Pretoria » City Info » Travel Tips

Pretoria, one of the major cities of South Africa, is a popular tourist 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. In mid-October, one must visit Pretoria when the purple jacaranda trees on almost all streets make it more beautiful.


Pretoria is a safe city, but you must take extra precautions like any other large city. Avoid walking alone at late night near parks, lonely streets and other unfriendly places. Do not flaunt your valuables such as a camera, wallet and jewellery. Always lock doors while driving on the road. Before you park a car, keep your valuables under the seats. It is better if you park your vehicle at a security-patrolled parking area. During the money transactions, avoid taking help from a stranger. If your credit or debit card gets misplaced (or stolen), immediately block it.


In Pretoria, the restaurants don't add up service charges in the total bill amount. If you wish, you can leave a 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 a tip depending on the service. A parking attendant will help you park a car at some parking areas and expect a tip depending upon the service.


According to the government rules, smoking is prohibited at public places such as airports and railway stations. However, there is a smoker zone/room.

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.


There are 11 official languages of South Africa. The majority of Africans speak and understand the English language even though it is not their first language. If you are planning to visit Pretoria, 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 and 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. However, they remain open on Christmas day and New Year Eve. If any public holiday falls on a Sunday, the next day (or Monday) is considered a holiday.

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

Important Contact details

Most of the hotels, restaurants and hotels provide helpful contact details.

Emergency Contact Numbers

Police 10111
All emergencies112 (mobile phone)