Country style living in Southdowns

Private Property South Africa
Lisa Dewberry

Southdowns, in Centurion East, offers trendsetting country homes in wide open spaces with an exclusive farm-inspired lifestyle and excellent security.

About the area

Southdowns offers trendsetting country homes in wide open spaces with an exclusive farm-inspired lifestyle and excellent security. The area largely consists of the Southdowns Residential Estate between Nelmapius Drive to the north, Doornkloof to the south, John Vorster Drive to the west and Irene Country Club and Dairy Farm to the east.

Known for its numerous weeping willows and the meandering Hennops River, the estate includes about 700 sites of mainly residential stands averaging 1,200m2 in size. It has approximately 50 townhouses between 126m2 and 280m2, and seven clusters between 260m2 and 400m2 in size.

This suburb’s homes mostly have earthy tones with chromadek roofs, stone walls, high-end finishes and balconies as well as entertainment areas providing picturesque views. Approximately 50ha of farmland included in the estate is used by Irene Dairy Farm and cows roam freely in this area.

Residents visit the farm directly, taking children to watch cows being milked, buy fresh milk daily or enjoy breakfast at the eateries. The estate has 50ha of conservation corridors and agricultural areas, and landscaping is done through indigenous planting.

The suburb adopts environmentally friendly practices with 6,000 indigenous trees planted, a recycling service implemented and pockets of land left untouched to preserve local fauna and flora. Southdowns Residential Estate offers top security including remote monitoring of guards, electronic fence monitoring and biometric access control. It supplies all homes with natural gas and a fibre-optic backbone integrating all telecommunications, data and video usage within the estate.

Southdowns College is a private school that offers pre-preparatory, preparatory and high school and has a boarding house. Amenities in the suburb include walking, hiking and cycling trails, play parks, a fitness centre and barn-style storage units for owners. A Gautrain bus stop, office park and shopping centre featuring a medical centre are within walking distance of the estate.

Southdowns attracts residents who enjoy activities from golf at Irene Country Club to cricket at SuperSport Park, water sports at Rietvleidam Dam, hiking in Rietvlei Nature Reserve or artisan food night markets at Southdowns Shopping Centre. The suburb is a perfect fit for professionals who enjoy contemporary farm living with spectacular countryside views close to the city.

"It’s like living in the countryside while being close to conveniences of urban living. Houses are unique in design and the neighbourhood has a friendly, secure atmosphere. Cows from Irene Dairy Farm enter the estate every morning to graze and their sounds make you feel like you’re living on a farm." - Jo Porter, resident

Best of nature:

  • Enjoy a picnic at Rietvleidam Dam.
  • Go cycling on a trail in the estate.
  • Go hiking at Rietvlei Nature Reserve.

Top attractions:

  • Visit The Stall artisan food night market.
  • Take the children to see farm animals at Irene Dairy Farm.
  • Watch a production at Irene Village Hall.

Best in food:

  • Have breakfast at The Deck Restaurant.
  • Enjoy Asian cuisine at Simply Asia.
  • Enjoy fine dining at The Meadow Green Restaurant.

This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.

Take a video tour of the Centurion neighbourhood here:

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Centurion East
From countryside to city in minutes
This suburb has become a ‘lifestyle of choice’ for many who don’t want to live in Johannesburg or Pretoria, yet need easy access to both. There are many lifestyle estates in the area which offer residents a good selection of safe, high quality property options. These gated villages have attracted a cosmopolitan community and Centurion functions as something of a mini city of its own. Although it retains a country-feel, residents can be on one of the major roadways to the big cities within minutes.