11 February 2017 | Libby Peacock
Forget adrenaline: take an arm-in-arm stroll under shady trees in dappled sunlight, row a boat with your soulmate under clear African skies, share a romantic picnic or special restaurant meal ... simple pleasures are all you need to make a romantic outing unforgettable.
Zoo Lake. (Image: City Sightseeing)
You don’t have to go far to enjoy all these delights and more: Zoo Lake, a Saxonwold landmark, has not only attracted generations of Joburgers in search of rest, relaxation and fun times, but has always drawn dating couples in search of romance al fresco.
The land was originally part of what used to be Braamfontein farm, and was bought by banker and mining magnate Hermann Eckstein for potential exploitation of minerals. Later, Zoo Lake became part of the Hermann Eckstein Park, together with the nearby zoo and Ditsong National Museum of Military History.
The lake is artificial and was added in 1908. The big water feature in the middle is the Coronation Fountain, built in 1937 to commemorate the coronation of King George VI.
The Coronation Fountain. (Image: City Sightseeing)
Hire a paddle boat and potter around on the lake for some relaxed couple time – getting up close and personal with the many and varied waterfowl is a bonus. Bring a hat and sunblock (the boats have no canopies for shade). Either enjoy a dreamy picnic while afloat, or bring a blanket and have your treats under the trees after a laid-back stroll along the water’s edge.
Or, you may want to book a table for two at Moyo restaurant, set amid the greenery of the park, offering pan-African cuisine, ethnic face painting and an abundance of local colour. Order bubbly or cocktails, and relish a tender moment together.
Moyo restaurant. (Image: City Sightseeing)
Before or after, choose his-and-hers prezzies at the stylish downstairs gift shop, which stocks quality items ranging from clothes and hats to crafts and jewellery.
(Image: City Sightseeing)
How to get to Zoo Lake:
Zoo Lake is stop 2 on City Sightseeing’s Green Tour – hop off for a few hours of romantic bliss.
Buy tickets here.