There’s nothing quite like getting out there to enjoy nature- and taking Fido and Rex with you. It’s well known that a dog can motivate you to get fitter, help make ‘exercise’ fun, and lighten your mood after a hard day, so Ou Kaapse Vet are encouraging you and your furry buddy to get out there and enjoy these amazing parks and trails around the Southern Suburbs
De Waal Park, Oranjezicht
Nestling right by the mountain, on the periphery of the City Bowl, this park is open to the community and allows off-the-leash walking for dogs. It’s the perfect place to socialise and exercise for doggies of all sizes, and the scenery is breathtaking. There’s an old Victorian fountain for some water play, but be sure to bring some potable water too for the heatwave. Large trees keep the area shaded, and there’s a jogging track too. It might not be the best spot for a nervy dog, though.
Where: Cnr Camp and Orange street, Oranjezicht, Cape Town
When: The park is open From 06:00 to 20:00, and a little less in winter, but you’ll meet the most dogs in the late afternoon and early evening
The district park for Wynberg itself, the spring of the Krakeelwater River also erupts above ground here. Plenty of green grass and a conifer garden offer variety, there’s place to play with the kids, and even a duck pond [make sure to keep Rover on their best behaviour]. Do be aware the park is often used as a concert venue in summer, and that all pooches need to be on a leash.
Where: Corner Klaassens & Trovato Link Roads, Wynberg
When: Daily from 08:00 – 18:00
Lush greenery and secluded picnic spots are the name of the game at Newlands. This popular family spot does require you to have a Level 1 My Activity Permit. These can be purchased for around R270 at the Tokai Plantation Office or certain Cape Town Tourism branches, and will be valid for a year. This is the perfect blend of walk and hike for active dogs and will delight your heart with the beautiful views too. It’s also super shady, so much so that you may need a light wrap for warmth. Doggies will need to stay on-lead at the top of the trail but can be loose after that.
Where: M3 Newlands Forest, Newlands, Cape Town
When: The park is open most of the year round for picnics and hikers
Alphen Trail in Constantia is in the Alphen Greenbelt and provides a perfect splash of colour in you and your dog’s day. It’s a rolling scenery of grassy meadows and peaceful river banks that will suit any dog. Dogs can go off-lead, and you need no permit or entrance fee. Because it’s popular and the trail gets a little narrow, take nervous or reactive dogs at quiet times.
Where: Alphen Drive off the M3, Constantia
When: When you want
Liesbeek River Trail
Starting at Kirstenbosch and winding along the banks of the Liesbeek River, surprises include a secluded secret garden despite being surrounded by suburbia. Enjoy all the benefits of the Green Corridor with your pooch.
Where: Join the trail near the PPC cricket stadium or at the Kirstenbosch end
When: Whenever you like
No matter where you roam with your pooch, what’s important is that you get out there. Opt for mornings or evening when it’s hot, so that you and your buddy don’t risk heatstroke, and don’t be afraid to take some water along with you. Start off slow and simple [especially in the summer] with a quick walk down the road, or even just to the curb. As your dog gets stronger, you can venture further afield, and then the world [and these fantastic dog-friendly parks in the Southern Suburbs] is yours to conquer. And remember, if you need any help with a special needs dog, have concerns, or just want some help with a plan of action, then Ou Kaapse Vet and our friendly team are here to assist.