Pretoria North, Pretoria

Despite sounding as if it should describe a collection of suburbs north of the city centre of Tshwane, Pretoria North is in fact a suburb in its own right.

True to its name, Pretoria North does lie north of the Magaliesberg range of mountains that is the accepted boundary between town and the northern suburbs; further north even than the suburbs of Rietfontein, Villieria and Wonderboom South, Pretoria North lies on the other side of the Apies River from Annlin.

This strip of undulating hills of green, which are the lower hills or foothills of the Magaliesberg, is also home to the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, one of the major reasons for heading out to the northern suburbs specifically to visit the incredible example of the wild willowleaf fig tree, or wonderboom (miracle tree) that is over a thousand years old. Planted at the foot of the Magaliesberg, the outlying branches of this enormous example have rooted themselves around the parent tree, forming three concentric circles of daughter trees around the original parent tree. In total, the tree and its daughters cover a 50 metre area.

Onderstepoort also lies out here north of Pretoria North. Onderstepoort Veterinary Institute is the faculty of veterinary science of the University of Pretoria with important ties with the Royal College of Veterinary Science in the UK.

Pretoria North is an ideal suburb to stay if you intend overnighting before continuing on your journey north along the N1 to the Kruger National Park via Polokwane. You are also ideally placed if exploring the Magaliesberg and Hartebeespoort Dam, both of which provide a welcome respite for both residents of Pretoria and Johannesburg who enjoy this area over weekends.

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