Things To Do in KensingtonBezuidenhout Park
Where? Observatory Avenue, Dewetshof (near Kensington and Edenvale), Johannesburg
When? Open daily.
How much? Free
Johannesburg is the commercial and financial epicentre of South Africa, and the starting point for millions of tourists. However, it also boasts a number of natural areas that are peaceful retreats from the excitement and activity of the city centre. Bezuidenhout Park is just one of these.
This park is situated just below Observatory Ridge, which is the highest level in the city. From here, the best of the countryside can be seen, while visitors are immersed in the peace and quiet around them. Bezuidenhout Park is neighboured by Bruma Lake and the ever-popular Bruma Flea Market. On the other side is the Eastgate Shopping Mall, which continues to be a shopper’s delight, offering so much to see and do.
Bezuidenhout Park was once home to the family of the same name, who were some of the first settlers in this country. As such, it is a South African Heritage Site. At the time that the Bezuidenhout family lived here, it was called Doornfontein Farm. The farmhouse was used by British soldiers during the South African War, and a sandstone monument was built here in 1902 to honour those who had died in this war. Visitors to Bezuidenhout Park are still able to visit the monument and the original farmhouse. Doing so is a deeply touching experience.
The Siyakhana Permaculture Food Garden is situated in Bezuidenhout Park and represents agro-ecology in the city. Here, an enormous variety of food and herbs are grown for the disadvantaged and economically challenged. In addition, these gardens have turned unsightly areas of land into verdant oases.
The park is picturesque, offering lovely backdrops for photographs and celebrations. As such, it continues to be favoured by bridal couples that want to immortalise their special day against the natural beauty of South Africa. The lapa here provides an excellent venue for wedding receptions and other events.