Experience Durban’s finest gardens this spring

Private Property South Africa
Taryn Isaac

Shake off the winter blues and lift your spirits in a fresh spring garden. We’ve selected a few of Durban’s most popular spots that are best enjoyed in spring.

There is no better time to spend your days in the sun than during the months of spring.

Durban has an impressive list of parks, gardens and nature reserves that offer the best ways to experience a season of new beginnings. Here’s a few of our favourites:

Amphitheatre Gardens:

Amphitheatre Gardens is a lovely park situated in North Beach, the heart of Durban’s bustling Golden Mile.

This peaceful sanctuary is sandwiched between one of the city’s busiest roads and some of Durban’s largest hotels.

Visitors to the Amphitheatre Gardens can slip away from the bustling city and enjoy the calm of the surrounding pond, fountains, and colourful sub-tropical plants.

The park is mostly vacant during the week, but comes alive with an art market on occasional Sundays.

Just across the road from the Gardens, a large flea market is also held once every month where you can find everything from African souvenirs to a curried pineapple on a stick.

Amphitheatre Gardens areaAmphitheatre Gardens

Durban Botanic Gardens:

Durban’s Botanic Gardens is said to be the city’s oldest public institution and Africa’s oldest surviving botanic gardens. The Gardens consists of sub-tropical, indigenous and exotic plant collections that dominate the landscape.

In addition, the Gardens is also responsible for the conservation of a large number of significant and threatened plant collections.

The Botanic Gardens is an attractive sight worth visiting and boasts majestic palm trees, beautifully laid out parks, herb gardens, an orchid house and the palm walk.

Visitors have the chance to catch a glimpse of a large variety of bird species that frequent the area.

It is an ideal place to relax, have a picnic and marvel over nature’s finest, before heading to the tea garden where a range of food can be enjoyed.

The Botanic Gardens pathway areaBotanic Gardens

Mitchell Park:

This lovely garden, in the heart of Morningside is one of the most popular urban parks in Durban, with large shady lawns for picnicking. Mitchell Park is loved for its colourful and artistic display of flowers, shrubs and trees.

The park also has a small zoo which is home to a number of indigenous and exotic animals, including crocodiles, buck, raccoons, and tortoises. There is also a walk-through aviary.

Surrounding the zoo are lush, green gardens and a kids’ playground, making it the ideal place for a family gathering, a game of sport or simply curling up under a shady tree with a good book.

Mitchell Park garden pathwayMitchell Park

Umgeni River Bird Park:

In Durban North, situated on the banks of the Umgeni River, is the Umgeni Bird Park, which offers walk-through aviaries of colourful birds from around the world.

The park is not officially a garden, but this gem is a popular attraction to locals and shows off a few beautiful waterfalls and rock features. The Umgeni River Bird Park’s main attraction is a free-flight show where visitors get to watch birds glide past in full and unrestricted flight.

There’s also baby bird feedings that can be watched hourly throughout the day.

The Cockatoo Café is a beautiful little tea garden situated within the Umgeni River Bird Park. Here, visitors can indulge in a sumptuous breakfast or light lunch while enjoying the peace and tranquillity that surrounds the cafe.

A few of the birds that can be spotted at the Umgeni River Bird ParkUmgeni River Bird Park

Japanese Gardens:

The Japanese Gardens is a popular weekend destination for family picnics on beautifully maintained lawns, where gas braais are permitted and a playground is provided for children’s enjoyment.

The gardens stylishly clipped hedges mimic sloping Japanese hills, with arching bridges over gentle streams and various gazebo-like structures which are built in the style of traditional Japanese temples.

The garden also has traditional ponds with Japanese Khoi and a variety of water lilies that delicately float above to give a holistic overview of a wonderful Oriental landscape.

The Japanese Gardens is the ideal setting for a relaxing day out and is a fun, yet quiet environment, that is worth exploring.

Japanese Gardens scenic view of the pondJapanese Gardens

Jameson Park and Rose Garden:

Formerly a fruit plantation, Jameson Park was subsequently transformed into an oasis of stunning roses.

The enchanted rose garden is situated in the well-established suburb of Morningside and boasts around 600 rose bushes.

Although Jameson Park is open throughout the year, it is best experienced when the roses are in bloom between September and November.

The park is an ideal spot to bring your dogs along for a walk and enjoy a family picnic in the sun. It also makes for an ideal wedding location makes or as a lovely backdrop for a photoshoot.

Jameson Park and Rose Garden in bloomJameson Park and Rose Garden

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Explore neighbourhoods mentioned in this article

Durban North
Small sophisticated suburb
Durban North is an established small suburb where the people are friendly, and the surroundings are beautiful. It is a family-oriented area with many activities available. Situated between Durban central and Umhlanga, all amenities and schools are located only minutes away. The area boasts spectacular sea and city views. Although it is centrally and conveniently located, living in Durban North feels very much like living in a small town.