Gauteng DestinationsKarenpark, Pretoria
Lying just north of Akasia in Tshwane's north western suburbs, Karenpark nestles in the foothills of the Magaliesberg, in amongst suburbs with a distinct feminine ring to them - Heatherdale, Chantelle, Clarina and Theresa to name a few.
Lying close to the N4 interchange, Karenpark and her sisters are in an area of the Jacaranda City recently developed to cater for urban sprawl, where properties don't cost quite what they would in the eastern parts of Pretoria, but make up for it with their accessibility to weekend escapes like Hartbeespoort Dam and the Magaliesberg.
Just north of Karenpark is Onderstepoort, the Veterinary Science faculty of the University of Pretoria, and the nature reserve of the same name is a pretty leafy escape with an area of rehabilitated bushveld.
De Wildt and the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre lies just north east of Karenpark, famous for its captive breeding programmes and for bringing the cheetah back from the edge of extinction. Founded in 1971 by Ann van Dyk on her farm out here near Karenpark, at a time when there were roughly 700 cheetahs estimated in southern Africa, she persevered until five cheetah cubs were finally born successfully into captivity - a first - in 1975. Since then, and despite setbacks, she has gone on to raise another 500 cheetahs, which have subsequently settled in game reserves in South Africa and abroad, and the cheetah is no longer on the endangered species list in this country.
The Wonderboom Nature Reserve is just 20 kilometres from Karenpark, whilst other attractions like the Pretoria Zoo, the Pilanesberg, the Lost City, the Cradle of Humankind and the Crocodile Ramble all make staying in this part of Pretoria worthwhile.