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Zoo Lake - Johannesburg

zoo lake johannesburgZoo Lake is a municipal park in Johannesberg's northern suburbs on the corner of Jan Smuts Avenue and West World Street, virtually across from the Johannesburg Zoo.

Zoo Lake is 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.

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.


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