Bon Accord, Pretoria

The Pretoria suburb of Bon Accord, which is French for 'good will', lies to the east of the Bon Accord dam close to Onderstepoort. Bon Accord lies far north enough of the city centre of Pretoria to be regarded as rural, and indeed this part of Pretoria does not conform to your usual street-lined, leafy-treed streets.

Out here there are mostly small holdings, the surrounding vegetation almost bushveld like, with acacia thorn trees and savannah-like vistas. The Kolonnade shopping centre might be out this way but you would be forgiven for thinking that most of it still belongs to the African bush, particularly as there are some accommodation options offering bushveld escapes out here, with thatched roofs and the whole 'bush' experience. Others offer 'country escapes'. Great to know that you can flee the city so fast.

And yet, you are close enough to Pretoria to still enjoy what the city, particularly the city centre, has to offer. The Union Buildings, for instance, are only 20 kilometres from here. The beautiful buildings, designed by Sir Herbert Baker, are a must-see for any visitor to Pretoria, and the terraced gardens also worth a trip.

Other city centre attractions include the Kruger House, just a few blocks from Church square, where President Paul Kruger lived until 1901, the South African Reserve Bank, quite an extraordinary building, the State Theatre, the Transvaal Museum, where the famous hominid fossil known as 'Mrs Ples' is housed, even if you don't have access to it, and the Voortrekker Monument.

Not far from Bon Accord are both the De Onderstepoort Private Nature Reserve and the Wonderboom Nature Reserve. The latter is home to a wild fig tree that is over 1 000 years old.

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