Gauteng DestinationsEmmarentia, Johannesburg
The pretty, established suburb of Emmarentia lies between Linden and Greenside, right in the heart of the northern suburbs of Johannesburg. Emmarentia’s residents regard Emmarentia as the “green heart” of the city. And they are not wrong.
Emmarentia, which incorporates Emmarentia Ridge and Emmarentia extension 1, includes within its boundaries Emmarentia dam, the Botanical Gardens, Melville Koppies and Marks park cricket club. Add to this the high density of established tree-lined avenues, and Emmarentia is, in effect, a green lung.
There is something of a debate when it comes to the origin of the suburb’s name. The assumption is that the leafy suburb was named after a woman whose full name was Emmarentia. Some even believe that it is named after a folk etymology (misunderstanding of the word’s origin) called Emma Rens, although the root of the name is very likely a respelling of Emerentia, an early Christian martyr in Rome.
But the draw cards to Emmarentia are without doubt the National Botanical Gardens and the dam. There is a host of birdlife and plants in this lush green area that is very popular with dog walkers. Picnicking under shade trees is a weekend pastime, whilst the gardens are often used for wedding photographs.
There are beautiful rose gardens, a herb garden, indigenous trees and succulents. It isn’t hard to imagine why the gardens were voted the best passive recreation space in the city in 2004, or why Emmarentia brings to mind green, open spaces in the midst of the hurly burly.