What to know when starting a life in Pretoria
Moving to Pretoria from another province in South Africa can be quite a change for most people. It’s a new city with new streets, new people and new routines to get used to. And that can be incredibly overwhelming at the start, which means you don’t worry too much about the smaller details and things you should know about your new hometown.
Safe living areas
When moving to a new town, your main concern would be safety because you’ll be living in an unfamiliar area, not knowing what the crime rate or concerns are. And while there is always a risk of crime regardless of where you stay, these are said to be some of the safer living areas in Pretoria:
- Pretoria East: A few of the popular, safer and wealthier living areas in Pretoria East are Faerie Glen, Menlo Park, Equestria, Constantia Park, Lynnwood Ridge, Garsfontein, Waterkloof and Boardwalk. Pretoria East is also home to the National Botanical Gardens.
- Pretoria North: In the Pretoria North area you’ll find the National Zoological Gardens and the Wonderboom Nature Reserve. As for top living suburbs in this area, you have Wonderboom, Mahube Valley, Capital Park, Rietfontein and Villieria.
Schools in Pretoria
A large determining factor for where you decide to live will depend on where you work and/or where your children will be going to school. The closer they are to the school, the better chance they have of getting in. And when it comes to picking the right high school, you want to be sure your child will receive quality education to carry them through to college or university. Some of the top high schools in Pretoria are:
- St Albans College: This private boarding school for boys is located in Lynnwood Glen (close to Lynnwood Ridge) in Pretoria East. This would be ideal if you were to stay in another part of Pretoria that is maybe closer to work and your son could board at the school.
- Pretoria Boys High School: This is one of the oldest schools in Gauteng and is a public school for boys, located in Brooklyn, Pretoria East.
- Pretoria High School for Girls: This is an English public school for girls, found in the suburb of Arcadia, near Pretoria Central.
- Menlopark High School: This is a predominantly Afrikaans and co-ed school, also in the Pretoria East area. The students refer to themselves as “Parkies”.
- Waterkloof High School: Another Afrikaans, co-ed school in the east-side of Pretoria is Waterkloof High School or, more locally known as “Klofies”.
There are a variety of schools around Pretoria that are more than capable of providing your child with a solid education. And when high school is over, there are top tertiary institutions such as the University of Pretoria, Vega School of Brand Leadership and the Pearson Institute of Higher Education, to name a few.
You’ll find most of the car dealerships in Pretoria South, specifically in and around Wonderboom. Knowing that there is a large majority of dealerships in an area will make browsing and comparing quotes an easier task. And with Pretoria being 1 644 km², you’re going to need a car to get yourself from point A to point B. Especially if home, work and school are all in different areas.
Another good thing to take note of is that the auto-mechanics are also spread out around this same area. It’s important to know where to go when you have car trouble, especially when you don’t want your car breaking down in an area you aren’t sure about yet.
You’ll also be using your car to get to the various markets that happen on various weekends. As a newcomer to a town, attending local markets is a great way to get to know the people in your area and your town, in general. You get to know the crafters, the butchers, the bakers and the local vendors of all things good.
Here are some of the popular markets to keep your weekends open for:
- Cowhouse Market: This market runs every Saturday and Sunday between 10am and 4pm for your convenience. Events, entertainment, kids activities, foods and crafts are what you can expect at the Cowhouse Market in Hazeldaan, Silverlakes.
- Banting market: From 9am to 1pm on the first Sunday of every month, you can enjoy the organic, sugar-free and wheat-free products from strictly banting-friendly vendors in the setting of the beautiful Pretoria Botanical Gardens.
- Hazel Food Market: You can alternate your Saturdays between the Cowhouse Market and the Hazel Food Market that also runs every Saturday between 8am and 2pm in Menlo Park, Pretoria East. Expect to find a variety of cuisines to excite your taste buds and bring you back again and again to try something new.
- Deep Root’s Night Market: On the first Friday of every month from 4pm onwards, there is a night market in Groenkloof. The Deep Root’s Night Market is all about amazing food and bringing a trendy vibe to the area. Definitely a great way to spend a Friday night.