Fairland, Johannesburg

The pretty northern suburb of Johannesburg, Fairland is neighbour to Northcliff and Darrenwood; close to Cresta, one of the city’s major landmarks and home to a plethora of shops and entertainment, and Brightwater Commons - another biggish shopping centre that used to be known as the Randburg Waterfront. They have greatly reduced the size of the artificial lake and now there is simply a central pond, although the musical fountains still remain.

Fairland is one of the leafier and older suburbs prone to large, verdant gardens and fairly big homes. It has recently expanded to include the new FNB and WesBank campus, a R1.2 billion building on the corner of Beyers Naude and Wilson roads. The building, apparently built according to environmentally friendly standards that began with the foundations which were dug without moving any soil from the site, is large enough to house both Ellis Park and Wanderers stadiums and it is a 2 kilometre walk around the building’s perimeter.

But Fairland is not far from one of the largest green lungs in the city. Emmarentia Dam and the Johannesburg Botanic Garden was voted the best passive recreation space in the city by its residents in 2004 - over 30 000 trees grace the space in which city dwellers can stroll and relax whilst picnicking on the lawns of the dam. There is a large rose garden, a collection of succulents and a herb garden that includes traditional African medicinal herbs.

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