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An indication of a desirable suburb is the presence of real estate companies and Glen Marais has its fair share. Homeowners in this Kempton Park suburb in Gauteng enjoy large properties on well-maintained streets and within easy driving distance of Pretoria and Johannesburg city.
Main highways criss-cross Glen Marais and the Johannesburg international airport borders the suburb to the south. Visitors can take advantage of the high speed train that transports travellers from the airport to all major centres.
Glen Marais has a number of schools, parks, lakes, churches and wide open spaces. The climate is temperate and averages around 18° Celsius throughout the year. Residents and shopkeepers are friendly and take pride in their suburb, expect a warm welcome from everyone you meet.
Top 8 reasons to visit Glen Marais
1. Take a walk along Monument road to seek out bargains, shop at the two large malls with name brand stores, get your hair styled, work out at the gym and choose one of the many restaurants to savour a meal. The Boere Sjabi Sjik coffee shop is a treat and we will leave you to find out more about the name from the proprietors themselves.
2. The Festival Mall in Kempton Park has an ice rink and ice skating sessions here are priced to appeal to families. The rink is open until late in the evening and Wednesday sessions are discounted.
3. Opt for a tour of Tembisa, one of the country’s largest townships. See the migrant labourer hostels, schools and the graves of South African War and Apartheid struggle heroes before ending the day with a typical African lunch at a township restaurant and a drink at the vibey Caprivi Jazz Pub.
4. Kempton Park’s historic Bell Tower Church has been converted into a theatre, visit to enjoy a play put on by local community members.
5. The SAA Museum in Germiston showcases South Africa’s aviation history and gives visitors the opportunity to walk through the various aircraft cabins and cockpits on display. Some of the stationary airplanes are available for functions, including weddings! Closed on Mondays.
6. Fancy a game of golf? There are 3 championship courses nearby; the Kempton Park Golf Club, Modderfontein Golf Club and Lake Club Benoni.
7. Apart from the casino, the glitzy Emperor’s Palace resort has cigar lounges, cabaret acts, top restaurants, wine bars, theatres and movie houses to entertain adults.
8. Drive out into the country to indulge in a breakfast made from farm-fresh produce in the tiny Bapsfontein village, a short distance east of Glen Marais. Shops in the village offer crafts, preserves, freshly baked breads and unusual gifts. Get the blood flowing with a horse ride or microlight flip.
The OR Tambo International Airport is situated to the south of Glen Marais, a mere 9km away. Car rental agencies are located at the airport and in Kempton Park, otherwise order a vehicle online. Metered taxis and Uber operate in the area. For quick access to and from Johannesburg, Midrand and Pretoria, use the Gautrain that can be boarded from the airport. The Magic Bus is a shuttle service that runs every 2 hours between Johannesburg and the airport.
Did you know?
The Kempton Park World Trade Centre is remembered for two events; in 1971, leaders from all spheres of South African society assembled in a ground-breaking attempt to create a transitional government and scrap Apartheid and in 1993, around 3000 members of an ultra-right wing organisation stormed the centre to protest against the dismantling of Apartheid. 60 people were arrested.
For those wanting more of a shopping experience, the retail outlets at OR Tambo Airport should not be forgotten. The amount of stores at the airport rival those of any large suburban mall.
For a more down to earth experience there are guest houses. Less expensive than hotels, they offer a more homey environment, as well as more privacy. Converted from a private house it’s a much gentler environment and for those with furry friends, there are also pet friendly options. They are usually well situated with shops and places of interest nearby. Being so small it offers a much more personal and intimate attention to it’s upkeep, leaving you with a more polished and homely experience.