the blooming roses, the pairing creates a breathtaking sight.

The Herb Garden
In addition to the Shakespeare Garden, a plethora of herbs also scent the aptly named Herb Garden. As well as popular culinary herbs, the herb garden also has a section dedicated to medicinal African herbs. 

Emmarentia Dam
The 7.5-hectare dam is awash with life as visitors and locals alike enjoy a range of sports upon the water. Canoeing, sailing and kayaking, as well as paddleboard yoga and fishing, are just some of the activities to enjoy.

The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens are open from 6am to 6pm. The main entrance is on Olifants Road. For further information, a map of the park and updates, visit

Source: City Parks and Zoo