Amandasig, Pretoria

Amandasig lies in Akasia, tucked in beneath the Magaliesberg, close to other suburbs with girls' names - Clarina, Karenpark, Chantelle and Theresapark.

Despite being a northern suburb of Pretoria, the Jacaranda city, Amandasig has the distinct quality of being out of the city, mostly because of the proximity of the hills that are the lower swells of the Magaliesberg. Little, uncomplicated bungalows, facebrick townhouses with names like Bergsig, and street names like Bougainvillea predominate, as do wide open spaces and pretty gardens.

Living just across from the Magaliesberg is what is most obviously attractive about a stay here. That and being well out of the city centre. Many of the homes here still claim open land as neighbours, giving it a feeling, almost, of being out in the bush.

However, getting in and out of Pretoria is really easy and the Platinum Highway, also known as the N4, runs parallel with the Magaliesberg just above the suburb that links Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia. The M1 is linked to the N4, allowing you access to Johannesburg.

Amandasig is close to the Rosslyn Industrial area, Akasia Medical clinic, Wonderpark Shopping Mall and Onderstepoort's faculty of Veterinary Science. Better still, Wonderboom has an airport but 20 minutes from the suburb. Close by too are Hartbeespoort Dam, the Magaliesberg Meander and places like Wonderboom Nature Reserve.

Make sure you take in the National Zoological Gardens, also known as the zoo, in Boom Street in the city centre, the Union Buildings, Melrose House Museum, the Transvaal Museum, Freedom Park and Kruger House. Wonderboom Nature Reserve claims a fig tree that is over 1 000 years old and, although it does not have much wild life, does have a wonderful hiking trail.

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