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High on a hill that overlooks Town Hill valley, the verdant suburb of Athlone in Pietermaritzburg is a trendy area with modern homes and tree lined avenues. The demand for Athlone properties are great and the area is considered desirable.
A new upmarket lifestyle centre under construction at Athlone Circle will bring a fresh face to Pietermaritzburg when entering from the north. The development is designed to fit into the city’s historic character and its garden-like surroundings, and is expected to offer residential, entertainment and commercial facilities.
Athlone’s elevation alleviates the sometimes oppressive humidity found in the KwaZulu-Natal Province and visitors can better enjoy the bright warm days. The main highway between Johannesburg and Durban borders the suburb.
Top 6 reasons to visit Athlone
1. Travel through Pietermaritzburg city to experience its heritage and see why the city is often referred to as the Green City. The city has many beautiful Victorian stone buildings, leafy parks, fortifications and chic street cafés.
2. Shoppers can opt for either the 160-store Liberty Midlands Mall or the smaller Cascades Lifestyle Centre for their purchases. For an alternate retail experience, check out the offerings for sale at the street vendor stalls in downtown Church Street.
3. The golf course at the Victoria Country Club was recently upgraded to USGA specifications and extra water holes added to make for a more challenging 18 holes of golf.
4. For peaceful and safe walks amongst wooded areas and non-threatening animals, the Queen Elizabeth Park Nature Reserve is an ideal family outing. Get up close views of zebra and other antelope, and keep your food locked away from curious monkeys.
5. Originally a test farm in the late 1800s, the National Botanical Gardens has many trees and plants that have survived from those early days. These magnificent gardens are worth a visit to view the vast array of plant life that thrives here and to learn about medicinal plants used over the centuries by local tribespeople.
6. Look out for the nearest Music Revival Concerts that take place at the Tatham Gallery, restaurants and various other formal venues. Performances range from tango to classical orchestra, opera and saxophone solos.
The nearest international airport from Athlone is King Shaka International Airport, 108km via a toll road. Pietermaritzburg has its own domestic airport, Oribi Airport, for flights to and from OR Tambo International in Johannesburg. Chartered flights can be taken from King Shaka International Airport in Durban to Oribi Airport. Pietermaritzburg has various car rental agencies, however, a rental can be ordered online. Metered taxis operate in Pietermaritzburg and from the airports. Pietermaritzburg lies on the main railway line between Durban and Johannesburg and most bus liners travel via the city.
Did you know?
If you thought tyre chains were for snow only, think again. Back in the days before tar roads, cars had to fit chains to their wheels to negotiate the muddy hills of Pietermaritzburg during the rainy period.
Celebrated South African inventor Ron Hickman studied law in Pietermaritzburg. He is best known for his invention of the Black & Decker Workmate and Lotus car designs but less known is that he once invented a foldable workbench after accidentally sawing off a leg of his expensive Swedish armchair.