Zoo Lake Users Committee



Zoo Lake Users Committee pages (click below)

Birds of Zoo Lake             Restoration work (PDF)                     Celebration (5th June 2006)programme (PDF) Celebration (5 June 2006)
Arbour Week Tree Planting 2006 Arbour Week 2006 programme (PDF)    


Peaceful scene by the shores of the lake


The Zoo Lake Users Committee is a non-profit organisation which raises funds to assist the Johannesburg parks with the upkeep of Zoo Lake. The committee focuses on creating a safe ,pleasant crime and litter free leisure area for all those who value open spaces It should be a place where people representing all races ,cultures and creeds can be together in harmony with nature, as is fitting with the history of tolerance that has been at Zoo Lake since its inception in1904.


We aim to conserve Zoo Lake as a sustainable recreation facility for the people of Johannesburg and beyond


Since many of our citizens are unable to afford a holiday away, the existence


of parks such as Zoo Lake is vital  for the social well-being of the City.


Johannesburg City Parks has designated Zoo Lake as one of its 10 flagship parks.



Plenty of wide open space for the picnic


The Zoo Lake, widely recognised as Joburg’s most frequented public space with some 20.000 visitors each week, is turned 100 on the 7th of February 2006


Zoo Lake is part of the Herman Eckstein Park, a private forest previously known as the Sachsenwald given as a deed of gift to people of Johannesburg in 1904 with strict orders that it be used as a public park. Joburg Zoo and the South African Museum of Military History are also situated on the same property

 The land was named after the late Eckstein, a founder member of the Chamber of Mines and Rand Club. After his death, his partners offered the city Sachsenwald forest.


The founders of Zoo Lake broke the barriers when they proclaimed Zoo Lake and the Johannesburg Zoo opened to all races- something unheard of on South Africa at the time. An example of this was in 1958 when a penny whistle player and kwela exponent, Spokes Mashiyane played at Zoo Lake.


A public outcry ensued when a young white woman joined the happy throng and was seen gyrating to the music played by a black man.

In 1906, the city council decided to build a lake in the marshland, which immediately became a major attraction for the people of Johannesburg


“Many of the early Johannesburg residents were from Western Europe, where, toward the end of the 19th Century, people were debating the issue of public open space in the cities,” said Flo Bird, chairman of the Parktown Westcliff Heritage Trust.

“The consensus was that major public parks should not have restrictions imposed on them.”


Apart from the boating, Zoo Lake has a restaurant, moyo and bowls club, among other sporting facilities.

    Music concerts and other events are hosted there, the annual Jazz on the Lake one of the most popular.

Artists Under the Sun exhibits monthly at the park, and runners and dog walkers are a common sight.



Great for family gatherings in the open air



The committee comprises of the Chairman – Grahame Wright and Penelope Davidoff, coordinator.


Founder members were Helene Bramwell, Grahame Wright, Lynn Haken, Liz Patterson, the late Mike Woods, Michael Elliot, Mike Moriarty and Lucy Taylor.


Other members represent Joburg City Parks, Moyo, the restaurant, the Bowling Club, the Boat Club, Jan Celliers School, SAPS, JMPD, the Park Wardens, Artists under the Sun, SAPRA, Residents, anyone interested in Zoo lake,Run Walk for Life, Sports Clubs


The ZLUC office is situated on Zoo Lake grounds  also known as the Zoo Lake Information Centre on Prince of Wales. The Committee meets at the Johannesburg Parks Training Centre at Zoo Lake were they have their monthly meetings.

The Committee constantly alert City Parks with any problems that might occur at the Lake, whether they are maintenance or security.





Zoo Lake bowls club




·         …. Picnicking, Boating, Archery, Swimming pool, Sports Club, Bowling Club, Artists under the Sun, Jungle Gym for kids. The Tennis courts and Basket ball courts still to be refurbished, we are appealing to the public to help donate/sponsor in refurbishing the courts.


'Artists under the sun' craft market

ZLUC helps JHB City Parks celebrate all known public holidays and help by fundraising different events annually.

We still have a RAFFLE COMPETITION running and all proceeds go towards the up keep of ZOO LAKE GROUNDS.


ZLUC helps JHB City Parks celebrate all known public holidays and help by fundraising different events annually.

We still have a RAFFLE COMPETITION running and all proceeds go towards the up keep of ZOO LAKE GROUNDS.



