Willow Acres, Pretoria

Situated in the eastern reaches of Pretoria's suburbs, Willow Acres is a collection of upmarket homes on a golf estate next door to Silver Lakes Golf Estate, a similar modern venture, on the south side of the N4 close to Six Fountains, Savannah Country Estate and Equestria. This is 'country style living' at its best.

Despite living on the 'edge' of the city with gorgeous surrounds virtually on the edge of bushveld country, you're only 20 kilometres outside of the city centre. Homes here are modern and large whilst the security of the estate makes living in the country for those who choose this type of lifestyle, a pleasure. Spacious gardens, walking distance to shopping malls and easy access to the N4 highway, makes a stay at Willow Acres more than a little pleasant.

Best of all, the N4 takes one all the way to the Kruger National Park, making long weekend escapes to the bushveld high on the agenda. For weekends spent in the city there is no shortage of green escapes too.

The Bronberg meander, which starts south of the old Pretoria / Bronkhorstpruit road near Rietvlei Dam Nature Reserve, is a series of restaurants, cafés, art galleries, markets and nurseries that together make up a self-drive tour that also takes in heritage sites like the Bronkhorstspruit War Memorial, and Diamond Hill Memorial.

Faerie Glen Nature Reserve is regarded as one of the best places for birding with over 150 species recorded here, including the corn crake, river warbler. And sightings of the European nightjar. This is a beautiful spot, the northern parts of which are dominated by the Bronberg Mountains, with wonderful spaces for walking dogs and exploring, though better done in groups.

Sammy Marks museum, just north east of Willow Acres, is an ideal weekend escape for a luxurious afternoon tea on the verandah overlooking the beautiful gardens.

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