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WORDS: EMILY SHAW IMAGES: TER HOLLMANN, SUPPLIED

Conveniently located close enough for a commute to Sandton but with a distinctly country feel, Kyalami is fast becoming the ideal location for home-hunters who aspire to the “mink and manure lifestyle”.

Alessia Massaro has been based in Kyalami for work for over 20 years. A horse-riding instructor and an equine “turn-out” specialist, Alessia knows the area inside out. “The balance of the equestrian lifestyle, the people who choose to live and work here as well as the feeling of being in the countryside, are all reasons why I love Kyalami and think it’s a very special suburb.”
For many, the big drawcard here is the space. Even from an estate duplex, the views of open fields, horses and livestock as well as the incredible sunsets really entrench that big-sky country feeling.

Kyalami offers a good variety of housing options from apartments to estates and free-standing houses as well as vacant plots of land on which to design your dream home. Many residents have built, renovated or added on to their existing structure, giving homeowners a sense of freedom as well as an opportunity to express their own personal style and reflect the country-living aesthetic that’s so typical of this area.

Schools

Beaulieu Prep and College is first choice for Kyalami parents given their location – right in the heart of the suburb. Here, kids are offered the best in academia and sport as well as the opportunity to take equine studies as a subject in college, along with equestrian sport such as polocrosse and vaulting.

If your child isn’t horsey, however, you have a bunch of additional offerings in Summit College, Summerhill International Nursery, Prep and College schools as well as Sagewood which looks after kids from preprimary to high school.

Shopping

Don’t let the farm-style environment fool you – Kyalami is just as convenient as any other suburb. The Kyalami Corner shopping venue has each pocket catered to in terms of groceries and living preferences. The organic, pasture-raised lover can fill their trolley at Jackson’s, the convenience shopper is covered by a big Woolworths and the budget conscious can stop in at Checkers. You can also get your banking sorted, get the kids’ hair cut, stock up for your outdoor adventure at Cape Union Mart, and pick up a few books at a bargain. If Kyalami Corner is not up your alley, you also have Crowthorne Shopping Centre, Kyalami Downs and Kyalami on Main to choose from.

Out and about

Alessia loves the food and vibe at Salsa Mexican Grill in Kyalami Corner, both for a chatty catch-up lunch and a festive late-night party. The Corner also offers a number of franchises, such as Hello Tomato, Piza e Vino, Ocean Basket, Mugg and Bean, Nando’s, Burger King and McDonalds. A great date night spot or birthday spoil would be The Rock Diner which serves a trendy experience with a full contemporary menu as well as delicious sushi.

Both residents and visitors should pop in on a Sunday to watch the Lipizzaner horses perform. This unusual show incorporates the beautiful white horses that are trained to “dance” for expert instructors. After the show, the kids can meet the horses and feed them carrots and apples.

If you’re more of a petrol head than a horse fan, head over to the Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit. Book a driving test through any of the affiliate driving schools and experience a true rush while learning to drive more safely and defensively.

The area’s real draw, though, has to be the outdoor way of living. If you pop out of your front door you’re almost guaranteed of finding a nearby greenbelt in which to walk the dogs, look at the horses and allow the kids to go wild on foot or bike. The neighbourhood always retains a delicious smell of wood smoke, either from the braais or boma fires that are constantly lit. If you’re close to Inanda Country Base you might even hear the call of the jackals that live wild on the plot – a fabulous way to feel that when you’re home, you’re home – and you’ve left the city far behind.

Even though it’s full of great shops and services and is a quick commute to Sandton, there’s something about Kyalami that when you are there, really makes you feel like you have left all the stresses of life far away. ALESSIA MASSARO, HORSE-RIDING INSTRUCTOR

EXPERIENCE

  • Kyalami Grand Prix Circuit: put your foot down and your blood pressure up in an advanced driving experience on this world-class track
  • The Lipizzaners: don’t miss The ballet of the white horses in this extraordinary, one-of-a-kind show
  • Kyalami Country Club: swing a club on the course, and sink a G&T at the club house

EAT

  • Tomo Izakaya: lip-smacking Asian fusion dishes for great value
  • Salsa Mexican Grill: modern Mexican fare that becomes very festive after 7pm
  • La Trinita: family-friendly Italian place run by a mother/daughter team

CONVENIENCE

BUSINESS INSIDER

Thinking of starting a new business or expanding your existing service into scenic Kyalami? Here are some considerations:

Audience: A mix of middle to upper-middle class families and professional singles

Online or brick & mortar: Either space would be fine – and a combination of both would be ideal – but what would matter is covering a specialty. These sporty families are very busy with work, school and often equestrian pursuits, so an offering that makes life easier or preparation quicker would do well here.

Potential customers: Horse-riders and cyclists, runners and dog-lovers as well as mums and dads. Meal services, tack and horse blanket cleaning services, bicycle servicing garages, pet grooming parlours and even shuttle services for school kids could fill a need in this area.

Marketing opportunities: Word-of-mouth will be your strongest way into this community, as well as marketing via existing or related services, such as at schools, riding yards, grocery stores and targetted online ads.

DAKOTA LEE

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