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A tranquil retreat from city stress

Gauteng

NOMASWAZI NKOSI

 

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28/06/2016. There is abundant bird life and also game like ostrich, springbok, impala and zebra.
Picture: Thobile Mathonsi28/06/2016. Jeannie du Plessis hiking with her grandchildrean, Wilmien Kristy Siluis at Moretele Nature Reserve.
Picture: Thobile Mathonsi28/06/2016. Redemeyers restaurant in Moreletakloof Nature Reserve.
Picture: Thobile Mathonsi28/06/2016. Chapel in Moreletakloof Nature Reserve.
Picture: Thobile MathonsiZebras in the nature reserve.

Pretoria - Cornelia Jacobus Erasmus, daughter of Daniel Jacobus Erasmus, married Jacobus Rademeyer and, through their families, the Rademeyer farm has been passed down through the generations before being transformed into the popular restaurant it is now.

Various suburbs in Pretoria are named after the Erasmus family, such as Elardus Park, Erasmuskloof, Erasmusrand and Erasmia.

The farmhouse was built in the 1800s and operated mostly as a dairy farm. They supplied milk to the residents of Pretoria.

It is now listed as a heritage site.

Cornelia’s brother, Daniel Jacobus Elardus Erasmus, was a general and at times had to act as the president of the Transvaal Republic.

Rademeyer inherited the farm on March 14, 1859.

He died on June 19, 1868, and is said to be buried close to Paul Kruger in the Heroes Acre section of the Church Street Cemetery.

He left the farm to his six sons who had to pay $75 (about R1 000) to their sister Cornelia Jacoba Susanna Moll (Rademeyer) which was then paid to her husband.

After it was passed down through sons, a Carel Jacobus Erasmus obtained parts of the farm and his son-in-law built the residence known as Marneweck House, which is now occupied by the restaurant.

The place, which has been through many hands and is steeped in tradition, is currently under the ownership of Andre Nel and Lizelle van den Berg.

The new owners took over in April this year and are looking to take the farm back to the family-style restaurant it was and also upgrade it with their own personal touch.

Lizelle has been a wedding and events planner for 20 years and she said her interest in Rademeyers was because it was the perfect place to have weddings.

“This place is tranquil. I wanted this place for the hall as a wedding venue,” Lizelle said.

Another popular drawcard with visitors is the wildlife roaming around the area.

There are zebras, ostriches, impala, springbok, blesbuck and various indigenous trees and birds.

The wedding chapel was transformed from the farm manager’s home into a chapel, which seats between 80 and 100 guests, while the hall used to be a sports lounge before it was quickly transformed for a wedding in a matter of weeks.

The outdoor reception area used to be where the cows were fed, but now serves as a great place to take pictures and enjoy drinks at the bar.

The main farmhouse is now the restaurant, with one private dining room and a choice of two rooms for people to dine in.

“Outside is where the best dining area is, as it has the best views of the reserve and the animals roaming around.”

To add to the family-oriented theme is the jungle-gym play area for children to entertain themselves while the adults enjoy their meals.

Their specialities on the menu include home-made curries and oxtail as well as lamb shank and the Rademeyers’ fillet steak.

The farm is 89 hectares in size, five of which belong to Andre and Lizelle, while the rest is the Moreletakloof Nature Reserve owned by the City of Tshwane.

The Moreletakloof Nature Reserve falls in two vegetation units: the north-western part is Gold Reef Mountain Bushveld with rocky quartzite ridges, and the south-eastern part is Marikana Thornveld and open Sweet Acacia Karoo woodland.

So there is a great variety of birds and vegetation.

Jeannie du Plessis and her family started the Friends of Moreletakloof Nature Reserve.

The Friends are volunteers who band together to conserve, rehabilitate or prevent destruction of a nature area.

Friends groups are a dynamic movement within The Wildlife and Environment Society of South Africa (Wessa).

Wessa encourages public participation in caring for the earth by enabling volunteers to become involved with the conservation and preservation of nature areas or specific inhabitants.

And Du Plessis and the rest of Friends have made great strides to make the reserve more accessible for people with disabilities.

They have been able to raise funds to construct a pathway and ablution facilities that are wheelchair friendly, and friendly to the blind as well.

Du Plessis said she visits every day and hikes to enjoy nature.

The Friends also hold special talks ranging from flora to spiders and this Saturday, July 2, there is their popular Walk and Talk Rocks walk with Prof Adam Bumby from 7am till 11am.

Remember to take good walking shoes, something to eat and drink and your camera and a notebook.

The fees are: R40 per adult, kids under-12 free.

For more information regarding membership fees or general queries regarding the Friends, contact them on [email protected]

 

Take the trails and go hiking in the kloof

Hiking trails, restaurant and wedding venue

Moreletakloof offers an exciting network of hiking trails of approximately 7.5 km

Three hiking trails are available:

Rademeyer hiking trail: 1.57 km

Duiker hiking trail: 2.89 km

Suikerbos hiking trail: 3.32 km

Bookings are only necessary for the guided walks - preferably 4 weeks in advance

For inquiries. call 012 358 1510

Hours: 6am to 6pm

Entry: free

How to get there:

From the N1, take the Rigel Avenue turn-off and travel east. Turn left into Solomon Mahlangu (Hans Strijdom)Drive; right into Rubenstein Street; and left into Helios Street. Parking is available in Helios Street.

Pretoria News

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