Lonehill, Johannesburg

It does not take a genius to work out that Lonehill, which lies just north of Witkoppen Road with excellent access to William Nicol Drive and the N1, must have been named after a solitary hill in the vicinity. Apart from the fact that this is one of the newer suburbs in the city, set as it is on the outskirts of Bryanston and inundated by yuppies during the 1990s, not many Jo'burgers know that Lonehill is home to a nature reserve - a sliver of nature in the midst of the concrete jungle.

The solitary Lonehill koppie is one of very few hills in this part of Johannesburg, 28 kilometres from the city centre. Solitary it might stand, but it is a very pretty koppie surrounded by rocky veld and little streams and shrubs within the Lonehill nature reserve where there are a few walks enjoyed by hikers and those after a space in which to picnic over weekends, especially the stroll down to a little dam known as Lonehill Loch.

It is also a fairly remarkable site as three Stone Age furnaces lie in the veld just below the koppie, which were excavated in the 1960s. Interestingly, they were covered up again, post excavation as the funds were not available to develop the site.

Whilst we're on the topic of interesting, from Lonehill's koppie you can scan across the eastern horizon for the Kyalami Castle, known by many as Michael Jackson's castle because of the newsworthiness of the star's interest in the castle as a residence a few years ago. The Arthurian style castle is touted as one of the city's 'true oddities', although it changed hands during 2008 and now belongs to the church of Scientology.

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