Pretoria, Gauteng, South Africa


Pretoria is known as Jacaranda City for all the lovely purple blossom-bedecked trees which line the streets. Pretoria is a lovely, charming city, and the administrative capital of South Africa with a long, involved and fascinating history.

Pretoria (also known as Tshwane) is home to a plethora of attractions, including numerous significant old buildings and some fascinating museums. The Transvaal Museum hosts a wonderful collection of historic displays and is home to Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found in Sterkfontein in the Cradle of Humankind.

Another worthwhile visit is the Cultural History Museum and the Smuts Museum in Irene, situated just outside Pretoria. The Union Buildings have changed, from a symbol of white, neo colonial unity to one true unity and the iconic Voortrekker Monument still stands.

Ironically, the bust of one of Apartheid's most ardent supporters, that of JG Strydom, which was mounted in Strydom Square, toppled due to gravity and the erosive quality of time on steel supports on the 40th anniversary of the day South Africa became a white-governed republic.

Nature lovers can enjoy Fountains Valley, the bird sanctuary, the National Botanical and National Zoological Gardens, the Wonderboom, Groenkloof and Rietvlei Nature Reserve. Pretoria is also famous for its performing and visual arts and boasts a myriad of art galleries.

For the more intrepid traveler, enjoy a short horse trail at the Voortrekker Monument or through the Premier Game Reserve. Here you will be able to view White Rhino and a number of majestic Eland. The more adventurous can try a tandem skydive or the first jump at the Pretoria Skydiving Club, the largest in the country.

Pretoria City Guide

Pretoria (Tshwane) is the capital city of South Africa and has a fascinating history, with many museums and significant architecture. This city in the Gauteng Province of South Africa is surrounded by green hills, with Jacaranda trees lining the streets (forming a haze of purple blooms in summer). White Rhino and Eland spotting can be done on horseback at the nearby Premier Game Reserve.

Tshwane/Pretoria is a cosmopolitan and stately city, absolutely brimming with foreign nationals, embassies, consulates and more. All eleven of South Africa's official languages are spoken here as well as many languages from around the world. Tshwane in Gauteng provincehas the second most foreign representative bodies in the world apart from Washington DC. This is also an academic city with 3 huge universities and a centre for scientific and industrial research.

But is there anything exciting to do in such an historic and esteemed place? Of course! Visitors to the capital city of South Africa will find plenty to do and see around the city itself and in Pretoria's noisy neighbour - Johannesburg, or Jozi as it is commonly known, the busy and happening powerhouse of Africa!

In the southern part of Pretoria is the Fountains Valley Recreation Resort on the Appies River, one of South Africa's oldest Nature Reserves. Facilities include barbeque areas, tennis courts, swimming pool, a play-park and a miniature train. This is one of a number of resorts and nature reserves in the Tshwane area.
Further afield the Lesedi Cultural Village is a great day out where visitors can see five traditional African homesteads representing different cultures and experiences. Lesedi is located within the Cradle of Humankind, a magnificent World Heritage Site and top Gauteng attraction. Dinokeng and Hartebeespoort Dam are also popular recreational and tourist areas around Pretoria.
Dinokeng (north / east of Pretoria) is the home of the Cullinan Diamond Mine where the world's largest diamond ever, was found. There is a lot to experience in this area in Gauteng, a real melting pot of cultures. Visitors can enjoy traditional hospitality, music, drumming and tribal dancing or shop for beautiful bead work, pottery, jewellery and weaving. There are lots of places to stop, relax, eat, refresh and enjoy all the area has to offer.

  • Cullinan Diamond Mine tours, quaint visitor village, winery, art
  • Game reserves, bird watching
  • Traditional African culture and medicine
  • Hiking, biking, horse trails, guided walks
  • Boating, fishing, cruises, canoeing and many outdoor activities
  • Restaurants, pubs, tea gardens, village shopping, historic buildings

Hartebeespoort Dam (west of Pretoria) is a multi recreational area. There is something for everyone here. This huge manmade dam in Gauteng, South Africa, has numerous attractions around its shores and is a popular escape for weekenders and water enthusiasts. Visitors to Hartebeespoort Dam can get a bird's eye view of the water and surroundings on the longest Mono-cableway in Africa. The base station has a great restaurant which is fully licensed.

  • Horse trails
  • De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre
  • The Elephant Sanctuary
  • Snake and animal park
  • Aquarium
  • Restaurants, cafes, pubs
  • Country and Western Saloon
  • Welwitschia Country Market
  • Cheese making tour, restaurant and picnics
  • Art, craft shops
  • Boating
  • Cable way ride

Highlights in Pretoria, South Africa

  • Pretoria Botanical Gardens
  • National Zoological Gardens
  • Fountains Recreational Resort
  • Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary
  • State Theatre
  • Union Buildings and Church Square
  • Numerous museums and historic houses
  • Mapoch Ndebele Village
  • Hatfield and Pretoria Zoo flea Market
  • Pretoria International Market
  • Cullinan Premier Diamond Mine
  • Hartebeespoort Dam
  • Johannesburg attractions (link)
  • Lesedi Cutural Village - near Lanseria Airport
  • Cradle of Humankind - near Lanseria Airport
  • Adventure activities
  • Paint ball - central and Centrurion
  • Quadbiking - Centurion and central
  • Go Karting - Swartkops Race Track

Nature Reserves in and around Pretoria

  • Groenkloof Nature Reserve
  • Rietfontein Nature Reserve
  • Moreletaspruit Nature Reserve
  • Faerie Glen Nature Reserve
  • Wonderboom Nature Reserve
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