Pretoria at a glance
Arcadia is a suburb in Pretoria known for its historical buildings, embassies and hotels. The Union Buildings as well as the President's residence are also situated here.
Interestingly, Andries Francois du Toit was the original owner of the land on which the Union Buildings were built. In addition, he was Pretoria’s first magistrate and was responsible for the layout of the city. During this period he sold his land, called Arcadia, to Stephanus Jacobus Meintjies after whom the hill in Arcadia is named. The Union Buildings form the official seat of the South African government and also house the offices of the President of South Africa. These grand buildings sit on Meintjies Kop and overlook Pretoria.
Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world, after Washington, D.C., most of which are located in or near Arcadia. The main road is Park Street on which the US Embassy compound can be found. Other attractions situated on Park Street is the spectacular Pretoria Art Museum in its Mid-Century Modernist building, The Gerard Moerdyk Restaurant which serves traditional colonial African meals in a house built in 1920 by this famous architect, as well as Loftus Versfeld Stadium where local and international rugby as well as soccer matches are played and can be seen.
The Pretoria east suburb of Lynnwood is one of several tranquil leafy suburbs to lie within the arc of the N1 as it swings past Pretoria. Lynnwood is situated just beyond Hatfield in line with Brooklyn and Waterkloof in a series of old-fashioned neighbourhoods.
The upmarket suburb of Lynnwood is typically tree-lined, its pavements home to large and graceful homes, peaceful gardens and wide streets. Staying in Lynnwood is ideal for access to the University of Pretoria, UNISA, CSIR and its convention centre, Menlyn shopping centre and the malls of Brooklyn and Hatfield. It has a wide array of restaurants and coffee shops from which to choose, and getting around Pretoria from here is fairly easy. Travelling into the centre of Pretoria to visit the number of museums, monuments and old buildings is easy and an entire morning can effortlessly pass in this way. Stop for tea at Melrose House just across from Burger’s Park.
Lynnwood Ridge, Pretoria
Lynnwood Ridge lies just north of Lynnwood Road in the sought-after eastern suburbs of Pretoria – a pretty, leafy suburb with large properties, swimming pools, big gardens and well established shopping malls. Both the N1 and the N4 are easily accessible, and the green belt to the west of the suburb, that flows from the northeast in a southeasterly direction, is a slight ridge from where the suburb probably gets its name.
A couple of extensions of Lynnwood Ridge lie on the southern side of Lynnwood Road on the periphery of the Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, making the neighbourhood a particularly green one, in terms of bird life and flora. And the nature reserve is a welcome respite, offering 128 hectares in the middle of the suburbs with three hiking trails and a birdlife so prolific that it is on the Gauteng Birding Route.
Lynnwood Ridge is also within close proximity of the National Botanical Gardens, whilst getting into the centre of Pretoria is but a trip in along Lynnwood Road. Attractions in the city centre include Church Square, the Transvaal Museum (visit the dinosaur skeleton outside if you do nothing else!), the South African Reserve Bank, Paul Kruger Museum (where the gardens are very pretty), the Pretoria Zoo and many more.
The lovely, sedate neighbourhood of Hatfield has become known as the embassy suburb because of the inclination of embassies to move into the large homes that grace the area, which does, in turn, give one an indication of their size. Hatfield lies in the heart of Pretoria, just outside the city centre between Arcadia and Lynnwood.
Hatfield is close to the University and to Loftus Versfeld stadium, which underwent a multi-million rand facelift to prepare it for the 2010 FIFA World Cup. Hatfield has its own burgeoning business area, and the Hatfield Plaza with its shops and entertainment, as well as a number of restaurants, are all located in the suburb. The centre of Pretoria is only about 5 kilometres from Hatfield and provides a good day’s outing if you take in the monuments, museums, old buildings and green spaces.
Stop for tea at the Stables at Melrose House, just across from Burger’s Park. The park may no longer constantly be the site of midday picnics, but morning or afternoon tea is still high on the agenda, and guided tours through the house a must.
