Waverley, Pretoria

Lying in the foothills of the Magaliesberg Mountains, to the east of Rietfontein and not far away from the centre of Pretoria, Waverley is a well-serviced pretty little suburb heading north east out of the city.

Pretoria central beckons with its selection of monuments, museums and historical buildings. The Kruger House Museum, for instance, lies in Church Street and commemorates the life of Paul Kruger, former president of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, more than a century ago; whilst the Transvaal Museum gives a detailed history of the Transvaal before the 1910 union with the Cape Colony.

It is worth a visit not least because of the palaeontological collections that include hominid fossils on display. Try to get to Melrose House, a Victorian mansion requisitioned by Lord Roberts for the British in 1900 - the tea garden is worth it.

Closer to home Waverley is near the Wonderboom Nature Reserve, which lies on the Kopje just past the gap in the Magaliesberg range. Famed for the wonderboom (miracle tree) that began growing here over 1000 years ago, the 200 hectare park is well worth a visit. Today the original wonderboom is a shadow of its former self due to a combination of fire and recent parasite infestation and all that remains is a 5.5 metre diameter trunk, but the tree has rooted a number of daughter trees and the reserve is also home to monkeys, dassies, birds and antelope.

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