The name Midrand describes the location of this dynamic development that grew up next to the N1 freeway, halfway between Pretoria and Johannesburg. Although the initial developments were industrial and commercial, many people now choose to live in this convenient location. It is also a convenient location for conference centres.
People who work and/or live in Johannesburg and Pretoria all benefit from the development of Midrand and it has become a hive of activity. It is expanding at such a rate that the area between Pretoria and Johannesburg will soon be almost a continuous built-up strip.
A leisurely drive through the area will conjure up images of country living as there are still many places left undeveloped. The farm stalls, horse riding schools, country pubs and craft centres add to the country atmosphere.
Adventure And Sport
Kyalami: The home of South African motor racing, Kyalami, is close to Johannesburg. The name comes from the Zulu words, ‘khaya lami” (meaning “my home”). This 1000 ha area was once a farm and in 1961 was converted into a racetrack for motorcycles and cars. Kyalami has hosted many Grand Prix events. The site also houses some offices and is a regular venue for trade fairs and various entertainment events.
Sibaya Zulu Boma Cultural Village: The Sibaya Zulu Boma cultural village at Hugo’s Place, Main Road, Kyalami, provides visitors with more background on the proud past of the Zulu nation, including the history of the warrior king Shaka. Sibaya is a Zulu word for “cattle kraal.” Visitors are taught about Zulu dress, customs, traditions and origin and are welcome to take part in the traditional meals and tribal dances.
Entertainment And Shopping
Lippizaner Horse Show: The performance by the Lippizaner horses at Kyalami is a magnificent display of animal strength and grace. The centre can be reached by taking the M1 Ben Schoeman Highway, taking the Allandale Road off-ramp towards the west and proceeding to Kyalami.
This centre is the only place outside Vienna where Lippizaner horses are trained according to the rules of the Spanish Riding School. Indoor shows are presented every Sunday morning and, after the show, visitors may visit and touch the animals. Lipizzaners are the oldest human-bred horses in the world and have become highly prized through the ages. They are loyal, intelligent, courageous and above all, graceful. Many wars have been fought on the backs of these horses and in fact, one of the steps they perform in the show called “Airs above the ground” was originally used to decapitate foot soldiers. The Lipizzaner Centre also has an archive of information on these amazing animals.
Nightclubs: Several nightclubs have made an appearance in the Midrand area and are visited by both Pretoria and Johannesburg night owls.
Shops: Give yourself enough time to drive around and visit all the little shops around the area. The shops are nearly as pretty as the goods they sell. The imaginative names of some of the shops undoubtedly reflect the creative talents of the owners and include “Admiral Leisure World”, “Jenny Ferreira’s Doll Workshop” and “Hand in Midrand”.
Sound Stage and Theatre on the Track: Richard Loring’s Sound Stage and the Theatre on the Track on the Kyalami Race Track grounds provide a high quality of live entertainment. Some of his productions have been very successful on the international theatre scene.
Fauna And Flora
Lory Park: Some 2 000 indigenous, endangered and exotic birds live in the peaceful surroundings of the Park in Kruger Road, President Park. The park is a perfect setting for a picnic and “braai” facilities are also available.
Transvaal Snake Park: The Transvaal Snake Park on the R101 at Halfway House is one of the best reptile breeding centres in the world and boasts an impressive collection of (mostly African) snakes. Live demonstrations include venom milking and discussions on various snakes and reptiles. Some small animals can also be seen here.
Gemstone Scratch Patch: For a sandpit with a difference, come to the Gemstone Scratch Patch in Salvia Road, Kyalami, where you will be able to dig in a sandpit for 24 types of semiprecious stones.