1.       LION SANDS Private Game Reserve, Sabi Sand Reserve, Mpumalanga 92 night accommodation for 2 people sharing on a full board and game drive basis)

2.       Original Framed Painting of an African Fish Eagle by Frank Porritt (2009) – donated by Artists Under the Sun

3.       Westcliff Hotel -   Sunday Brunch for 4 people at Restaurant La Belle Terrasse

4.       Westcliff Hotel -   Afternoon Tea for 2 persons in the Conservatory

5.       Westcliff hotel -   Afternoon Tea for 2 persons in the Conservatory


Get your ticket today before the competition closes. The Draw will be on the 21st of February 2011.

Phone Penelope or Nomsa on 011 646 1976 / email zoolakeinfo@jhbcityparks.com


Moyo Restaurant



Zoo Lake is a regular host to big events such as jazz on the Lake and it is also a favourite picnic spot  - many schools and Sunday schools hold their sports days and picnics here.


The landscape would not be complete without the tradition of feeding the ducks.





We regularly attend meetings and network with the NGO’s of the different parks facilities of the City such as the Braamfontein Spruit Trust, Delta Park, The Wilds and Melville Koppies. We share information and newsletters with these very active and concerned groups.



Old pic of Zoo Lake (Click for larger version)



The Committee have organised many events in partnership with the Joburg City Parks, the community and business


Members of the community planting trees. Celebrities such as Adv.George Bizos, Judge Albie Sachs. Amina Cachalia and Tessa Ziegler have all planted trees as have children from different schools and the residents of a the nearby Park Manor townhouse complex

In 2002 the world famous environmmentalist Jane Goodall planted a tree and opened the Parktown River Spruit Trail by throwing a sludge dumpling in the upper Lakes


World Environment Day has been celebrated in a number of ways such as an Essay competition about the Environment, a drumming morning with 600 children playing drums and a song competition about the Environment


Another annual event is the ever popular and traditional Carols by Candlelight. The Event was started in 1949 and after a break of a few years the committee has reinstituted the event.



Joburg Water were also the sponsors of an anti pollution educational project. This project was organised to fight pollution in the Lake. Children from many different schools, including the disabled made sludge dumplings with various ingredients, which were thrown into the water and slowly, released the microorganisms that cleaned the water. It is hoped to continue with this project on a larger scale.







The Committee raised R500.000 to renovate the Coronation Fountain in the centre of the Lake. The fountain was built in 1937 to commemorate the Coronation of King George VI


 Another project was building a retaining wall next to the path on the perimeter of the Lake. Previously mud used to flow over onto the path endangering the walkers. Corobrik kindly donated 10.000 bricks for the project and an attractive mosaic plaque has been affixed to the wall to commemorate the completion of the wall


Smaller projects such as paying for dustbins etc are regularly carried out.  


Flowering of Johannesburg  outreach programme Is a programme which was initiated by the Users Committee and works in partnership with Party Design, tspr and Ass, Joburg Water and City parks.


Plants and trees are brought to the Training Centre by members of the public and the team then takes them to a community where there are child headed households. They are then planted the slips etc with them. Joburg Water supplies the compost and The Training Centre cares for the plants in between the plantings.





We would like to thank all the private individuals and companies for supporting us over the past 6 years and sharing our passion for this unique facility

Aida Parks and Caxtons have consistently supported us as have all the media.


Hazel Macmillan donated a beautiful statue of doves entitled 'Peace'and the Garden Shop supplied Peace roses for a garden alongside. The statue has been a tremendous asset to the Park







Click image for full size version


Click on image for larger version



The Zoo Lake Users Committee celebrated their centenary in 2006. They organised  concert with Tessa Ziegler as the soloist, completed the rehabilitation of the island in the middle of the Lake and during Arbor week planted one hundred trees. Advocate George Bizos planting the first tree.

World Environment Day was celebrated with a poster competition. Local schools - Japari and Jan Cilliers created wonderful posters depicting ideas on how to handle and combat litter. The children had many creative ideas and entered the competition with great gusto

 We continue to have monthly book sales and donations of books are always welcome


Wish List

Now that we have begun functioning at the Info Centre we also have a wish list - a heater, a kettle, a flipchart stand, a pinboard, a small bar fridge and a Gauteng map book. None need be new!


Most  of all we need volunteers on week ends and public holidays. We would like to  draw up a roster so that a person does one afternoon  every 5 or 6 weeks.


MOYO  011 646 0058
BOAT HIRE 011 646 5083 
THE BOWLING CLUB  011 846 8734    646 1131
THE PARK WARDENS   011 470 3642
SAP PARKVIEW   011 486 5000
  JMPD 011 072 348 3318

 Zoo Lake Users Committee

Rainbow information and Chubb security  centre

Telephone 011 646 1976 (Nomsa Ndlovu)

For fax ask to be put through

e-mail zoolakeinfo@jhbcityparks.com


FHC web developments. Contact tim@footprint.co.za