About Zoo Lake

Set on the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and West World Street in Johannesburg, virtually across from the Johannesburg Zoo, popular Zoo Lake always seens to be a hive of activity - dog walkers, joggers, skateboarders and kids.

Did you know? One of the most popular annual events in joburg is held at Zoo Lake. 'Jazz on the Lake', held in early September, is a celebration of the end of the winter cold and a welcome to the warmer days promised by the start of spring, celebrated by song and dance.

Zoo Lake is a large park situated around a manmade lake that makes for perfect weekend ambles, only 15 minutes from the centre of Johannesburg.

Zoo Lake is one of Johannesburg’s most popular outdoor spaces and certainly one of the safest, particularly over weekends. It takes roughly one to two hours to walk around the lake, depending on the route you take. Followed by a row on the lake or a lazy meal at the local restaurant and you can easily make a morning of it. On the first weekend of the month there is the ‘artists under the sun’ art market, which draws the crowds.

Probably the most interesting aspect about Zoo Lake is found in its history. The founders of Johannesburg made a gift of the Zoo and Zoo Lake to the city under the condition that they were to remain open to people of all races. This was as far back as 1904 when, despite the fact that this was before apartheid, blacks and whites in South Africa were living separate lives.

Originally part of the Sachsenwald plantation, thick with trees, Zoo Lake has been used for picnics, riding, hunting and a place to house wild animals since it began its life as a park. The manmade lake was first investigated as a possibility in 1906 and today the large island in its centre is a breeding ground for a number of birds.

Need to Know

WhereCorner of Jan Smuts Avenue and West World Street, Parkview, Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa

WhenBest during daylight hours

OvernightStay in Parkview Accommodation, Gauteng


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