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One of the first suburbs established after the formation of Pretoria city, Waterkloof is a plush, affluent area with grand homes set on large landscaped properties, the wide sidewalks lined with established jacaranda trees. The exclusive hilltop estates, several of which are owned by foreign embassies, have magnificent views of the city and surrounding areas.
Waterkloof is a purely residential area with a single school, a few small strip malls for last minute shopping, corner coffee shops to catch up with the neighbours, and the Pretoria Country Club on the eastern end of the suburb.
The suburb is within a short driving distance of the University of Pretoria, the city centre and nature reserves. For a luxurious stay in South Africa’s administrative capital, Waterkloof is undoubtedly the suburb of choice.
Top 6 reasons to visit Waterkloof
1. The Pretoria Country Club has managed to straddle the eras with a ballroom from days gone by and bridge club to contemporary dining and a wine tasting fraternity. The club has state-of-the-art tennis and squash courts and the scenic golf course is a Gary Player design.
2. Freedom Park tells the story of the South African people and what has been achieved through inspired leadership and a nation willing to mend old wounds. The park has 3 memorial centres and a garden of remembrance.
3. For those interested in architecture, Pretoria has a number of impressive buildings, from the Union Buildings to the Voortrekker Monument. Spend some time in Church Square admiring the Palace of Justice, the Reserve Bank building and the highly unusual Café Riche building.
4. Spend the day at the Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre to learn about this remarkable creature and the efforts undertaken by this facility to bring the cheetah back from the brink of extinction. In 1986, thanks in part to Ann van Dyk, her husband Godfrey and volunteer Vet Dr Metzer, the cheetah was removed from the endangered list.
5. The Pretoria Art Museum houses a significant collection of South African art in various forms. Tours are offered and the museum has an onsite visual arts research centre.
6. Visit the charming Victorian village of Cullinan to tour a diamond mine and enjoy the restaurants and antique shops. Walk the interesting ‘Wag ‘n Bietjie’ (wait a while) arts and crafts route.
The nearest airport is OR Tambo International Airport, 43km from Waterkloof. Catch the Gautrain, a fast train service that travels between the OR Tambo Airport and the Hatfield business district, 5km north of Waterkloof. Chartered flights can be taken from Wonderboom (26km) and Grand Central in Midrand (32km). Car rental agencies are located at the airport and throughout Pretoria city or book a vehicle online. Metered taxi companies are based in and around Waterkloof. If you have the Uber app, order a ride via your mobile phone.
Did you know?
The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre is not only a sanctuary for cheetah. The centre aids in the breeding and release of African wild dog, Cape vulture and riverine rabbit, all critically endangered. At one stage the centre had a few king cheetah, a typical cheetah but with a recessive gene that results in more pronounced markings.
A new hotel and casino development called Times Square is planned for Pretoria East and scheduled to open in 2017. The glitzy resort is expected to have the 2nd largest casino in the country with 8000-seat arena and luxury conference and entertainment facilities.