Administrative capital of the Republic of South Africa, Pretoria is an ideal holiday haven with fascinating old architecture, various historical sites and flourishing suburbs. Renowned as the Jacaranda City, it holds many treasures and surprises, and is visited by many travellers throughout the year.
Read on and learn about some of the major allures of Pretoria:
A massive 40-metre high structure made of granite, Voortrekker Monument is a true historical delight, overlooking the entire city of Pretoria. Built to commemorate the Voortrekkers, it is home to the Hall of Heroes that is equipped with the world’s biggest marble frieze. Make a visit to this rich historical site with your family and learn about the complete history of the Great Trek. You will also get to see many statues of Voortrekker leaders around the monument.
Pretoria National Botanical Garden
One of the nine National Botanical Gardens of South Africa, Pretoria National Botanical Garden is a peaceful retreat to take a break from the hustle of the city. The garden was established in 1946 and was opened to the public in 1984. You will love to take a walk along the natural trails of the garden and explore a wonderful collection of the beautiful South African plant species. The garden is split into western and eastern sections; while the western section is home to many smaller gardens including medicinal garden and the succulent garden, the eastern section comprises lush grasslands.
Counted among the largest zoos in the world, Pretoria Zoo is the informal name of the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa. The zoo was established in 1899 and it is here that one can meet around 9000 animals from over 700 species. It is popular as the home to majestic animals like the Bengal Tiger and Lions. You will also spot many exotic animals such as Komodo dragons, Koalas, and Kangaroos, and a number of African animals like leopards, elephants, gorillas here. Most of the tourists visit here for picnicking around the Apies River that flows through the zoo and separates it into two different sections.
Known to be the historic centre of Pretoria, Church Square was once a marketplace and a churchyard where farmers used to gather and observe Holy Communion. The most prominent feature of the square is the statue of the late Boer leader and president of the South African Republic, Paul Kruger, located at its centre since June 1954. Many stunning historical buildings also surround the square such as Old Capitol Theatre, Palace of Justice, Tudor Chambers, Ou Raadsaal (the Old Chambers) and more.
Home to the offices of the President of South Africa, Union Buildings are one of the iconic heritage sites in the country. These buildings form the official seat of the South African Government and are located amidst beautiful gardens. Built from light sandstone and designed in English monumental style, Union Buildings appeal to the eyes of tourists from different parts of the world. There are many monuments and statues within the grounds that are known for their unique architectural design. You can visit here with your family and friends and spend an ideal day exploring the area.