Morningside is an affluent residential suburb of Johannesburg, South Africa, of about 9,000 residents within an area of 5.79 km2 (2.24 sq mi) in Region E. It is closely connected to neighboring Sandton, the commercial heart of Johannesburg, which lies directly south along Rivonia Road. Morningside formerly belonged to the Sandton municipality and it has retained its upmarket identity. Today, Morningside is characterized by quiet leafy residential streets lined with post-war homes and secure townhouse complexes, small and medium business enterprises like clinics, hotels and shopping centres, and expensive taste.
Morningside is a distinguished residential community and a favored refuge for those who earn their salaries in the hectic financial district next door. Sandton’s bustling traffic and street noise, cold steel and glass architecture stand as a stark contrast to Morningside’s peaceful domestication.
Historically, this area was a gentleman’s suburb from the late 1800’s to mid 1900’s. Properties were forbidden to be divided into lots smaller than one morgen, (just less than one hectare). Today, the zoning ordinances have changed dramatically in Sandton, although much less so in Morningside, which maintains a gentrified country-suburb identity.
Things to Do In Morningside
Morningside is a place for quiet activities. Jog through the gentle hills along the winding streets or stroll through the sublime shops at the Village Walk shopping centre on Maude Street. Take the family to the Outspan Bird Sanctuary and enjoy its two hectares of garden space. Relax with friends at a sidewalk café and avoid the paparazzi at an elegant family restaurant in Morningside Centre. There are many places to show off and be seen in the Northern Suburbs, but Morningside is not one of them.
Nevertheless, the residents have convenient access to luxurious shopping, entertainment, and dining in Sandton, and they make good use of it. The headliners are Sandton City, one of the largest shopping centres in South Africa, and Nelson Mandela Square, another huge commercial centre.
Combined, these two venues create the largest shopping complex in the Southern Hemisphere. While the family shops, the golfing man can hit 18 holes of golf at the exclusive River Club, which offers one of the finest layouts of any golf course on the continent, (to those who have been invited to become members).
Other high quality attractions are very close by. Wanderers Stadium, a venue for Test, One Day, and First Class cricket matches is 4.22 miles from Morningside city center, and it is the home ground for the Highveld Lions. The exciting Serengeti Golf and Wildlife Estate are 5.97 miles out, and the Johannesburg Zoo is 7.03 miles out. For those who prefer Rugby to cricket, Coca-Cola Park, formerly Ellis Park Stadium, shows rugby union and association football matches 8.43 miles from Morningside. The Lion Park in Lanseria is twenty five minutes away.
Living and Traveling in Morningside
Morningside features an abundance of regal townhomes, holiday guest houses, and self-catering apartments, which is a fancy term for a hotel to live in like a condominium. These include Westpoint Executive Suites, Hydro Executive Apartments, and Woodburn Executive Villa. Counterparts in Sandton that deserve mention are the Regent on West Road South, The Manor, and the Duxberry House.
Dozens of fantastic inns and restaurants exist in the area too. A particularly interesting hotel is the Faircity Quatermain, which combines grand English lifestyle with distinctively African gardens all around, and is home to the award winning Sel et Poivre Restaurant. Owning a place in Morningside is only realistic for those with buckets to invest, as this is a prestigious area.
Morningside has a moderate savannah climate and the weather is typically delightful. At a modest elevation of 1500 meters above sea level, with elaborate greenery and a hilly topology, the air is slightly cooler than in the lowlands during summer. During the winter, chills are less noticeable due to the natural protection from the wind provided by the landscape. Average highs range from 26°C in the summer to 18°C in the winter, and average lows range from 14°C to 3°C. Snowfall is extremely rare in winter. Afternoon thunderstorms are common in the summer.
Several commercial and private airports service the area. Oliver Reginald Tambo International, (Jan Smuts International), Airport is 21.2 km / 13.1 miles away while Grand Central Airport is 12.7 km / 7.9 miles out. Commuting to Morningside is easiest via the De Villiers Graaff Motorway.
Morningside is a splendid but pricey neighborhood for South Africans who want to be near the spotlight, but not directly in the spotlight. It is an ideal place to live permanently or stay temporarily for those who have business in the Financial District. Despite its attractiveness and intimate connections to Sandton, it is a relatively overlooked area for tourists seeking action and nightlife, and the locals are very comfortable with that arrangement.