If you’re in Cape Town this 24 September – National Braai Day of course – and you still don’t know where to braai, here are a few places to try. For those not in the Cape you might find a more appropriate suggestion further down – just keep scrolling past the Cape-centric braai spots until something catches your eye.
Obviously this is not, and could never be, an exhaustive list. If you’ve got any great braai venues you’d like to share, feel free to add your favourites in the comments section below.
Braaing in and around Cape Town
1. Buffels Bay, Cape Point
The braai spots at Buffels Bay and Bordjiesdrif, in the Cape Point section of Table Mountain National Park, are worth visiting for the views alone. Sometimes the baboons can be a nuisance, and you don’t want to be there in the teeth of the south-easter, but on a fine spring day the wind is usually light and the baboons are less of a nuisance with so many people about. The braai spots are open from 7am to 5pm on Braai Day (it’s 6am to 6pm in the summer months), and you’ll need to bring your own grid and wood, etc. Park entry tickets are R90 for adults and R40 for kids between 2 and 11 years. The friendly ladies on the SANParks switchboard will give you more information on 021 780 9204 and other park activities can be found on the SANParks website.
Cost: R90 for adults and R40 for kids (Wild Card holders are free)
Gate times: 7am to 5pm (winter) / 6am to 6pm (summer)
Tel: 021 780 9204
Need to know: Be careful of the baboons
Location: Map to Buffels Bay
2. Klippies Bay & Sparks Bay, Kogelberg
Braai sites, great views, and the sound of the sea slapping over the stones just metres from the stands. If you’re coming along Clarence Drive from Gordon’s Bay towards Rooi Els, you can’t miss the main Kogel Bay beach and campsite about half way between the two. The Kogel Bay campsite is a beautiful braai spot in its own right, but you’ll have to pay camping fees to enter. A few hundred metres further towards Rooi Els, you’ll find the day camps and braai spots. Keep going past the tidal pool, which can get incredibly busy in summer, and the next right is Klippies Bay.
Take the next right (after Klippies) into the small car park at Sparks Bay. There’s a rough track that leads down to the braai sites and you can park right next to your stand. I often drive past this spot in winter and see just one or two cars and a single plume of braai smoke. It can get busy in good weather, but if you catch it at the right time this is one of most tranquil public braai spots in the Cape. Around braai day there’s a good chance you’ll see some whales too.
Location: Map to Sparks Bay
3. Tokai Forest Braai Area
Tall pine trees shade this popular braai spot in Tokai.
Cost: R20 per adult, R10 per child, R15 per vehicle
Gate times: 8am to 5pm (winter – until end September) / 7am to 6pm (summer)
Tel: 021 712 7471
Location: Map to Tokai Forest
On the Atlantic seaboard between Llandudno and Camp’s Bay, you’ll find small, protected coves and sandy beaches peaking out between massive boulders. The 40 or so braai sites don’t always have grids and the nearest shop for wood and meat is in Camp’s Bay, so be sure to bring everything with you.
Cost: R20 adults, R10 kids under 12 (Wild Card holders are free)
Gate times: 8am to 6pm
Tel: 021 438 9555
Need to know: Don’t forget a braai grid and keep in mind that it can get very busy on weekends and public holidays
Location: Map to Oudekraal
5. Maiden’s Cove
Popular, often very busy braai spot on the coast between Clifton and Glen Beach.
Gate times: 7am to 6pm (summer) / 8:30am to 4pm (winter)
Location: Map to Maiden’s Cove
6. Silvermine Nature Reserve
This picnic site in Table Mountain National Park could be the most relaxing braai spot in South Africa. Although more than 40 sites lie scattered around the Silvermine reservoir, they are so well positioned, nestled in discreet rocky hollows and tucked behind thriving fynbos, you’ll feel as if you have the place all to yourself. Keep in mind that because of concerns over run-away veld fires this is a winter-only braai venue, though the site remains open for picnics year round.
