The Star Early Edition - - LIFESTYLE -

OUR COUN­TRY is well known for its sun­shine. Joburg, in par­tic­u­lar, of­fers one of the best cli­mates as the sum­mer days are warm, the win­ter days crisp and clear.

Well, win­ter is upon us and the tem­per­a­ture as dropped, but that shouldn’t keep you from en­joy­ing the out­doors in the city of Joburg.

Jenny Mood­ley, spokesper­son of Jo­han­nes­burg City Parks and Zoo, says: “We re­cently launched a new cam­paign called ‘wel­come out­side’. The aim is to in­vite Joburg’s res­i­dents into green, open spa­ces. These ar­eas have been de­vel­oped and main­tained for ev­ery­one’s en­joy­ment.”

The win­ter weather may make even the most “out­doorsy” peo­ple want to stay in­doors. So, to en­cour­age you to en­joy the out­doors dur­ing the cold win­ter months, we’ve put to­gether the fol­low­ing tips:

Do your ex­er­cise out­side. Whether it’s a walk or a jog, as long as you wear lay­ers of cloth­ing and pro­tect your skin, you can def­i­nitely ex­er­cise out­side. Look­ing for a great lo­ca­tion? Visit the James and Ethel Gray Park on Atholl Oak­lands Road. This park is home to an as­sort­ment of feath­ered res­i­dents. The Sand­spruit River flows through its 36 hectares, cre­at­ing an at­trac­tive, tran­quil at­mos­phere. Al­ter­na­tively, visit Golden Har­vest park. Lo­cated on First Av­enue in North­gate, this park is im­mac­u­late and fea­tures rolling walks around a dam and in­dige­nous bushveld.

Watch wildlife. You may have heard it be­fore, but there is no bet­ter time to en­joy an­i­mal life than in win­ter. The bushes thin out and lose colour, im­prov­ing vis­i­bil­ity con­sid­er­ably. Visit the Ri­et­fontein Na­ture Re­serve with your part­ner or fam­ily. The home of the Free Me wildlife re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­tre, it boasts a cir­cu­lar walk­ing trail that is well main­tained and is the per­fect spot to sight a myr­iad birds. If you’re based in Rood­e­poort then Kloofendal, a cul­tural her­itage and eco-tourism fa­cil­ity, is one of the first na­ture re­serves in Joburg and of­fers a great es­cape from city life. The re­serve has remains of early gold min­ing ac­tiv­i­ties and is recog­nised as the first gold mine in Joburg.

Bird watch­ing. South Africa pro­vides an ex­quis­ite habi­tat for a va­ri­ety of colour­ful birds. Spec­tac­u­lar bird watch­ing can be ex­pe­ri­enced al­most any­where in the coun­try. One lo­ca­tion that’s great bird watch­ing is Cum­ber­land Bird Sanc­tu­ary. The sanc­tu­ary boasts in­cred­i­ble bird life, over 80 species, and there is also a picnic spot with ta­bles and benches. Some­thing for cu­ri­ous kids. Chil­dren are nat­u­rally cu­ri­ous and cre­ative. By en­cour­ag­ing more out­door play you will en­cour­age more phys­i­cal ac­tiv­ity.

Delta Park is the home of the delta en­vi­ron­men­tal cen­tre, where a wide range of fas­ci­nat­ing wildlife re­lated cour­ses are of­fered to adults and chil­dren. This in­cludes hol­i­day pro­grammes for chil­dren be­tween the ages of six and 13. The cour­ses are fa­cil­i­tated by pro­fes­sional staff. Take the kids to Hyundai Sky Park. This park is great for kids be­cause it is well equipped with an in­ter­ac­tive chil­dren’s play area, but if you want them to kick a ball or run around, take them to In­nes­free Park. Lo­cated in busy Sand­ton, the park boasts two tran­quil dams and plenty of open space for pic­nics.

Take a bi­cy­cle ride. Take fam­ily or friends out on a bi­cy­cle ride around Zoo Lake. Zoo Lake is a favourite for many Joburg res­i­dents. It is a pop­u­lar spot for walk­ing your dog and en­joy­ing a meal at one of the res­tau­rants or pub. Get in touch with na­ture.

De­spite a busy life, slow down and take the time to en­joy and ap­pre­ci­ate the out­doors this win­ter. Visit Sand­ton Cen­tral Park. The park boasts a grassed am­phithe­atre, sculp­tured gar­den beds and a mag­nif­i­cent gar­den.

Visit Joburg Zoo. The zoo is one of the most pop­u­lar lo­cal at­trac­tions in Joburg, with an­i­mals from around the world that in­clude those from the Ama­zon basin, the Big Five, white li­ons and an aquar­ium.

For more in­for­ma­tion and sug­ges­tions on other lo­ca­tions in Joburg, visit: www.jh­bc­i­ty­parks.com

Jo­han­nes­burg City Parks and Zoo de­vel­ops and main­tains the city’s parks, ceme­ter­ies, na­ture re­serves, Jo­han­nes­burg botan­i­cal gar­dens and Jo­han­nes­burg Zoo.

Fol­low us on Twit­ter and Face­book and share your out­door win­ter pic­tures. Use the hash­tag #wel­come­out­side web­site: www.jh­bc­i­ty­parks.com reg­is­ter com­plaints on 011 375 5555

COOL FUN: Cy­cling, jog­ging are just two of the many out­door ac­tiv­i­ties res­i­dents can par­tic­i­pate in this win­ter.

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