Waterkloof is a suburb of the city of Pretoria, South Africa. Waterkloof is named after the original farm that stood there when Pretoria was founded in the 19th Century. Meaning “Water Rivine”, Waterkloof is a leafy, established area that is home to some of the city's most expensive real estate.
Like large parts of Pretoria, Waterkloof's streets are lined with many spectacular jacaranda trees that blossom in vibrant purple hues which illuminate the entire suburb during October
Today it is a highly sought-after and upmarket area, boasting some magnificent hilltop homesteads on Edward and Victoria Streets which boast rather impressive views of the South African capital, including the renowned Union Buildings. The suburb bears the imprint of the British Empire as many of its streets are named after British royalty.
Here, one can enjoy an idyllic round of golf at the Pretoria Country Club. It is a spectacular 18-hole golf course with fantastic amenities and sure to promise an awesome golfing experience.
Entertainment facilities, world-class restaurants, magnificent attractions and beauty as well as a range of activities make Waterkloof a must to experience and visit.
Waterkloof Ridge, Pretoria
Just on the other side of Monumentpark from Waterkloof, Waterkloof Ridge, with easy access to Pretoria and Centurion, is one of Pretoria’s more established eastern suburbs, a pretty part of the city with wide, Jacaranda-lined streets and a mix of architecture that ranges from older Victorian-style homes to the more recent Tuscan renditions that have proved so popular. Waterkloof Ridge is a somewhat newer extension of Waterkloof that, together with other areas into which the original suburb has spread, like Waterkloof Park and Waterkloof Heights, are collectively known as ‘the Waterkloofs’.
This group joins the ranks of Brooklyn, Monument Park and Lynwood in what is regarded in Pretoria as the ‘old east’, home to a collection of older, larger estates that are particularly fashionable for diplomats - Canopus Street boasts no fewer than 17 embassies - and what is described in property circles as ‘discerning buyers’.
Waterkloof Ridge, despite being rather strategically sandwiched between two major highways that make getting into Johannesburg or Pretoria relatively painless, is a tranquil garden suburb that offers a peaceful time of it for those here on business. The beauty of being on a ridge is the incredible hilltop homesteads offering some pretty awesome views that include the Union Buildings and the valley in which the central part of the city lies.
Silver Lakes, Pretoria
Lying to the east of Tshwane / Pretoria's centre, Silver Lakes is a residential and golfing estate aimed at upmarket clientèle for whom a golf course on a series of lakes is the ultimate investment.
The main draw card here is the championship golf course designed by Peter Matkovich, who loves water design features, such as the ones incorporated in Silver Lakes, such that his courses have become characterised by them. Water plays a role on 10 out of the 18 holes and proves challenging to some.
The views from here across Pretoria are beautiful and marred by very little, now that bushveld, the natural vegetation of the region, has been restored and wildlife has been encouraged to return. Birdlife is particularly pretty and even rare bird species like the African spoonbills; purple gallinules and the fish eagle share this space with people. In the grasslands grass owls, larks and whydahs widows make Silver Lakes their home. It’s not far from the N4 with beautiful views of the Bronberge, Silver Lakes is a lovely place to stay. More importantly, it is only 20 kilometres away from the city centre and reaching Johannesburg is an easy commute.
Brooklyn is a suburb of the city of Pretoria, South Africa. Brooklyn is a well-established, sought-after area, lying to the east of the city centre. It borders the University of Pretoria to its north and the suburbs of Groenkloof and Waterkloof to its south. Brooklyn is also the site of the well-known Pretoria Boys High School.
Brooklyn encompasses high-end residential properties as well as several upmarket mall developments. One of the most popular and regularly visited malls is The Brooklyn Mall. With more than 170 awesome and diverse stores, The Brooklyn Mall is both classy but vibrant. Many shoppers are students from the nearby University of Pretoria. There is always something happening at this lively mall and definitely a shopper’s paradise. From cinemas to clothing stalls to entertainment facilities, there is something here for everyone.
