Craig Allenby, spokesperson for the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, tells us about his neighbourhood.
As the spokesperson of Pretoria’s beloved National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, Craig Allenby’s friendliness, passion for the beautiful 85ha facility and knowledge in his field are widely known among the people of the Jacaranda City. He grew up in Pretoria and attended boarding school in Rustenburg before starting his career at the zoo in 1991.
Craig has always had an affinity for guest relations and enhancing the zoo’s visitor experience. He currently lives in the well-established mountainous suburb of La Montagne in Pretoria East and has been a resident of the suburb for the past six years.
“The neighbourhood suits me, and the tree-lined streets, the tranquillity and the beauty of the natural scenery all add to the charm of La Montagne,” says Craig. “Nature is all around, with Skuilkrans Koppie park just a stone’s throw away. Here you can relax, unwind and recharge your batteries after a long week in the hustle and bustle of city life. With the zoo situated in the Pretoria city centre it’s always a pleasure to get back to the basics of relaxation. I particularly love the fact that nature is on your doorstep; several bird species have made themselves at home in my garden and bring a touch of beauty to my home. The residents are also always friendly.”
Craig holds a master’s degree in tourism management from the University of Pretoria, which he received in 2014.
That same year, he also received the esteemed Media Liaison Officer of the Year award presented by the National Press Club, and in 2015, he won Finalist of the Year: Editor from the SA Publication Forum.
When asked about his favourite places to visit in the area, Craig says, “The German deli, Alma Butchery, is a fantastic place to get food. The owner and staff are outgoing and always go out of their way to help. Then there’s the German bakery, Die Brotstube, which is the perfect place for a pastry and a good cup of coffee.”
The Grove Mall is also within easy driving distance, and Craig particularly enjoys going there for an Americano at Fournos. “I love a good cup of Joe! A good movie is also one of my indulgences and I often go to The Grove Mall. Then, of course, La Montagne is in close proximity to the Deutsche Schule Pretoria and its fantastic annual Oktoberfest.”
How would Craig spend a free weekend in the area? “I absolutely love and appreciate the scenery I can see from my house and often entertain family and friends with the amazing view in the background. A good home-cooked meal or a delicious braai enjoyed on my house’s balcony is something I greatly enjoy. My two dogs, Venus and Apollo, also enjoy keeping me busy!”
Being a nature lover, the neighbourhood provides places where one can get away and de-stress. It has a natural beauty that is unrivalled in the city.
Nature near La Montagne:
- Pretoria National Botanical Garden
- Faerie Glen Nature Reserve
- The open-air Pioneer Museum in Silverton
Schools in La Montagne:
- La Montagne Primary School
- Laerskool Meyerspark Primary
- Deutsche Schule Pretoria
- Christian Brothers' College Mount Edmund
- Hoërskool Silverton
Medical facilities near La Montagne:
- Life Wilgers Hospital
- Netcare Pretoria East Hospital
- Netcare Moot Hospital
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
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