Gauteng DestinationsEloffsdal, Pretoria
Pretoria's Eloffsdal lies in the initial sprawl of the Jacaranda City's northern suburbs, this side of the lower hills of the Magaliesberg that divide Wonderboom South from suburbs like Magalieskruin. Whilst Eloffsdal won't set the pulse racing as far as aesthetics are concerned, it is popular with the medical fraternity of Pretoria because of its close proximity to Pretoria's Academic Hospital and two other hospitals - Eugene Marais and Moot.
And Eloffsdal is within easy reach of the centre of Pretoria, where the Zoo (more formally known as the National Zoological Gardens), amongst a myriad other highlights like Church Square, Kruger House Museum, Melrose House, the South African Reserve Bank, the National Cultural History Museum, the State Theatre, the Union Buildings (just on the outskirts of the centre but not difficult to reach) and a selection of tours around the city.
The Wonderboom Nature Reserve is just north of Eloffsdal, on the other side of the Magaliesberg, and a welcome break when staying in this part of the city. There is a gorgeous but huge fig (also known as the wonderboom or miracle tree, hence the name) that is reputed to have provided shade for no fewer than 1000 people at one stage of its life, which today is a lot smaller due to time and a rather awful parasite infestation. But around it are several 'daughter' trees that have rooted themselves.
And don't forget the Voortrekker Monument on the other side of the centre of the city. No matter what your views on Apartheid, this monument, with some of the finest sculpture work in the country, is well worth a visit. You can climb to the very top gallery, if 119 odd steps is not daunting, from where views over the city are pretty spectacular.