Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa in Gauteng, has many treasures and surprises enfolded in its arms. Pretoria is called Jacaranda City since the city is filled with thousands of Jacaranda trees. During spring, from late September to mid-November, Pretoria is covered in purple! The best places to view this stunning beauty are Pienaar Street, Murray Street and Marais Street, Klapperkop Nature Reserve, Union Buildings, Bosman & Cilliers Streets etc.
Below are some attractions that rank among the top attractions in Pretoria.
The Voortrekker Monument is a massive historical structure carved out of granite to commemorate and honour the heroes of the Great Trek. The monument sits atop a hill overlooking the entire city of Pretoria. The historical frieze consists of 27 bas-relief panels portraying the history of the Great Trek. Thirty-three rays fall on Cenotaph on the Day of the Vow, which commemorates the victory of the Voortrekkers at the Battle of the Blood River.
Address: Eeufees Rd, Groenkloof 358-Jr, Pretoria, 0027, South Africa.
Photo credit: Núria Pueyo / CC BY-SA 3.0
Freedom Park Heritage Site & Museum
The Freedom Park Heritage Site & Museum is a testimony to the countless sacrifices made by the heroes of South Africa. It is a monument built on the cornerstones of human dignity, rights and freedom. The Wall of Fame at the park is engraved with the heroes of South African history. It is a monument for South Africa to gain closure while drawing inspiration and courage from its past.
Address: Koch st., 7th Ave, Salvokop, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.
The National Zoological Garden of South Africa, also known as Pretoria Zoo, is the largest zoo in South Africa and the only one to boast the status of a national zoo. It consists of an aquarium, reptile park, camping sites, golf area. It is home to large mammals, reptiles, fish and birds and exotic trees.
Address: 232 Boom St, Daspoort 319-Jr, Pretoria, 0001, South Africa.
Pretoria National Botanical Garden
The Pretoria National Botanical Garden is a must-see for the wide variety of fauna and flora. The garden contains wetland, medicinal, cycad, succulent and tea plants. It also has a restaurant, a stage for events, an artificial waterfall and a walking trail. At the centre of the garden is the National Herbarium, Biodiversity Center and Environmental Education Center.
Address: 2 Cussonia Street, Brummeria, Pretoria, 0184, South Africa.
The Union Buildings are home to the office of the President of South Africa and the official seat of the government of South Africa. The buildings are attractive and an architectural feat too. The structure is representative of the union of formerly divided people. The spectacular gardens form the perfect surroundings for this architectural feat.
Address: Government Ave, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.
Photo credit: Davinci77 / CC BY-SA 3.0
The Klapperkop is one of the four forts built to defend the city at the end of the 19th century, located on Klapperkop hill. The fort never had to test its powers in a battle. It offers splendid and spectacular views of the city. It also has a military museum that attracts lots of visitors.
Address: Johann Rissik Dr, rylaan, Pretoria, 0105, South Africa.
The Church Square is located in the centre of Pretoria and is a significant square in the history of Pretoria. The centrepiece is the statue of Paul Kruger, the former President of South Africa. The garden at the square is adorned with Jacaranda trees. The Church Square is surrounded by the General Post Office, Place of Justice and the Old Capitol Theatre.
Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary
The sanctuary is named after the famous ornithologist of South Africa, 'J Austin Roberts'. The two dams at the sanctuary create a haven for birds and attract a wide species of birds. The blue crane and the crown crane are some of the rare species that can be found here. Guided tours or walks are available to watch these birdies at their jobs. Alternatively, they can also be viewed from the bird hides.
Address: Corner of and, Roper St & Boshoff St, Muckleneuk, Pretoria, South Africa.
The Venning Rose Park
Known initially as Eastwood Square, the park was renamed to honour the former Municipal Director of Park, 'John Harold Venning', who retired in 1940. The park has a rosarium that boasts of around 3000 species of roses!
Address: Eastwood St, Arcadia, Pretoria, 0002, South Africa.