World class restaurants and hip coffee shops line the streets filling the air with delightful and enticing aromas. Take a leisurely stroll down these streets and explore the spectacular architecture, curio shops and book stalls.
Another attraction in Brooklyn is the Art House on Brooklyn. This exclusive and luxurious Art House lures art lovers from all over to visit the exhibitions of work by various South African artists.
Just over the hill from Pretoria's Unisa campus, Groenkloof lies bordered by the suburbs of Nieuw Muckleneuk, Waterkloof and the Groenkloof Nature Reserve.
Calling it Groenkloof ('green gorge' when translated from the Afrikaans) is rather apt. It is one of the greenest suburbs in Pretoria - and that is saying something, as most of Pretoria's suburbs are leafy - because of its proximity to the nature reserve.
Next door to Groenkloof is the recently rehabilitated Klapperkop Hill - an area just west of Nelson Mandela Drive that is now fenced in order to re-establish plants and wildlife and create a safer environment for hikers and cyclists. Fort Klapperkop was one of four forts built to defend Pretoria, even though it never fulfilled its function and is now a military museum of military history from 1852 to the end of the Anglo-Boer War. It's worth a visit just for the views from the summit.
Despite the greenery, Groenkloof is only five minutes from Pretoria's CBD, three kilometres from the main campus of the University of Pretoria, it is close to shopping malls, restaurants, and the towering 270 metre Telkom Tower that serves as a landmark in Pretoria. The greenery though is a huge bonus for all who live in Groenkloof. Within the suburb is Herbert Baker street, named after the architect who designed the Union Buildings, which one can visit, not far from Groenkloof.
Menlo Park, Pretoria
Menlo Park is a suburb of the city of Pretoria, South Africa. Menlo Park borders other upmarket areas known as Waterkloof, Brooklyn and Lynnwood.
Menlo Park was first established between the 1950s and 1970s. It was then the most eastern suburb of Pretoria, but the city has grown considerably and expanded eastwards since then. Today these suburbs are known as the old east and boast some of the city’s most high-end residential properties. Together with Brooklyn and Lynnwood, it was most likely named after American counterparts.
Menlo Park is ideally situated in a central position near the N1 highway, within easy reach of the central business district. Therefore, it is just minutes away from upmarket and large entertainment facilities and shopping malls such as Menlyn and Brooklyn Mall. Menlo Park boasts a revamped heart, with a theatre, fantastic coffee bars, superlative restaurants and cafés. It is the site of Menlo Park High School and lies near the University of Pretoria. Menlo Park was the home of iconic South African artist Walter Battiss, whose former home has been converted into a residential development with guesthouse known as Fook Island.
Immediate neighbour to the Pretoria-east suburbs of Waterkloof Ridge, Kloofzicht and Erasmusrand, Monumentpark is one of the more sought-after, upmarket suburbs in the leafy eastern parts of the second-largest city in Gauteng.
It is also one of the older suburbs, meaning that the properties are large, the area tree-filled and the streets wide. Monumentpark lies just south of the Groenkloof Nature Reserve and Waterkloof Golf Course, whilst a little further across the N14 is the Voortrekker Monument Nature Reserve. Staying here allows you to visit many of the top tourist destinations of the city with little trouble, particularly as the centre of the city is only minutes away. Another bonus of staying in Monumentpark is the accessibility to two major highways - the N1 and N14.
Groenkloof Nature Reserve, just 5 kilometres outside the city centre, is a great escape and steeped in history, if you think that it was also the first game sanctuary on the African continent back in the days of Paul Kruger. Over weekends it seems, and you have to pay an entrance fee, but you will definitely get to see duiker, blue wildebeest and the odd zebra, even if it is against the backdrop of the Unisa buildings. The Fountains Valley resort, within the reserve, provides picnic spots, some of which are hidden away and provide you with the space you need, whilst there are also walks and mountain bike trails.