Gauteng DestinationsKilner Park, Pretoria
Lying right next to the rarely mentioned, yet particularly significant, Colbyn Wetlands, Kilner Park lies in an enviable area when staying in Pretoria. Easy access to the N1 and N4 make getting around virtually effortless.
Kilner Park lies in a greenbelt that translates not only into a substantial bird life but also contributes to a pretty suburb that lies close to the city centre and within a stone's throw of the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens.
The wetland area in the Colbyn Valley, just 10 kilometres from the city centre, covers roughly 80 hectares and is the site of an exciting discovery of peat fossils that date back 8 500 years. Grassland, wetland, peat land and a koppie are home to over 108 species of birds - six of which are under threat -, 8 species of indigenous trees and 25 mammals, some of which too are endangered.
Through this beautiful area right next to Kilner Park runs the Hartbeesspruit between two ridges. Where the space between them narrows, the stream is forced to back up and broaden, forming a wetland that could have been lost to a golf course, if it were not for the Friends of Colbyn who lodged an objection and had the development stopped.
On the other side of the N1 from the wetland lies the National Botanical Garden, a wonderful haven for weekends and family picnics that allows one to feel far from the maddening noise of the city. It is a well loved site and was declared a national monument in the 1970s. Other activites incude the Magnolia Craft Market, in the valley through which the Walker Spruit runs, on the first Saturday of every month. There is also a Moonlight Market at various times of the year.