Where to see the cosmos flowers in Johannesburg

03 Apr 2024
A sure sign that the cosmos is going to bloom in Joburg is the muttered utterances of, "Sjoe, it's cold hey?" that the first winter chill in the air brings about. The blooming seems to be a little late this year, so we reckon you should give it a week or two before viewing in mid-April. This flowering of white, pink, and lilac is an undoubted highlight of Johannesburg, and there are a few places where you can discover seas of pink and white to walk through.

The pops of colour in the veld are now an essential autumn feature in Johannesburg but this wasn't always the case. It was during the Anglo-Boer War when cosmos was accidentally introduced to the soils of South Africa. The seeds arrived through contaminated horse feed from Argentina, say the experts. As parties of people, wagons, oxen, and horses flattened the earth, the seeds took root with cosmos fields erupting as Johannesburg expanded.

The most well-known of these fields is Delta Park in Craighall Park where the blooms give dog walkers', runners', and cyclists' routes new life. As to why the cosmos took root so strongly in Delta Park is unclear, though its use as a cattle farm in the 1900s is the most likely explanation. But enough history. This is a guide on where to see the flowers in bloom, so without further ado...
Delta Park gets that much more beautiful with its autumn blooms. Photo by 2Summers, who has catalogued the cosmos seasons beautifully on her popular blog. 

Delta Park

One of Joburg's most well-utilised parks, Delta Park has become a favourite amongst cyclists, families, dog walkers, and runners for its network of trails, picnic spaces, and jungle gyms. It is also the place closest to the city where you can marvel at the turn of the season with fields of cosmos taller than you. To find the most extensive field, enter the park through the main entrance (at the bottom of Road No 3, Victory Park). From there, take an immediate left and follow the fence line up the hill. After a short walk, hundreds of delicate flowers will greet you on your right.

Make sure to bring shoes that you are okay with getting dirty, as the ground does get muddy in parts, with these parts sometimes being unavoidable. If you want to spend a day relishing the flowers, bring along a picnic and have your camera ready. We recommend going early in the morning or late in the afternoon for the best light to make the most of it. Depending on which you choose, stop by Delta Cafè for a coffee or beer. Or start your route from Delta Central, there are plenty of food and drink options to get your walk going or to finish it off. From Delta Central walk along the spruit and take a right when you reach the Blairgowrie Scouts Hall. Continue past the jungle gyms and up the hill, and you should be greeted by some perky cosmos.

For more tips on seeing the cosmos in Delta Park, we enjoyed reading the experiences shared by Minkys and 2Summers on their respective blogs.
Cradle of Humankind dons pink and white flowers in April. Photo: Cradle of Humankind.

Cradle of Humankind

The rolling hills surrounding Cradle of Humankind make it a magnificent place to visit. Add some cosmos, and it will take your breath away. Maropeng is a good option if you're looking for a day visit as it offers great views over the rocky grasslands. For a weekend away to explore the area to find the biggest fields, see our guide on where to stay in the Cradle.


Cosmos have a reputation for growing in abundance next to the side of the road, so one of the best ways to spot the blooms is to take a bit of a drive out. Just beyond Cradle of Humankind, the Magaliesburg region has been known to show off beautiful fields filled with delicate blooms. A lovely stop for lunch is De Hoek Country Hotel. Book in advance and stop for High Tea, opt for a lazy picnic, or sit down at the Bridge Bistro or Conservatory Restaurant. 
Cosmos aplenty in Lanseria.Photo: Supplied.


Ok, so we are taking you a bit out of Joburg again, but it's the only way you can find cosmos fields that give Delta Park a run for its money, and sometimes outdo it. While there aren't many designated areas where the cosmos bloom, there are a few fields in the Lanseria area that are pretty easy to spot once you're driving through. We've picked some highlights to make the search more enjoyable. Stop at The Forum Kitchen at L'antico Giardino for uncomplicated yet serene outdoor breakfasts and lunches, or try out the seasonal menus at Culinary Table. If you want to treat someone to a luxury weekend away, look no further than Toadbury Hall Country Hotel. If your search is proving difficult, your best bet is likely The Fat Olive restaurant, where cosmos take over the hills surrounding it each year.
Blooming cosmos at Shed and Silo in Benoni. Photo: Shed and Silo via Instagram.

Shed and Silo Café

Finding cosmos becomes trickier when you're not driving past vast swathes of open land, but if you head out to the East Rand we found the most delightful spot in Benoni. Shed and Silo is tucked between plots in the surrounding neighbourhood of Brentwood Park. A country restaurant and café, it's well worth the drive as you can settle in for a good breakfast or lunch, have a drink, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere (which lingers even when it gets busy). We recommend grabbing a seat in the glass house with views over the fields rolling in from the foot of the property. Then take a stroll after your meal to enjoy the blooming cosmos and visit the bakery, little art gallery, and array of small shops.

When is the best time to see the cosmos?

The cosmos generally start to pop up towards the end of February but only hit their peak in late March and early April (this year they seem to be sluggish, though). By the end of April, they have already started to dwindle, so don't dawdle, as they only stick around for a short time.


Unfortunately, walkers may be targeted by criminals, so safety considerations need to extend beyond basics such as ensuring you have adequate water and sun protection when setting out. The idea is not to deter those exploring Joburg's parks and green belts; it’s simply important to be aware, remain vigilant, and take precautions. Here are some things to consider.

Do not walk alone

As with any exploring, you are better off doing so in a group. Group walks not only offer safety in numbers but it’s also useful to have someone to turn to should an emergency arise.

Share information

When planning an excursion, share information about where you are going as well as when you plan on being back with someone you can trust to check in on you should the need arise. Let them know who they can contact in case of an emergency and share up-to-date locations as and when you’re able to.

Plan in advance

Make sure you familiarise yourself with the area you plan to visit and potential obstacles before setting out. Ensure you have the equipment you may need along the way and share emergency contact details with all the members in your party.

Find out more

When in doubt, contact the office or organisation that oversees the park or nature reserve you want to explore to ask about specific risks, tips, and safety precautions.

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