#FreedomDay: Lit braai and picnic spots around the fiery Mzansi

Cape Town - What better way to celebrate freedom than with a lekker braai or picnic?

If you're in the food mood for some roasted goodness, grab your family, friends, your pets or just yourself and head out to one of these lit, scenic braai and picnic spots around SA.

READ: 15 amazing Braai Tour pics that will make you want to hit the road

Your Cape escapes:

SILVERMINE DAM

This refreshing drop of nature spot forms part of the Table Mountain National Park area and is located a measly 15 to 20-minute drive from the CBD. The area does have braai facilities - but to safeguard the fynbos population of the region, braais are only allowed between the period of July through to September (during winter essentially) each year to prevent unnecessary veld fires.

But, luckily, the venue allows visitors to bring their own snacks and food goods along to plonk themselves with a picnic alongside the dam and take a dip in its refreshing waters on warm days. 

  • Entry charges: R51 per adult, R26 per child, free with Wild Card
  • Location: Silvermine Gate 1, Ou Kaapse Weg
  • Contact: +27 (0)21 712 7471

WEST COAST NATIONAL PARK - PREEKSTOEL BRAAI AREA

Enjoy some braai vibes while overlooking the tropical Langebaan lagoon. A short drive of about an hour from Cape Town will have you swimming in teal waters while munching on yummy picnic goods and braai delicacies. The braai spots are available on a first come, first serve basis - so be sure to get there early and snag your lit spot of choice.

  • Entry charge: Offseason (October through to July): R54 per adult & R27 per child and free with a Wild Card. For in season (August & September): R76 per adult, R38 per child (for more tariff info - click here)
  • Location: R27, West Coast National Park.
  • Contact: +27 (0)22 772 2144

SEE: SA braai spots

TWEEDE TOL - BAINSKLOOF PASS

This spot forms part of the Limietberg Nature Reserve region and sits just over an hour out of Cape Town off of Bainskloof Pass. It is also a World Heritage Site and is part of the Cape Nature collection. It is a popular camping spot, but also a popular day visitor place to have braais, picnics and swim in the glittering river pools in the location. It can get crowded on weekends and public holidays - so be an early bird to catch the early wors. 

The gates are open from 08h00 – 18h00 daily.

  • Entry charge:  R40 per adult, R20 per child (for camping tariffs and more info - click here)
  • Location: Bainskloof Pass, R301 between Wellington and Ceres
  • Contact: +27 (0)21 483 0190

Spent the afternoon in Bains Kloof with Onne, Billy and my mom.

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Your lit firepit stops around Jozi: 

GILOOLY'S FARM

If you head east of Johannesburg to Bedfordview, you will find 44 hectares of walking trails, abundant birdlife, recreational areas and restaurants. The farm also boasts a large man-made lake, which is home to a number of fish species.  Families can also enjoy a braai at the farm, which can be arranged by the staff. The farm is open every day except Sundays. (click here for more info)

  • Entry charge: FREE
  • Location: 47 Boeing Road West Germiston 2008
  • Contact: +27 (0)11 453 5759

CHECK OUT: Mapped out - SA's favourite braai spots

RIETVLEI FARM

Grab the family and head out for a day filled with fun, (hopefully) sun and some quality picnic banter. The whole family is promised an enjoyable afternoon. The farm offers activities like putt-putt, stream train or tractor rides and walking and bicycle trails. Kids can be sure to visit the animal farm to meet some furry friends. The farm offers a picnic and braai spot for guests looking to round off their activities with some snacks and chill time out in the sun. 

The farm office operates between  08:30 – 17:00, the picnic park runs Monday to Sunday between 09h:00 and 17:00 (from January through to September). During peak season (October through to December), the picnic park runs Monday to Thursday between 09:00 and 17:00 as well as Friday to Sunday between  09:00 and 18:00. The farm is closed on 25 December and 1 January and guests are not allowed into the park after 16:00.

  • Entry charge: R30 per person, while children under 2 years old enter FREE and the drum braai hire is: R50
  • Location: 101 Swartkoppies Road, Johannesburg South
  • Contact: +27 (0)11 024 1512 / +27 (0)11 024 1514

#zipline #rietvleifarm @andrewmurrayjoubert #eastersunday

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BROOKWOOD ESTATE - CRADLE OF HUMANKIND

This location sits a short one hour drive from both Johannesburg and Pretoria and features five well-stocked dams and excellent Yellow Fish fishing in the Blaauwbank River. They are open weekdays from 07:30 - 18:00 and  06:00 -18:00 on weekends. The venue also has a night fishing event on the third Wednesday of every month. Brookwood also offers campsites and accommodation for those wishing to extend the experience beyond a day trip picnic or braai. 

  • Entry charge: R80 per adult and R50 for children under 12 years old (for more tariff info - click here)
  • Location: R374, Kromdraai, Krugersdorp, 1747 (see directions here)
  • Contact: +27 72 256 7561 (between Sunday through to Tuesday) or +27 82 856 2448 (between Wednesday through to Saturday)

A place of tranquility.

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ALSO SEE: 6 Recipes to Braai in 6 Iconic SA regions

Durban brings the heat with this braai spot:

PARADISE VALLEY NATURE RESERVE

The Paradise Valley waterfall is said to be one of the most beautiful spots in the Durban area. There are several good walks, one of which runs alongside the Umbilo River.  Leisure activities include braai and picnic sites, public toilets, braai, car park, visitors centre. The reserve is open from 07:00 to 17:00. 

  • Entry charge: R13 per adult and R10 per child (under 15 years old) (for more tariff info - click here)
  • Location: 10 Oxford Rd, Pinetown, Durban, 3610 (see directions here)
  • Contact: +27 (0)31 702 3443 / +27 (0)31 702 3473 / +27 (0)31 322 2849 

Paradise Valley Nature Reserve

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Other SA spots:

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. The spot is open to visitors between 07:00 and 21:30. 

  • Entry charge: R55 per adult and R28 per child.
  • Location: Garden Route National Park, Tsitsikamma Section (see directions here)
  • Contact: +27 (0)42 281 1607

ALSO CHECK OUT: Best of SA braai spots 2015 - A braai-lovers heaven

GROENKLOOF NATURE RESERVE - PRETORIA

This reserve is home to kudu, sable, giraffe and is also rich in birdlife. It also offers a selection of hiking and mountain biking trails, a 4×4 route, guided horse trails and game drives. Get together with friends as you enjoy a leisurely braai under the tall trees. The reserve operates between 05:30 and 19:00 in Summer (September - April) and between 07:00 and 18:00 in Winter (May - August).

  • Entry charge: R38 per adult (over 18 years old), R22 for pensioners and disabled people (over 60 years old), R22 for school children (between 7 and 17 years old) and R11 for children under 7 years old. (for more tariff info and their offers - click here)
  • Location: 335/M7 Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof 358-Jr, Pretoria, 0027
  • Contact: +27 (0)12 358 1757 / +27 (0)12 358 1720