South Africa is an enchanting and diverse country, making it one of the most popular holiday destinations for all those who are willing to board a long haul flight to get there. From Cape Town to Johannesburg, the country boasts a wealth of breath-taking landscapes and culture to explore, so much so that any visitor will need to return time and time again to best experience the country.
Pretoria is one South African city that is not a hotspot on the typical South African tourist trail, but is definitely worth visiting for any traveller making a subsequent visit to the country, or for the holidaymaker that is looking for a more uniqueexperience.
SouthAfrica’s administrative capital, Pretoria, is located in Gauteng province and is a very short distance away from Johannesburg, which is the country’s largest city. For those who decide to spend their time exploring all that this smaller urban area has to offer, here is a selection of the top sights to see and activities to experience.
The first place that any visitorto Pretoria has to visit is the Union Building, which is where the President of South Africa is based. With the architecture symbolising the union betweentwo formerly divided peoples, the Union Buildings are not to be missed for a fascinatingglimpse into the politicalhistory and culture of the country.
Another interesting sight to see in the city is Klapperkop Fort, which is one of several that was built to defend the city during the 1800s. As well as being a location of historical and military interest for visitors, the fort also providesfantastic views of this beautiful city.
Church Square is the centre of Pretoria and is definitely not to be missed by holidaymakers exploring the city. With its period architecture and buildings such as the Palace of Justice, the Old Capitol Theatre and the General Post Office, this spot is worth visiting for a glimpse into the “past life” of South Africa around 100 years ago.
Despite there beingplenty to see in the city itself, travelling outside the urban area is also worth the effort, with just a short drive taking any traveller to a range of fascinating spots of natural, cultural and historicalinterest. Dinokeng – or “a place of rivers” – is one of these areas.
Dinokeng is only 80 kilometres’ drive for anyone investing in car hire in Pretoria, and consists of the Dinokeng Game Reserve, the historic town of Cullinan and the Roodeplaat nature reserve. Whilst the latter is popular with lovers of watersports, the Dinokeng Game Reserve is one area of South Africa where the “Big Five” can roam completely free.
Cullinan town is a former diamond mining town that produced the largest rough diamond in the world, and whose past as a working town still influences the character of the place. Visitors to Dinokeng can also learn about the indigenous Ndebele culture here, as well as enjoy fresh beer at the famous Khuwana Tavern,which attracts visitors from all across South Africa.
Also a short drive away from the capital is The Cradle Of Humankind, a WorldHeritage Site that is home to approximately 40% of the world’s fossils of human ancestors. The many fossil sites here – including Sterkfontein Caves, Kromdraai and Swartkrans – make for a truly fascinating visit, and are easily accessibletovisitors investing in car hire in Pretoria or Johannesburg.
All in all, Pretoria offers the perfectblend of a charming city break along with the possibility to discover ancient human history as well as the more recent history of South Africa. In addition to this, the areas of natural beauty and the captivatingwildlife of Dinokeng are sure to thrill every visitor.
Whether they decide to spend part of their budget on car hire in Pretoria in order to see all that the surrounding area has to offer, or instead stay and discover everyday life in this historic city, it is sure that each and every traveller to this part of South Africa will make more than a few unforgettable memories.