Pretoria, one of South Africa’s three capital cities is found in the northern part of the Province of Gauteng. It is approximately 67 km from Johannesburg and is known as the Jacaranda City because of the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted in the streets, parks and gardens. When they bloom in October the city comes alive with purple blossoms and leaves.
Pretoria has a sleepy nature with a beauty all of its own. Visitors can take in the natural surroundings at the Groenkloof and Wonderboom Nature Reserves and the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary or explore the city on a steam train. The city is full of history, long involved and fascinating and this provides for many art galleries, museums and monuments to visit.
It’s a great city, with enough open space for walking trails, mountain biking and even a horse trail around the Voortrekker Monument. For even more adventure, visit the Pretoria Sky Diving Club, the largest in the country, for a tandem skydive.
Places to Visit
Things to do and see:
- Union Buildings
- Pretoria National Botanical Gardens
- Pretoria Art Museum
- Kruger House Museum
- Church Square
- Pioneer Museum
- Smuts House Museum
- Groenkloof Nature Reserve
- Pretoria Zoo
- Fort Klapperkop
- Voortrekker Monument
- Freedom Park
- National Museum of Natural History
- Sammy Mark's Museum
- Pretoria Boeremark
- Melrose House & Burgers Park
- Cradle of Humankind
- Menlyn Park Shopping Centre
Tourists can find every type of accommodation, from luxury hotels to backpackers and camping, in the city and surrounding suburbs.
Pretoria experiences its rainfall in the summer months, with December and January seeing the highest levels.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 14˚C and 28˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 3˚C and 21˚C.
There are Domestic and International flights into Johannesburg’s O R Tambo International Airport and Lanseria International Airport on a daily basis. Bus services, the Gautrain, taxis and car rental companies are available for easy access around the area.
April – Oppikoppi Music Festival: Held in Northam just north of Pretoria is one of the biggest Musical festivals. Camping, food, drink and international and local music!
July – Kerkvars Arts Festival: Organised by the University of Pretoria Drama Students.
August/September – Pretoria Show: A huge annual agricultural exhibition.
September – Formula 1 Powerboat Grand Prix: Forms part of the South African Grand Prix Series, a sporting event you do not want to miss.
October – Jacaranda Festival: Held throughout Pretoria with markets, entertainment and concerts.
More festivals can be attended in the surrounding areas of Pretoria, including Johannesburg.
The Southern Transvaal Ndebele occupied the river valley around 1600, the location which would become the city of Pretoria. They built their colourful huts along the banks of the river which became Tswane, “little Ape” or “Apies” after one of their Chiefs.
In 1825 a second band of refugees arrived, runaways from the Zulu tribe, and the first Boer homestead settled in the Fountains Valley in 1840.
Pretoria itself was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, a leader of the Voortrekkers, who named it after his farther Adries Pretorius. Andries was became a national hero after his victory over the Zulus in the Battle of Bloodriver. Pretoria became the capital of South Africa on 1 May 1860, marking the end of the Boers’ settlement movements and the Great Trek.
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Wonderboom Nature Reserve
The Wonderboom Nature Reserve in Gauteng of South Africa is situated just 7 km from the city of Pretoria. The Reserve is a fairly small Reserve in the Magaliesburg Mountains, but it offers its visitors much to see. The main attraction would be its…Meer
The Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Gauteng of South Africa is situated just 5 km from the city of Pretoria. The area was first proclaimed a game sanctuary by South African President Paul Kruger in 1895, the first on the African continent. The Resort…Meer
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