Take a break from the hustle and the bustle of Johannesburg and enjoy the tranquility of the countryside on your doorstep. Gillooly’s Farm is just what you need after a hectic week in the concrete jungle.
The owner, James Gillooly, sold the farm to the city council in 1944 and it was named after him. Situated in the east of Johannesburg in Bedfordview, it is a 44ha piece of land that is famous for its walking trails, birds, recreational areas and wonderful restaurant.
With more than 50 bird species at the farm like White-breasted Cormorant, Reed Cormorant, African Darter, Grey Heron, Cattle Egret, White Stork, Egyptian Goose, Yellow-billed Duck, House Sparrow and Cape Wagtail, Gillooly’s is a must-see for bird lovers and aspiring bird watchers.
Apart from the birds, the farm also has a large man-made lake, which is home to a number of fish species like the Common Carp, Blue Kurper and Sharptooth Catfish (Barbel).
On a sunny South African day, families can enjoy a braai at the farm, which can be arranged by the staff. For those who are into cheese, crackers and champagne, there are a number of picnic spots around the dam where families can relax and watch the birds, while the kids play.
With something for every member of the family, why don’t you take a day off from city life and go for walks on the farm and reconnect with nature, while bonding with your loved ones.
Places of interest
Rietvlei Nature Reserve is located 22km from Gillooly’s Farm and is home to approximately 2000 animals including cheetah, leopard, buffalo, white rhino and buck.
Eastgate Shopping Centre is located less than 3 minutes’ drive from Gillooly’s Farm and offers a 250 retail stores and restaurants making it an ideal stop for a spot of shopping or dining out after visiting the farm.
Rondebult Bird Sanctuary is situated in Germiston, approximately 25km from Gillolly’s Farm, and is a haven for over 190 species of birds.
Gillooly’s Farm is also close to main transport routes and is less than 15km from OR Tambo International Airport.
Those seeking accommodation can book at St Andrew’s Hotel and Spa, which overlooks Gillooly’s Farm is a mere 1.3kms from the entrance of the farm.
Gillooly’s Farm is open every day except Sunday and entrance is free.