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EEmmarentia Dam in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs is not only a beautiful sight in the heart of the city but it also offers an excellent retreat from the urban jungle that surrounds it. Whether you are a water sports enthusiast, fishing fanatic or simply looking for some peace and tranquillity, Emmarentia Dam is worth a visit.

A large variety of plant and animal life inhabits the area around the dam that borders the impressive Johannesburg Botanical Garden. Emmarentia Dam and the surrounding botanical garden provide a beautiful green space and recreational area for Joburgers and visitors alike. A popular weekend picnicking site, the park is also one of the best places to visit in Johannesburg to simply walk your dog, jog or ride a bike.

Emmarentia Dam is situated less than 6km from the Johannesburg city centre, and just a few minutes from Sandton, and this makes it the ideal location if you are looking to experience the greener side of the city.

Did You Know?
LLouw Geldenhuys, the creator of Emmarentia Dam, named the dam after his wife.

TThe suburb of Greenside is aptly named and boasts an abundance of outdoor splendour found near the dam. The Johannesburg Botanical Garden, right next to the dam, is home to approximately 30 000 trees, more than 4500 rose bushes and a stunning herb garden.

Emmarentia Dam, Johannesburg

AAs mentioned, the dam is ideal for water sport lovers too. Members of the Dabulamanzi Canoe Club train on this stretch of water throughout the year, and most of them are extremely friendly and will happily give you advice on canoeing as well as other outdoor spots to visit in the city.

Fish that can be caught in Emmarentia Dam include bass, barbel and carp. A freshwater fishing license is required, which you can obtain from the South African Post Office (SAPO).

Birdlife at Emmarentia Dam includes bishops, weavers, moorhens and geese, as well as many other species of water birds. This is a popular dog-walking spot and a great place to meet other canine lovers.

PPhotographers, in particular, will enjoy Emmarentia during the autumn months (April and May) when the leaves on the trees start to change into magical colours of gold, red and orange. There are often very vivid thunderstorms in the summer months (November to March), during which spectacular photographs of lightning above the water can be taken.

The small cafe near the main entrance on Olifants Road serves light meals and refreshments. Home-packed picnic baskets are also more than welcome within the park. There is an abundance of entertainment options down the road from Emmarentia Dam, in the form of the restaurants and bars on Gleneagles Road, which remain festive until the early hours of the morning. So why not take a late afternoon stroll around the dam before heading off for something delicious to eat with a friend.

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