Gauteng DestinationsHazelwood, Pretoria
The suburb known as Hazelwood, situated just above the Pretoria Country Club, east of Waterkloof, is a pretty neighbourhood in the heart of the sought-after eastern suburbs of Pretoria, close to Menlyn shopping centre.
Streets are leafy, gardens well maintained and access to anywhere in Pretoria excellent, particularly with the N1 so close at hand and Lynnwood and Atterbury Roads within easy distance. You are also close to a number of green belts or green spots in the city - Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, National Botanical Gardens and the Groenkloof Nature Reserve are all close by, and the university is but a quick drive up Charles Street.
The Faerie Glen Nature Reserve, just on the other side of the Atterbury Road Interchange from Hazelwood, is arguably one of the best places within the city to go birding. Some 150 species have been recorded here, including rarities like the corn crake and river warbler. It's also a popular spot for walking dogs and groups of people meet up here to venture out along the walks.
Colbyn Valley Nature Area is just across the Colbyn Valley from the National Botanical Gardens (an ideal picnic venue) and, whilst in need of better protection, it is a great space and one to which visitors seldom go (so best to go in a group). It is a wetland area containing peat fossils that date back 8 500 years with at least 6 threatened species of birds. There is an ongoing bid to restore this wetland and save the peatland that is so important.
Whilst in Hazelwood, make sure you take the time to visit the Hazelwood Food Market, on Saturday mornings on Pinaster Street.