Sunninghill is a trendy, blossoming suburb on the outskirts of Johannesburg, South Africa located in Region A, Gauteng Province. It blends the pulse of a metropolitan city with the relaxed charm of a quiet suburb, which reflects the active lifestyles of its upwardly mobile residents.
A Small Community with a High Quality of Life
Sunninghill’s population of 5,000 residents is steadily growing along with its popularity. Young professionals are attracted to life in Sunninghill by the reasonable costs of real estate and rentals, and for its easy access to major employment hubs like Sandton and Midrand. Of course, it also features great restaurants, night life, and outdoor fun in and around the town.
Sunninghill comprises gated communities of townhomes interspersed with some large residential properties. This community has excellent security and transportation infrastructure. Close by, the top-rated Netcare Sunninghill Hospital adds to the quality of life, providing state-of-the art healthcare, the largest radiology department in the Southern hemisphere, and a dedicated pediatric section.
Dozens of large employers have major facilities nearby, including the likes of Acer, Eskom, Price Waterhouse Coopers, Astra-Zeneca, RCI and Unisys. Thus, making Sunninghill a hot spot for career-oriented adults in fields like finance, IT, consulting, and marketing. Commuting to and from the area is relatively hassle-free. Access to the M1, N3, and R101 are excellent. The amenities of Johannesburg’s arts and entertainment districts are easily accessible.
History, Climate, and Lifestyle
The upscale trend in Sunninghill has been fostered by the influence of nearby Sandton (about 4 km away), which is considered the most important financial and business district in South Africa, not to mention great shopping and dining. Gauteng province has been blessed with wealth since the gold-mining era, and its name literally means “place of gold.” Sunninghill is a relatively new enclave carved out of the Johannesburg suburbs.
Because Sunninghill sits roughly 1,700 meters above sea level, the air is pleasantly dry and clear, with hot, sunny summers and crisp, comfortable, breezy winters. Average summer temperatures rise near 30°C (101°F). Winter temperatures are comfortably cool, occasionally dipping below freezing.
Numerous universities, vocational schools, medical colleges, and other institutions of higher learning exist in and around Sunninghill, making this a great place to raise a successful family. These include the University of Limpopo, the Tshwane University of Technology, the University of Pretoria, the University of Johannesburg, plus the state-sponsored internet tools of “Gauteng OnLine.” .
Culturally, Sunninghill benefits from an outstanding collection of museums. Sunninghill itself is home to the innovative Apartheid exhibit of Liliesleaf Farm, praised as one of the best new tourism projects in the world by the British Guild of Travel Writers Annual Awards in 2010. The Peacemakers Museum in nearby Sandton (7.9 km from Sunninghill) is also outstanding, which memorializes the world’s Nobel Laureates. Numerous large and small art exhibitions pepper the area, including Art Afrique.
For leisure and entertainment, Sunninghill has great options. Every year in August, Sunninghill hosts the second test of the BMW International Polo Series at the Waterfall Polo Park. The Kyalami Race Track holds spectacular motorsports events such as the Kyalami Grand Prix.
Montecasino in Fourways is only 7 km away from Sunninghill in a straight northward on Witkoppen Road. Montecasino is an opulent R1.4 billion gaming, retail, and leisure complex fashioned like an old Tuscan villa. Inside are a wide-range of themed restaurants, shops and the Pieter Toerien Theatre. For quieter diversions, the nearby Kyalami Country Club has a splendid 18 hole of golf course.
Rietfontein Nature Reserve, a 25 hectare green space known for the FreeMe Wildlife Rehabilitation Centre and a beautiful 2.5km circular walking trail is a birdwatcher’s paradise. The Lonehill Nature Reserve is a place to experience the native ecosystem in its pristine condition. Other nearby attractions includes the reptile park of Hunyani Snake City, the Kyalami Equestrian Park, and an Acrobranch outdoor gym with exhilarating tree-top obstacle courses.
Local organic markets are popular in Sunninghill, but there are plenty of five star restaurants around featuring eclectic cuisine from around the world as well as dishes you’ll only find in South Africa. The Barnyard Theatre Broadacres is loved for its fun friendly atmosphere, good food, wine and brilliant entertainment. The sophisticated Beach Blanket Bohemia serves Mediterranean dishes in an elegant terraza. Contemporary Asian cuisine and ambiance are found at Orient Fusion. Great traditional Italian food is served hot and fresh at Luca’s Pizza. After-dinner diversions include the Tiger Tiger in Fourways and the Blues Room.
Real Estate in Sunninghill
With all these amenities, it is no wonder that Sunninghill becomes more attractive every year. Rentals range from a reasonable R 4,500 per month (1 bedroom) to R 16,000 (4 bedroom), while a 2 bedroom apartment is between R 6,500 and R7,500. Purchasing a two bedroom townhouse may cost between R 620,000 and to R 900,000, or closer to R 1.2 million for 3 bedrooms. Statistically, the oldest buyer in Sunninghill is 64 and the youngest is about 25 years old, with 38 being the average age.