The Johannesburg stunning Botanical Gardens are situated on the western shores of the popular Emmarentia Dam, only 6km (4ml) from the central business district. The park contains recreational open space conducive for an assortment of outdoor leisurely activities, such as walking a dog, riding a bicycle, jogging or simply taking a relaxed and refreshing promenade within its setting.
This admirable 81ha botanical wonder is set in the midst of three dams, which were established in 1866, approximately the same time that the park was also pioneered.
The park boasts an amazing collection of 30.000 trees; among them, exotic species such as oaks, redwoods and birches; alongside a wide variety of indigenous species.
In the northern part of the park, the formal gardens feature terraced ponds and fountains; while the 4 500 rose bushes enable an awesome summer display in the Shakespearean garden. The herb garden contains plants of medicinal, culinary and cosmetic value.
The succulent garden, which may be visited only by appointment, boasts about 2 500 species. Indigenous vegetation is encouraged in the reed beds and Highveld grassland areas.
In the north-east of the garden, the dam provides opportunities for water sports, such as canoeing and sailing of small boats. Bird species include geese, dabchicks, moorhens and other waterfowls.
Events of frequent occurrence in the park include wedding parties, photography and picnics. In summer, the park also hosts open air musical concerts, which have proven to be of tremendous popularity.