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Pretoria » City Info » Travel Tips

Pretoria, one of the major cities of South Africa is a well-known destination for spending memorable holidays. The city is developing at a fast pace serving millions of visitors all over the world. Being close to Johannesburg, Kempton Park and Sandton, the Afrikaner’s history is deeply related to their past. The city has exceptional culture and social significance. One must visit Pretoria in the month of October when it is at its full beauty because of an exquisite cover of jacaranda flowers.

Photo Credit:Creative Commons/Stephantom

Other Essential Information

CountrySouth Africa
ProvinceGauteng
Time ZoneSAST (UTC+2)
Area code(s)012
CurrencyRand (ZAR)
Electricity230V
Safety

Pretoria is a very safe city even though you must use the same precautions and commonsense that you would take in any large city. Avoid walking alone at late night, near parks, streets and other unfriendly places. Do not flaunt your valuables such as camera, wallet and jewellery. Always lock doors while driving on the road. All of your safety depends on you and the government is taking enough precautions so that it can safeguard the tourists. Before you park, keep your valuables under the seats or inside the boot. It is at all times better if you park your vehicle at a security-patrolled parking area. During money transition, you should avoid taking help from a stranger. Right away, contact the bank authority if your ATM card gets misplaced (or stolen).

Tipping

In Pretoria, the restaurants don’t add up service charge in the total billing. If you wish, you can leave 10% (or more) tip for good service. At some petrol stations, a petrol attendant may wash the windscreen of your car whilst you’re filling up. They expect an applicable tip that is R1, R2 and R5 depending on the service. At some parking places, a parking attendant will help you park a car as well expect a tip of R2 or more dependent on the service.

Smoking

According to the government rules, smoking is prohibited at public places such as airport and railway station. However, there is a special room for a smoker and a non-smoker. This facility is very helpful for everybody, smokers and non-smokers alike.

Photo Credit:Creative Commons/HJ van Ree

Refundable Tax

VAT (Value-added-tax) is levied on the purchase of almost all items. However, a tourist can ask for a refund of 14% VAT if the amount of purchased items exceeds R250.00 (the values are subject to change in future). VAT is refunded at the time of departure if you produce the receipts of purchased items upon demand.

Language

There are 11 official languages of South Africa, out of which English is also famous amongst them. The majority of Africans are able to speak and understand English even though it is not their first language. If you are planning to visit Pretoria, you must get familiar with the local language.

  • eish - as in, "eish, it's hot today", "eish, that's expensive" or "eish, that's too far to drive"
  • lekker - nice, enjoyable
  • howzit - how is it? (generally a rhetorical question)
  • yebo - yes
  • boet, bru, china or ou - brother or man (equivalent to dude or bro)
  • koppie - a small hill (can also mean a cup)
  • Madiba - Nelson Mandela
  • Molo - Hello (in Xhosa)
  • robot - traffic light
  • tannie - (auntie) respectful term for an older woman
  • oom - (uncle) respectful term for an older man
  • tinkle - phone call
  • just now - sometime soon (from Afrikaans "net-nou")
  • now now - sooner than just now! (from Afrikaans "nou-nou", pronounced no-no)
  • braai - barbecue
  • cheers - use this for saying good-bye, as well as saying thank you and for the occasional toast.
  • heita - hello
  • sharp - (usually pronounced quickly) OK
  • sure-sure more pronounced like sho-sho - Correct, Agreement, Thank you
  • ayoba - something cool
Public holidays

Major shops, restaurants and cinemas stay closed on public holidays, although they remain opened on Christmas Day as well as New Years Day. If any public holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day (or Monday) is considered a holiday.

  • 1 January - New Year's Day
  • 21 March - Human Rights Day
  • 9 April - Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday)
  • 12 April - Family Day (the Monday after Easter Sunday)
  • 27 April - Freedom Day
  • 1 May - Workers Day
  • 16 June - Youth Day
  • 9 August - Women's Day
  • 24 September - Heritage Day
  • 16 December - Day of Reconciliation
  • 25 December - Christmas Day
  • 26 December - Day of Goodwill

Important Contact details

Most of the hotels, restaurants and hostels provide useful contact details that are very helpful for the tourists.
Tourists Information Bureau
Address: Old Nederlandsche Bank Building, Church Square, Pretoria, South Africa
Phone: +27 12 337 4337

Department of Home Affairs (Visa Extensions)
Address: Sentrakor Building, Pretorius Street, Pretoria, South Africa
Phone: +27 12 324 1860
Emergency Contact Numbers

The National Tourism Information and Safety Line+27 83 123 2345
Police10111
Ambulance10177
Netcare911 (or The National Sea Rescue Institute)082911
All Emergencies112 (Mobile User)