Waterkloof’s graceful homesteads are still largely home to influential people, foreign diplomats and the rich and famous.
Waterkloof was established in 1903 as a remote township about 10km southeast of Pretoria. The area was so isolated that the South African Township and Mining and Finance Corporation had to come up with its own plans to generate electricity in the area and establish a public transport service “to town”.
In the following years, the tranquil, hilly suburb, with its Victorian street names and large erven, became a favoured residence for many prominent businessmen and statesmen. Today, Waterkloof’s graceful homesteads are still largely home to influential people, foreign diplomats and the rich and famous.
The suburb offers a secluded, exclusive lifestyle on the leafy ridges overlooking the bustling city against the backdrop of the Union Buildings. The words published in 1913 in Lochhead’s Guide, Handbook and Directory of Pretoria still ring true: “People of Pretoria are indeed singularly fortunate in having so lovely a suburb as Waterkloof in which to make their homes, endowed as it is with a perfect climate, magnificent scenery and excellent soil – a township in which every convenience and exceptional facilities are provided for those willing to take advantage of the many benefits extended in the spirit of enterprise which has prompted its establishment.”
More than 100 years later, Waterkloof still has many conveniences and exceptional facilities, with the area now part of the “Old East” adjoining Pretoria Central.
At least 10 excellent high schools are within a 6km radius of Waterkloof, while not less than five good feeder primary schools can be found within the same precincts. The University of Pretoria and Unisa are less than 15 minutes from the suburb. Residents have an extensive range of top private hospitals nearby and a variety of churches. The Waterkloof Homeowners Association, residents, local police and security initiatives keep the area safe and support the Integrated Crime Prevention Plan for Waterkloof.
Waterkloof Corner offers a convenient stop for basic shopping needs within Waterkloof. Comprehensive shopping facilities such as Menlyn Park and Brooklyn Mall can be found nearby, and an array of fine dining restaurants and delightful coffee shops are spread throughout the area and neighbouring suburbs.
Waterkloof is renowned for a special annual tradition. When night falls over the December festive period, residents from all over Pretoria gather in Lawley Street in their thousands to admire an awe-inspiring display of twinkling Christmas lights put up by residents of the street.
I love the convenience of being so close to main roads like Florence Ribeiro Drive (formerly Queen Wilhelmina Avenue), Rigel Avenue, Justice Mahomed Street, Atterbury Road and the N1 highway.
-Senta Deetlefs, resident.
Nature near Waterkloof
- Bruinslich Park
- Jan Cilliers Park
- Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary
- Groenkloof Nature Reserve
- Wolwespruit Bike Park
Dine out in Waterkloof:
- Blue Saffron Restaurant at the Pretoria Country Club: for fresh oysters on the patio
- The Three Ducks Restaurant: for French-inspired cuisine
- Brasserie de Paris: for fi ne dining
- Meet on Milner: for live entertainment and craft beers
- De Kloof Restaurant: for upscale European-style dishes
Things to do in Waterkloof:
- Visit Pretoria Country Club – a quality sports and social venue established in 1910.
- Play a round of golf at the Waterkloof Golf Course.
- Spoil yourself with a treatment at Babor Beauty Spa.
- Enjoy fine art at Trent Art Gallery.
- Watch movies at Brooklyn Mall.
This article originally appeared in Neighbourhood, Sunday Times.
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