Donkerhoek, Pretoria

Lying even further east of Pretoria than Silver Lakes, Donkerhoek is situated right out in the 'country', a burgeoning neighbourhood that started with a series of smallholdings and country estates and is fast becoming something of a suburb, with beautiful views and any number of hiking opportunities.

Properties here are introduced by estate agents as a chance to 'escape the trap of city living', and the chance to live in spacious homes on huge properties, not as easily found in the centre of Pretoria. And there are a myriad wedding venues out here to bolster its claim as a place of particular scenic value.

Of course, for the slight inconvenience of nipping into town on the nearby N4 or taking the scenic R104 alternative from Donkerhoek, one benefits in a myriad other ways from living on the outskirts of a city - one is close enough not to miss city living, but far enough away to enjoy stillness and open skies.

Donkerhoek, or 'dark corner' as it directly translates into English, is where the battle of Diamond Hill took place during the Anglo Boer War of 1900. It used to be out in the sticks and people only passed this way en route out of town or to visit the Sammy Marks Museum, which is only 5 kilometres up the road from the suburb.

But it isn't in 'the sticks' any longer, as the shopping centres of Pretoria East are but 15 minutes' away. What you do get, when staying out here, are gorgeous views, lovely mountain hikes, the chance to catch up on your Anglo Boer War history by visiting the local battlefields and war memorial, and the opportunity to visit Cullinan where the huge diamond that now sits in the crown of British royalty was found.

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