WORDS: BETSIE LOOCK-VAN DER MERWE IMAGES: RENE WALKER, SHUTTERSTOCK
Nestled at the northern foothills of the picturesque Magaliesberg Mountain Range in the northern parts of Pretoria, the Akasia cluster of residential suburbs houses a culturally diverse population of well over 60,000 residents.
This group of suburbs lies just west of the Pretoria North CBD and include well-established neighbourhoods like The Orchards, Karenpark, Amandasig, Ninapark, Hesteapark, Florauna, Clarina, Chantelle, Eldorette, Heatherview and Theresapark.
With semi-rural (former) agricultural holdings and plots at its western border and the Magaliesberg mountain to the south, Akasia – despite ongoing development of the residential area and the Rosslyn-hub to its north – boasts an appealing countryside feel.
Akasia is well-linked to the main arterial routes in the area. Both the N4 highway (linking up to the N1) as well as the R80 (Mabopane highway between Pretoria CBD and Soshanguve) run through the area. The R513 and R566 main roads offer alternative routes to North West Province towns like Hartbeespoort Dam, Brits and Rustenburg.
Akasia is a self-sustained area and there’s no shortage of schools, churches, medical facilities, shops, business services, transport resources as well as recreational facilities.
The property mix is varied and caters to a huge range of needs and budgets – from first-home buyer apartments and townhouse developments, to lovely freestanding homely family residences and modern properties in contemporary golf estates, as well as retirement housing.
Gerhard and Saartjie Cromhout are longstanding residents of Amandasig in Akasia, and they’re as in love with the neighbourhood as they were when they bought their property over three decades ago. The couple enjoys a tranquil lifestyle in a stress-free environment where they’re within easy access of both the natural surroundings, which they’re passionate about as well as the necessary daily requirements.
“We love the tranquillity of the area and the kindness of our friendly rainbow community,” says Saartjie. “From nature-loving residents’ point of view, we thoroughly enjoy the mountain and the abundance of acacia and other beautiful trees which add to a rich birdlife even though we live in an urban area. We even have bush babies here.”
Residents are also blessed with a lovely sub-tropical climate which brings about pleasant temperatures in Akasia all year round, says Saartjie. “And our neighbourhood is centrally located to a host of amenities and conveniences… shops, several schools, a hospital…”
For those who find retail therapy irresistible, Wonderpark Shopping Centre offers a comprehensive shopping experience coupled with either a good movie at Ster-Kinekor or a delectable meal at one of the many restaurants in the centre. “Visitors to the centre enjoy the variety of chain stores as well as the free undercover parking.”
Saartjie also mentions a few neighbourhood gems. “Duck and Dine is an adorable function venue, Bentley’s Country Lodge is renowned for weddings, conferences, overnight accommodation, and a pleasant restaurant. The Willow Tree Pub & Grill, Oppi Stoep Restaurant, and Veroz Boutique Hotel & Spa are must-visits, while we also have several big nurseries like Malanseuns and TipTop.”
Golfers will enjoy the nine-hole Hillside Golf Course as well as the well-known Akasia Golf Club and several other sports clubs including wrestling, boxing, bowling, tennis, rugby, soccer and the like.
We’ve been living here for 35 years and we feel safe and at home. The neighbourhood is clean and neat, and the residents are friendly and warm-hearted. SAARTJIE CROMHOUT, AMANDASIG RESIDENT
Bentley’s Country Lodge is a well-known landmark in Akasia. The lodge comprises a beautiful hotel, conference centre, wedding and function venue as well as a restaurant and bar.
Says Heidi Bentley, “We’re a family-run business now in its second generation and have been operating since 1986. Akasia is the area where we grew up, we turned our family home into a business.”
The most significant changes in the area noticed by the Bentleys since the lodge’s establishment is a shift to a lot more diversity in their client demographic. “Our customers are people from all walks of life. Families, business-people, local businesses and international clients that work in the Rosslyn area. What remains the same is our true South African hospitality and proudly South African meals and menu,” says Heidi.
IN THE AREA
- Hoërskool Akasia
- Charlton Vos College of Education (independent primary and secondary school tuition offered)
- Amandasig Secondary School
- Hoërskool Gerrit Maritz
- Laerskool Akasia
- The Orchard Primary School
- Laerskool Theresapark
- SPARK Theresapark (independent school)
- The Willow Tree Pub & Grill: lovely green surroundings and kids play area
- Shamrocks Irish Pub & Restaurant: pub style, great vibe and variety
- Ocean Basket Wonderpark: seafood on your doorstep
- Sacramento Spur Steak Ranch: family-oriented grill restaurant
- Panarotti’s Wonderpark: Italian-style pizza and pasta restaurant
- Wonderpark Shopping Centre
- Tileba Shopping Centre
- Akasia Gables Complex
- Amandasig Shopping Centre
- Madelief Shopping Centre
- Netcare Akasia Hospital
- Pretoria North Municipal Clinic
- Netcare Bougainville Hospital
- Karenpark Clinic
- Akasia Municipal Clinic
- Magaliesberg Mountain Range
- Onderstepoort Private Nature Reserve
- Wonderboom Nature Reserve
- Bon Accord Dam