River Club, Sandton

River Club lies just south west of Sandton, bordering on the neighbouring suburbs of Duxberry, Bryanston and Morningside. Most people do not even realise there is a suburb here, as River Club is so closely associated with the River Club Golf Course, actually called the River Golf Course, which regards itself as one of the best conditioned courses in the country, particularly its finishing holes. River Club is an affluent suburb. Homes are big, the area filled with established trees, and hence the calls of birds and the security of boomed areas.

The ring of affluent suburbs around it, cushion any noise from the N1/N3 circle of major roads around Johannesburg, which probably explains the quiet here. And yet it is a stone's throw away from Sandton's CBD where it all happens in Johannesburg.

Sandton, and similarly River Club, is the glitzy part of the city. Sophisticated buildings, people and shops, upmarket hotels, and sought-after corporate addresses. Nelson Mandela Square and Sandton City are huge malls where people meet at first-rate restaurants, pavement cafés, or shop in exclusive boutiques. There are also walking tours, the Village Walk Shopping Centre, and numerous art galleries. It is not surprising that River Club is where the average Sandton businessmen has his pied-a-terre.

The River Golf Course is as exclusive as its neighbourhood. The club is private and not open to the general public, even if it does have what golfers describe as one of the best course lay-outs in South Africa. But it is a wonderful place to stay, if you're not intent of a round of golf, not least because of the birds, the trees and the general peacefulness of the surrounds.

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