28 of South Africa’s great dog-walking venues

In our country, we are truly blessed with beautiful natural surroundings, where we can take some time out. And if you’re looking for a fun and healthy way to spend some quality time with your dog, look no further than the many dog-walking venues available throughout the country. We are spoilt for choice – from the lush forests of Cape Town to the scenic beaches of Durban, and even in the urban cities of Gauteng. Here are a few great places you can visit…

 

Venues in the Western Cape

  1. Bokrivier Cottages is a private venue that offers a variety of well-maintained trails in beautiful surroundings and has a river for swimming. You can expect to pay R50 per person.

 

  1. Sunset Beach is in Milnerton. It is open to the public and entry is free. This beach has a long, sandy beach and views of Table Mountain. It is a great venue for walking dogs.

 

  1. Cecilia Forest is located in Constantia. Entry is free and it is open to the public. It offers a variety of trails through a forest with beautiful scenery. It has a peaceful atmosphere, but it can get crowded.

 

  1. De Hel is in the Table Mountain National Park. It’s another free venue that is open to the public and offers a variety of trails through a forest. It features lovely scenery, but it too can get a bit busy.

 

  1. Silver Mines is also in Table Mountain National Park – free and open to the public. It offers gorgeous scenery, historic ruins and well-maintained trails through a forest and old silver mines.

 

  1. Newlands offers a variety of free trails to the public through a forest to the Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden. The venue offers exquisite scenery and well-maintained trails.

 

  1. Klaasenbosch in Silverhurst features a beautiful garden with walking trails and a picnic area. Visitors rave about the sublime setting and well-maintained trails. This venue is free and open to the public.

 

  1. Fish Hoek Beach is open to the public and offers a beautiful, spacious beach that is popular among dog owners. Visitors love taking their dogs to play on the beach, but some do warn that the water can be rough.

 

  1. Tokai Forest features several walking trails and marvellous scenery. Visitors love the peaceful atmosphere and variety of well-maintained trails.

 

 

Venues in Gauteng

 

  1. Albert’s Farm has a large park with walking trails, picnic areas and a dam. Visitors love the scenic views and variety of trails.

 

  1. The Wilds is a public park with walking trails and spectacular views of the city. Visitors can enjoy the well-developed indigenous gardens.

 

  1. The Little Park is a small park with walking trails and a pond and is open to the public. Visitors appreciate the peaceful atmosphere and variety of wildlife that they find here.

 

  1. Wolwespruit (Pretoria) is located in a nature reserve with walking trails and a dam. It provides a tranquil atmosphere and beautiful scenery. And it is open to the public.

 

  1. Pure Kloof Roos is semi-private and charges R100 per person. The venue is situated in a beautiful natural environment with stunning views. It also offers a variety of outdoor activities such as hiking trails and bird watching. The venue is highly recommended by visitors for its calm atmosphere and beautiful scenery.

 

  1. Paws in the East is a private venue that charges R35 per dog. The venue has a large area where dogs can run around and play, as well as agility equipment for training. It also has a coffee shop where owners can enjoy a cuppa while their dogs play. Visitors have praised the venue for its spacious and well-maintained facilities, as well as its friendly staff.

 

  1. River Sands Farm Village charges R50 per dog. The venue has a large dam where dogs can swim, and plenty of open space for them to run around. It also has a coffee shop and picnic area for owners. Visitors love the venue for its beautiful scenery and tranquil atmosphere, and its dog-friendly facilities.

 

  1. Ark Walk Park is situated in a nature reserve and offers a variety of walking trails for dogs and their owners to explore at no cost. It also has picnic areas and benches along the trails. Visitors praise the venue for its peaceful atmosphere and well-maintained trails.

 

  1. Avianto has some special features, which include a large open field where dogs can run around and an agility course for training. It also has a coffee shop and restaurant for owners. Visitors enjoy the venue because of its well-maintained facilities and its beautiful surroundings. You can expect to pay R60 per dog.

 

 

Venues in KwaZulu-Natal

  1. Giba Gorge has a variety of trails and obstacles, a restaurant and a picnic area. This venue is also great for mountain biking and trail running for the rest of the active family. It is a private venue and costs R50 per person.

 

  1. Karkloof Trails offers a variety of trails, including a waterfall trail and a birding trail. This private venue features beautiful scenery and well-maintained trails. Entrance is R80 per person.

 

  1. Gowrie Farms has a variety of trails and a golf course with spectacular scenery. It is a great place for dog walking and entry is free.

 

  1. Brighton Beach is open to the public and their dogs. It has a long, sandy beach, but can get crowded.

 

  1. Shongweni Resource Reserve is open to the public and offers a variety of trails and bird watching. It features beautiful scenery and plenty of wildlife to see.

 

  1. The Kloof Conservancy is free and has a variety of trails and picnic areas. This venue is great for hiking and dog walking, and the scenery is stunning.

 

  1. The Durban Botanic Gardens is open to the public and has a variety of gardens and walking paths. It is great for picnics and dog walking, and the gardens are gorgeous.

 

  1. The Beachwood Mangroves Nature Reserve is free to the public and offers a variety of walking trails and bird watching. You can expect to see marvellous scenery and plenty of wildlife here.

 

  1. Umhlanga Lagoon Nature Reserve is also free to the public and offers a variety of walking trails and bird watching. The reserve features some lovely scenery and the chance to see some wildlife.

 

  1. Virginia Bush Nature Reserve offers a variety of walking trails and bird watching, with some great scenery and some wildlife to see.

 

 

8 walking tips

Samantha Walpole, behaviourist and administrator for the Facebook group Dog Walks in South Africa, shares the following tips.

  1. Warm up Before heading out on a long walk, start with a short warm-up to help your dog get ready for the exercise. This can include a few minutes of gentle play or a brief walk around the yard.
  2. Leash and collar Make sure your dog’s leash and collar are comfortable and properly fitted. Avoid using retractable leashes, as they can be dangerous and could lead to injury.
  3. Water and treats Always bring water and treats with you on walks, especially on longer walks or in hot weather. This will help keep your dog hydrated and energised.
  4. Walking etiquette Teach your dog to walk on a loose leash and to stay on one side of you. Always clean up after your dog and keep him away from other people and animals, unless they are clearly friendly.
  5. Pay attention Keep an eye on your dog’s body language and behaviour during the walk. If he seems tired or uncomfortable, take a break or shorten the walk.
  6. Variation Dogs love to explore new sights and smells, so try to vary your walking route to keep things interesting for them.
  7. Weather In extreme weather conditions, it may not be safe to take your dog for a walk. On hot days, walk in the early morning or evening when temperatures are cooler, and on cold days, make sure your dog is wearing a coat and protect his paws from the cold.
  8. Safety Always be aware of your surroundings and stay safe when walking with your dog. Keep your dog on a leash and avoid walking in areas with heavy traffic or dangerous wildlife.

 

Exploring is fun

We hope this has given you some great ideas for your next outdoor adventure with your dog. Remember to always check the rules and regulations of each venue before you go, and to be respectful of other walkers and their dogs.

When you’re out and about with your pooch, don’t forget to take some time to appreciate the little moments – the way the sun shines on his fur, the wagging of his tail as he catches a new scent, and the joy he brings to your life. Grab your dog’s leash and get ready to explore the great outdoors with him.

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