History

Just over the hill from Unisa’s Muckleneuk campus, Groenkloof lies bordered by the suburbs of Nieuw Muckleneuk, Waterkloof, Lukasrand and Sterrewag and the Groenkloof Nature Reserve. The suburb is situated between Florence Ribeiro (previously Koningin Wilhelmina) avenue to the East, George Storrar avenue to the North and Fort Klapperkop to the South. The name Groenkloof (Green gorge) originates from the Voortrekker farm (De Groene Kloof) where the suburb is located. The suburb was developed after a decision by the Town Council in 1945 and during 1951 the first stands were sold, with the proviso that building should take place within 3 years and could not be resold if not built on. The streets of Groenkloof are named after persons that played a key role to the development of Pretoria as well as well-known South African artists.

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    Groenkloof is close to the city centre, and to the Brooklyn Square and Menlyn Park shopping centres. The University of Pretoria’s main campus is a 3 km drive from Groenkloof and is a few minutes from the N14 freeway linking Pretoria and Johannesburg (via the N1). The well-known Little Company of Mary Hospital is situated in Groenkloof as well as the Education Faculty of the University of Pretoria. The suburb is also home to the Japanese and Korean embassies. The Groenkloof Plaza shopping and convenience centre features 24 shops, including the popular Groenkloof Spar, Café 41, Pride of India and Fumo Restaurant. Also in Groenkloof is the Groenkloof Tennis Courts, diplomatic residencies and commercial residential as well as office buildings. Yet it is a tranquil and happy place to live and is zoned for some of Pretoria's most prestigious schools.

    Located in Groenkloof, the Groenkloof Nature Reserve’s wildlife includes zebra, jackal, duiker, kudu, impala, blue wildebeest, blesbuck, red hartebeest, ostrich, giraffe and a rich birdlife. The reserve offers a large variety of activities for nature lovers, horse trails, night drives, a 4×4 route, picnic area and overnight facilities are also available.

    Set in Groenkloof are two parks which are highly recommended for their beauty and tranquillity. The Jan Cilliers Park was during the early years an open field between the first houses. Initially the Park was ploughed and planted with Namaqualand daisies. Since then the Park was developed with trees and indigenous plants with a dam at the upper end and another in the middle with a stream running over little falls between the two. The Cycads and Giant Strelitzias are amongst the best examples of flora in Pretoria. On the Wenning Street edge of the Park there is an entrance to a small safe car park. The park is always open.

    The Eugene Marais Park has a short circular pathway that winds through the park on the corner of Van Reesema and Van Wouw Streets. The Park is home to mostly indigenous vegetation left in its natural state, without any gardening done, scarces butterflies, bats, birds and porcupine. The tree names are indicated and the Municipality clears the trail route annually. The Park is open every last Sunday of the month from 08h00 to 16h00.

    During the Jacaranda flower season tour busses frequent Herbert Baker Street to view its unique white Jacaranda trees. On 17 November 1961 the SA Director of Parks received the first white Jacaranda tree from Los Angeles. Today there are less than 100 white Jacarandas in Herbert Baker Street. The seeds are sterile and the white Jacarandas can only be propagated through cuttings.