Walkerville, Southern Gauteng

Walkerville, which lies just south of Johannesburg, closest neighbour to the little town of Kliprivier, is one of several worldwide, there are also Walkervilles in Australia and America, but the one in South Africa offers a distinct flavour of peaceful rural living within an easy distance of a major city.

A lack of any formal records means that there is no concurrence as to just when exactly Europeans first settled in the district of Walkerville, but many believe that it was around the same time that gold was discovered in the area in 1884. Walkerville has no shortage of history and streets are witness to some fine examples of historical buildings.

The area is predominantly rural and farming is a way of life for many who reside here, which translates into a town in which there is plenty to do and a great sense of community. The De Deur Flea Market, on every Saturday in Cross Road, boasts a sizeable number of stalls and stands right next door to De Deur Auctioneers, which makes it interesting if youíre up to watching the auction of livestock and household goods after browsing through the stalls.

There is no shortage of bird life in Walkerville and anything from finches to Cape robins and African hoopoes have been spotted in local gardens, which abound with indigenous trees. Even barn owls and African orioles have been sighted. Nearby is the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, a hikerís paradise with hikes that take anything from a few hours to a few days that traverse the 12 000 hectares that lie just outside Heidelberg.

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