As a parent trying to maintain an active lifestyle, while still getting some quality time in with baby, using the pram or stroller is a great way to kill two birds with one stone.
The biggest question we often get asked, aside from what the difference is between a pram and a stroller, is “Where are nice places to stroll in my area?”
So, we have scanned the country and have found a few gorgeous places just right for you.
Where to Stroll in Joburg
This is a tricky one. If you’re not in a boomed estate or live in an old, tree-lined suburb with great sidewalks, taking a walk straight from your doorstep can be quite challenging.
That’s why we love City Parks. Sure you might have to get in your car to have a walk, but Johannesburg has more than 2 300 parks and over 10 000 hectares of green, so walking trails are in abundance.
Note: Most of these beautiful walks advise walking in groups during quieter weekdays, as they are not all secure or patrolled. Weekends usually see more people out on these trails.
Here are Five of our Favourites:
Craighall Waterfall: With a waterfall in the middle of a suburb, this is a lovely walk running from Delta Park to the Sandton Field and Study Centre. The walk can span from one to four hours, depending on how energetic you feel.
- Delta Park Blairgowrie: This park has one of the country’s best environmental centres, a bird sanctuary and scout training grounds – really great for bird watchers.
- Johannesburg Botanical Gardens: This gorgeous park in Emmarentia, between Beyers Naude and Barry Hertzog, has over 100 hectares of gardens, with walks from 30 minutes to two hours. Pack a picnics or visit the tearoom. You can even bring the dogs if you visit the southern part of the park.
- Zoo Lake Parkview: His pretty park in Parkview is frequented by Egyptian geese, boating lovers, families, picnickers, walkers and keen bowlers. You can pick from 30 minute walks to one hour walks.
- Norscot Koppie Douglasdale: Your source of 22 hectares of serenity; this park has birds, duiker, blesbok, klipspringer, dassies and people mingling peacefully amongst each other. This park is completely fenced with well-marked trails.
Where to Stroll in Pretoria
Pretoria is beautiful and filled with hidden gems and great spots for walks with baby. Aside from Jacaranda-cloaked Varsity streets, or quaint quiet suburbs with great sidewalks, if you feel like a stroll away from the maddening crowd, then here are our top four spots:
- Oubaas Trail, Jan Smuts House: Set in one of Gauteng’s few remaining dolomite grasslands, this easy, 2.3-kilometre walk leads to a memorial on the top of Smuts Koppie, has a museum and a refreshment kiosk. Costs R10 a child and R20 an adult.
Wonderboom Nature Reserve: Boasting a magnificent 1 000-year-old fig tree, this reserve has a variety of highveld and bushveld birds which can be easily explored on the main 2.5 kilometre trail leading to an Anglo Boer War fort. Costs from R10 a child to R28 an adult.
- Faerie Glen Nature Reserve: The main trail, the four-kilometre Kiepersol Route, winds up a hill. Aside from the hill and the views, this park is great for picnics and birdlife. Costs from R3 a person.
- F.R.O.G.S. (For Realisation Of Greater Sustainability): Going a bit further out of Pretoria to Cullinan (50kms from Pretoria) this walk is not for the uninitiated, and is only for parents with an iron will and who want to test their gym-fitness against the elements! You get: an eight-kilometre walk, great vegetation, a waterfall and plenty of rock pools for swimming, plus picnic and braai facilities. Booking is essential through Jacana.
Where to Stroll in Cape Town
Cape Town is blessed with a lot of natural beauty – from fynbos to rugged mountains to golden beaches, Capetonians are spoilt for choice. Our four best spots are by no means the be all and end all, but if you’re looking for a start, here are our four favourites:
Adderley Street, Company Gardens: Still one of the loveliest parks for children and families in Cape Town, this often-overlooked park is filled with gorgeous plants and trees, benches, ponds, squirrels, and boasts a restaurant and coffee shop. Plus, it’s free.
- Muizenberg to St James: This wonderful paved walkway along the shoreline can be done under an hour, and will give you pretty things to look at while you stroll, like waves, birds, buildings and a train. Plus the coffee shops along the way make it fun.
- Silvermine Dam: This trail is all about taking your time and smelling the roses (or fynbos). Gentle and very popular, this walk is surrounded by mountains as you stroll around the dam and soak up the flowers, birds and beauty of the area. Get there early over weekends to avoid crowds.
- Any Beach Promenade: Thankfully Cape Town has an endless supply of gorgeous beaches and accompanying boardwalks and promenades, usually filled with runners, cyclists, long boarders and fellow parents pushing prams. Great for fresh air, a great community feeling and usually with ample parking.
The biggest hurdle to getting out there and enjoying the outdoors with your baby and your pram is starting. So here’s our final bit of advice.
Put your walking shoes on.
Open the door.
Stroll. Don’t strut.