Cost: R25 adults, R10 kids under 12 (Wild Card holders are free)
Gate times: 7am to 7pm
Tel: 021 780 9002
Need to know: Swimming in the reservoir is allowed, so bring your cozzie
Location: Map to Silvermine
7. Wynberg Park
Shady trees and beautiful grassy slopes make Wynberg park a favourite local braai spot.
Gate times: 8am to 6pm
Tel: 021 097 4203
Location: Map to Wynberg park
Other great braai spots around South Africa
1. Storms River Mouth, Garden Route National Park
On the green lawn that slopes down to the sea from the camp’s small shop and restaurant are ten fantastic braai spots with views across this wild stretch of ocean. Watch the waves pound the rocky shore as your chops sizzle and if you’re lucky you may see a school of dolphins or southern right whales just metres away.
Cost: R32 (South African residents), kids under two are free
Gate times: 7am to 9:30pm
Tel: 042 281 1607
Need to know: Grids are provided and you can buy meat and wood at the camp shop
Location: Map to the Storms River Mouth rest camp
2. Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Tshwane
With a selection of hiking and mountain biking trails, a 4×4 route, guided horse trails and game drives, there’s no shortage of things to do. The reserve is home to kudu, sable and giraffe, to name a few, and is rich in birdlife. Get a braai going under one of the tall trees in the large picnic area. Be sure to bring wood or charcoal.
Cost: R25 adults, R18,50 ages seven to 17, R10 kids under seven
Gate times: 5:30am to 7pm (summer), 7am to 6pm (winter)
Tel: 012 440 8316
Need to know: Consider hiring a lapa at R500 for larger groups of up to 15
Location: Map to Groenkloof Nature Reserve
3. The Shark Tank, Durban
You don’t have to be a Sharks rugby supporter to appreciate the fantastic atmosphere that drifts on braai smoke around their famous home stadium. The braaing starts hours before kickoff and continues late into the night, especially if the home team wins (players often join in).
Cost: You’ll need to buy a ticket for the game
Gate times: Arrive early to secure a good spot
Tel: 031 308 8400
Need to know: The outerfield parking/braai area is pre-sold and sells out quickly. You’ll have to carry braai stuff in or befriend a Sharks fan for the evening and join their fire
Location: Map to The Shark Tank
4. Kraalbaai, West Coast National Park
There are stunning braai spots on the low bluff at Preekstoel picnic site. You can’t braai on the beach itself, but at low tide the water recedes 100m or more away from the shore and the white sand is perfect for picnicking. Braai up above and carry your food the 20m walk down to the beach.
Cost: Park entrance fee applies. R40 for adults, R20 a child (R56 / R28 during flower season – August and September). Wild Card holders free
Gate times: 7am to 7pm (summer), 7am to 6pm (winter)
Tel: 022 772 2144
Location: Map to Kraalbaai
5. Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, Krugersdorp
Northwest of Johannesburg is this privately owned game reserve. The 30 braai areas at the visitors camp are well kept, with grids provided and wood for sale. With abseiling, game drives, a pool, a kids’ play centre, horse trails, an underground cave, a pygmy hippo enclosure, snake shows and a petting crèche, there’ll be little time left for braaing.
Cost: R100 adults, R70 kids from three to 12
Gate times: 8am to 5pm
Tel: 011 957 0109
Need to know: Lion, cheetah and tiger cubs can be petted at the crèche
Location: Map to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve
6. Fish Eagle Picnic Spot, Pilanesberg
An hour’s drive from Johannesburg, overlooking the Pilanesberg’s hippo-filled Mankwe Dam, is Fish Eagle picnic spot. Scout for a secluded table on the edge of the site for the best views, chomp on boerie rolls with yellow-billed hornbills or inquisitive squirrels for company, and pack your binos to spot game in the distance.
7. Nkutu Falls, Krantzkloof
On the coastal escarpment between Pinetown and Hillcrest is the meeting place of two river gorges and two great braai spots. Although the forested reserve is best known for the picnic area at Kloof Falls, the spot at Nkutu Falls is quieter and has newer benches and bins. Walk off your braai feast on one of the seven trails – there’s something for everyone in the family.