Best things to do in Pretoria
Find out more about those top places in Pretoria
Welcome to Pretoria, one of South Africa’s three capital cities – it is the administrative capital of the country. Named after the Voortrekker Andres Pretorius, it is considered to be a very serene city and where most people visit if they are looking to avoid the constant hustle and bustle from other major cities.
While visiting, you might hear it been called “Jacaranda City” this is to give reference to the beautiful Jacaranda flower which planted round the city and blooms regularly to give the city its unique aesthetics. Its attractions include monuments, zoos and historical buildings.
Pretoria being the administrative center of South Africa has the major government offices such the Union Buildings. The Union Buildings form the official seat of the President and the offices of the South African Government – designed by the architect Sir Herbert Baker they have European style outlooks. Asides the buildings another attractive feature include its gardens which are made of various indigenous plants, also statues and memorials including statue of General Louis, Delvitte war memorial and the statue of Nelson Mandela.
The beauty of South Africa is usually shown through its wildlife attractions and the Pretoria Zoo offers all of that and more. Known officially as the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, the 200 acres’ zoo was the brainchild of J.W.B. Gunning in 1899 – and it is recognized as the eighth largest zoo in the World. It is one of Pretoria’s most visited attractions with over 600,000 visitors yearly; its attractions are separated into different sections for the optimal experience.
This massive granite structure, was built to commemorate the Voortrekkers who parted ways with the Cape Colony between 1836 and 1854 – they were part of the Great Trek, which saw Dutch-speaking settlers engage in eastward migration through South Africa. The monument designed by Gerard Moerdijk is exceptional in the sense that it is 40 meters high and also has a 40 square meters base. While visiting, be sure to check out the Historical Frieze, which leads to the dome of heroes and the cenotaph.
Beautifully setup, the Loftus Versfield Stadium is where most of the major sporting action in the country can be witnessed life. Named after Robert Loftus Versfield, it can hold 51,762 people and it is considered a multi-purpose stadium but is mainly used for soccer and rugby. It is at this stadium that a good number of South African’s great sporting moments were made, and should be visited for its electrical atmosphere during game days.
The most unexpected of all Pretoria’s sites is the Tswaing Meteorite Crater, said to have been around for 220,000 years. Located some 25 miles (40.23 kilometers) northwest of Pretoria, the theory is that a large meteorite crash to the earth to form the large crater. It offers visitors an opportunity to see something different while admiring the scenic views as well as its flora and fauna attractions.