7 great spots to picnic in Cape Town

Looking for a spot to kick your feet up and embrace the warm days in the Mother City? We have the perfect picnic spots for you to enjoy in Cape Town. From beautiful hidden beaches to nature reserves and a lovely wine estate, these picnic spots will guarantee a beautiful day outdoors.

Here are 7 great spots to check out…

1. Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve, Franschhoek

Early one morning we cruised through Franschhoek village, stopping briefly to buy fresh-out-the-oven baguettes and other treats at the Pick n Pay. The bread was still warm when we turned onto the gravel road to Mont Rochelle Nature Reserve at the top of the Franschhoek Pass. Greeted by well-informed, enthusiastic staff, we decided to walk the Breakfast Rock Trail – 30 minutes, moderately steep but very doable when carrying a picnic basket (there are 30 kilometres of well-maintained trails here). Bursting with fynbos, this reserve has spectacular 360-degree views and supplies drinking water from its springs to the whole of Franschhoek.
– Michelle Hardie
Do it: The hut is open from 8am to 5pm. Entrance is R50 pp; pay the fee on your way out if you start early. Buy the detailed map too (R20). No dogs. 0218762861

 

2. Sparks Bay Day camp, Kogel Bay

The gravelly entrance to this spot off Clarence Drive, between Gordon’s Bay and Pringle Bay, shouldn’t put you off this picnic site – neither should the baboons or litter. The view across False Bay will have you spellbound: Sparks Bay is part of Kogel Bay Beach, in the Kogelberg Nature Reserve. Beyond the parking area is a lawn bordered by shrubs and a colony of rocks that meet the incoming tide, where you can picnic at one of the tables or spread your blanket on the grass. (There’s no shade so you’ll need a hat and sunscreen.) It’s popular but weekdays are peaceful, and you can fish off the rocks and cool off in the tidal pool nearby. There’s an ablution block (BYI toilet roll). Southern right whales wallow here in August and September. – Nandni Majola
Do it: Entrance is free. The camp closes at 6pm. 0218569620

 

3. Oudekraal Beach, Atlantic Seaboard

The water here is turquoise, the sand white and the large boulders create a safe area for swimming, picnicking or working on your tan. Bring your picnic basket and a large umbrella for shelter but leave the beers and wine at home – no liquor is allowed on the beach; neither are pets. Secure parking is a few metres away from the entrance. It’s part of Table Mountain National Park, situated between Bakoven and Llandudno on the ‘sunset coast’ – there’s no chance of a sundowner picnic, though, as the gates shut at 6pm. – Ondela Mlandu
Do it: Entrance is R40 for adults, R25 for kids. Oudekraal is open from 8am; daily in summer and weekends only in winter. 0217120527

 

4. Oak Vallery Wine Estate, Elgin

This estate is well-known for its wine, mountain-bike trails and restaurant, The Pool Room, but its picnics are pretty special too. While the restaurant’s tables are laid out next to the pool, picnickers can enjoy space and tranquillity on the lawn where the only sound you’ll hear is the wind in the trees that surround you like a tower of giraffes around a waterhole. Even better, comfy loungers scattered under the shady trees offer a novel and very relaxing way to picnic (no sore knees or bums here). The picnic food is delicious – a selection of cured meats, cheeses, pâtés, preserves and bread, finished off with a brownie. Wine is not included but comes recommended, from R140 a bottle. – Matthew Sterne
Do it: R180 per person (vegetarian R170 and kids R120). Picnics are available daily from 12pm from November to April, but must be booked 24 hours before. 0218592510

 

5. Miller Point Caravan Park, Simon’s Town

If you prefer waters that don’t turn you into a White Walker, head out along the main road towards Cape Point. Over autumn – the best time for swimming and picnics, in my opinion – a quiet (and safe) beach is a find. What’s brilliant about Miller’s Point Caravan Park (or Miller’s Point Resort), which is run by the city, is that it’s far enough out to not get crowded (you need a car to get there), plus it’s regulated by a guard who will only let you in if the park is not fully booked, so phone ahead to check. Park outside, then walk down the tarred road and take a left at the stairs leading down to the sea. There you’ll have three choices: to your left, a grassy bank with a tree here and there (best to bring your own shade); directly in front, the sweetest little beach (protected enough for children to swim safely); and to the right, that’s where the gem is, another little beach just before a wooden boardwalk, set a bit apart by rocks. Afterwards, go for a cocktail at the Black Marlin restaurant above. – Sonya Schoeman
Do it: Entry is free for now but from next summer it’ll be around R10 per person. Open from 8am to 6pm. 0217866012

 

6. Beta Beach, Bakoven

Beta Beach is a tiny, secluded strip of sand in Cape Town, tucked behind a couple of bungalows just beyond Camps Bay. This is by far my favourite beach because of its tranquillity. It has two access points, which can be easily missed if you are not familiar with the area – I always take the stairs that go down to the beach from Beta Road, off Victoria Road. The other way is from Beta Close where you can park. It’s the perfect place for some quiet time, a swim in the rock pools and a picnic. There are more rocks than sand so take pillows. The boulders will shelter you if it’s a windy day. Dogs are welcome here, and note that this hidden gem is also known for going topless. – Ondela Mlandu
Do it: At sunset – it’s a front-row seat to the splendour. Free entry.

 

7. Mont Rochelle Wine Estate, Franschhoek

Mont Rochelle’s picnics are prepared by the on-site Country Kitchen, and you can expect to have a basket befitting a farm owned by Richard Branson. In the Miko Basket, flavours and portions were abundant – local cheeses, preserves, haddock fish cakes, charcuterie, harissa-spiced chicken, zucchini fritters, salads, desserts. The shaded lawns outside the Country Kitchen have a boules court, Jenga blocks and croquet, with views of sweeping fields and the enchanting Franschhoek valley to complete the relaxed atmosphere. Other picnic areas are at the dam and a glassed venue outside Miko Restaurant if it’s rainy. – Nandi Majola
Do it: Miko Basket R520 for two. There are two other basket options from R400 and one for kids for R100. Wine is not included but you can buy it from the tasting room (from R70 a bottle). Picnics must be ordered 24 hours in advance. 0218762770