Magalieskruin, Pretoria

Just north-east of Pretoria, close to the Kolonade Shopping Centre and Zambesi Drive, Magalieskruin is as its name suggests, snug up against the foothills of the Magaliesberg. It's a pretty suburb moments from Petoria's zoo - the neighbourhood green, the streets lined with Jacaranda trees and it has really good access to the N1 north of here, which makes it an ideal overnight venue if you are off to the Kruger National Park via Polokwane.

Magalieskruin's neighbours are Wonderboom, Waverley and Annlin, and the suburbs, all of whom lie within the shadow of the Magaliesberg, share certain attributes and are fairly similar. Whilst Pretoria north is not regarded quite in the same vein as Pretoria east, there are advantages to living out here, other than the N1.

It helps that the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, the Magaliesberg and other tourist attractions like the Tswaing Meteorite Crater are all attractions within easy reach. The Wonderboom Nature Reserve has an incredible wild fig tree in its centre, thought to be well over a thousand years old - its trunk alone is 5.5 metres in diameter and surrounding it are the 'matriarch's' offspring. These trees' branches droop downwards until they can put out a series of roots for themselves, enabling them to form new trees - its an impressive sight.

The Tswaing Meteorite Crater, set within a nature reserve, might be a bit of a trek from Magalieskruin, but it's well worth the effort. This particular meteorite crater is thought to be one of the best preserved in the world, and you can walk right into its centre. It lies surrounded by a ring of hills, which are actually the walls of the impact left when an asteroid crashed into the earth here some 200 000 years ago - an impact equivalent to roughly 100 atomic bombs similar to that dropped on Hiroshima.

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