Pretoria is referred as the administrative capital of South Africa and it is also known as a Jacaranda city. Though you may have heard less about this city, it has a lot to create a name in your unforgettable traveling memories. From natural reserves, amazing wildlife to historical monuments, you will find a lot unique in this city of South Africa. If you are planning to visit South Africa in the coming time then you should consider visiting Pretoria without any doubt. Here is a Pretoria travel guide that covers everything from top things to do in Pretoria to best places to visit in Pretoria:
- Pretoria National Botanic Garden: In the eastern outskirts of the town the Pretoria National Botanic Garden is a quiet oasis close to town. South Africa, with over 50% of the tree species, and a large number of blooming plants, cycads, aloes, and other spectacular collections, is the highlight of the 76-hectare gardens. Quartzite ridges divide the park into two halves. In the warmer north face vegetation contrasts with the cooler south. The plants are categorized by their climate regions, such as the Karoo savannas, coastal woodlands, and Namibian grasslands. No wonder, it is listed amongst one of the best places to visit in Pretoria.
- Union Buildings: The Union Buildings are composed of South Africa’s official seal and the South African President’s office. The Union Buildings are located in Pretoria and are available to the public. There are vast gardens around the buildings that give it a lovely charm. There are also several sculptures and monuments on the site, one of which being Nelson Mandela’s renowned statue. This is one of the top places to visit in Pretoria and also Picnic at the Union Buildings is the best thing to do in Pretoria.
- Transvaal Museum: The Transvaal Museum is a museum of natural history in Pretoria. It is the best tourist attraction in Pretoria to learn and one of the top locations to visit with family in Pretoria. So everyone who watches Jurassic Park is intrigued and would enjoy this site. Don’t worry, the site just has dinosaurs’ skeletons! The museum also exhibits birds, reptiles, and insects, including these extinct giants.
- Rietvlei Dam: Rietvlei Nature Reserve is an extensive grassland region, home to a variety of endangered flora and animals, 18 kilometers from the center of Pretoria. This enormous reserve is a wide territory of great diversity, with intriguing flora and fauna species, a must for every nature enthusiast! Driving through the grasslands reserve is famous since the park offers a wonderful picnic area and also the chance to see more than 1500 live animals. The park is an excellent location for leopards and cheetahs as well as other species like blesbucks, black wild strawberries, and waterbucks. This large dam allows guests to get a good several hours of leisure along northern and western coasts! The other dam in the park, Marais Dam, is a top tourist attraction of Pretoria for a pleasant picnic with the family.
- Kruger House Museum: South Africa’s final residence, Paul Kruger, nowadays a museum showcasing life during his stay in the residence. The Kruger House in Pretoria is an iconic landmark. The South African President was President Paul Kruger, one of the leading leaders in the fight for liberation against the British. During the era, Kruger stayed here from 1884 and 1900 when he was exiled for Europe, the mansion was restored to depict life and time. The home was interestingly built with milk rather than using water to mix the cement since it was low quality. Step into the house is like entering another time and no wonder it is listed amongst one of the historic places to visit in Pretoria South Africa.
- Loftus Versfeld Stadium: The renowned home stadium of the Blue Bulls rugby team and 5 FIFA World Cup games in 2010. The Loftus Stadium is the famous venue throughout the year for different events. During the 1995 RUGBY World Cup, the 2009 FIFA Confederations Cup, and the 2010 FIFA World Cup, this 51.000-capacity stadium held major games, such as the match in which Diego Forlan scored one of Uruguay’s objectives in a game against South Africa itself. The Stadium has also held concerts by various worldwide performers, and also the historical boxing event for the WBA Heavyweight Champion Title between Gerrie Coetzee and John Tate.
- Pretoria Forts: This is one of the popular tourist spots in Pretoria for all history buffs. Just before the start of the Anglo-Boer War II, the Pretoria Forts were built by the Republic of South Africa. You might know much about the history of that area by learning the context and significance of a fort. Before the Anglo-Boer war II commenced around Pretoria’s capital the Pretoria Forts were erected. It was built and consists of 4 forts – Fort Schanskop, Fort Wonderboompoort, Fort Klapperkop, and Fort Daspoortrand – under the rule of the Republic of South Africa. The first three are forts in Germany while the fourth is a fort in France.
- Groenkloof Nature Reserve: The Nature Reserve of Groenkloof is a fantastic family vacation for a wide selection of activities. There are three walking paths for folks who are fitness-conscious and like walking. Walkers can also book a hut for the night. You may also take them on poney tours and horseback rides if you travel with children. You can rent picnic places from the Nature Reserve. You can see zebras, giraffes, and some wild animals even when you’re here. The ticket depends on the type of activity you want to conduct.
- National Zoological Gardens of South Africa: A day of animal enjoyment for the family, covering 85 hectares, the National South African Zoological Gardens. The zoo has a hiking aviary, a reptile house with a variety of creatures from all over the globe, and the only inland water aquarium in the nation, where various fish species, like ragged-tooth sharks, may be viewed. All these reasons also make it one of the best places to see Pretoria. The highlights are the display of lion and tiger, hippos and elephants. among the great animal collection. To tour the Zoo, guests can hire golf carts per hour, ride the bird’s eye view cableway to watch the birds, or walk along walkways for a close-up view of the animals.
- Melrose House: The national monument, Melrose House, provides tourists an experience of the end of the 19th century. This beautiful Victorian villa, built-in 1866 by rich businessman George J. Heys was the place where the Convention of Vereeniging was signed. The mansion is a good example of a maintained Victorian building filled with antiques. Highlights include stained glass windows, porcelain decorations, British artist paintings, and decorated architectural features. There are guided tours. The hall is utilized for art shows, concerts, and antique fairs, while in the tea garden the café sells refreshments.
- Pretoria Zoo: The unique fauna of South Africa mesmerizes every traveler and Pretoria zoo is no exception to it. Here you will get an opportunity to get acquainted with several rare wildlife species that you can’t find anywhere else in the world. Whether those are reptiles or aquatic animals, the zoo boasts about diversity in animals. It is spread over an area of more than 80 acres and recognized as one of the largest zoos in the world. Here you will spot owl aviaries, emu, and several rare birds which kids enjoy playing with.
- Voortrekker Monument: It is a national heritage site of South Africa and also recognized as one of the most popular monuments and top places to visit in Pretoria. It was established in the year 1949 and since then referred as popular tourist spots in Pretoria which is visited by millions of local as well foreign travelers. The granite structure of 40-meter height is considered as a reputed landmark in South Africa with several steps that take you to the Hall of Heroes.
- Freedom Park: South Africa has a long history of independence and there are lots of people who have sacrificed their lives to help the country achieve freedom. The Freedom Park is a unique masterpiece that was constructed in order to commemorate freedom fighters who lost their lives in South African wars. When you visit this incredible park, you will get to see the names of all people who contributed towards the freedom of the country and sacrificed their lives in different kinds of wars.
- Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve: If you are planning to South Africa then you can’t overlook its wildlife jewels and Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve is a perfect example of it. This serene place is considered as a true paradise for nature lovers and hikers. It is spread over a gigantic area of 100 hectares thereby offering enough space for natural habitats to survive and grow. Some of the unique animal species you will find here include ostrich, zebra, bushbuck, impala and springbok. In the vicinity, you can spot different types of birds traveling in huge numbers thereby creating amazing patterns.
- Church Square: If you want to dig into the history of South Africa tourist attractions then you must visit Church Square in Pretoria. Here you can spot several architectural sites that will make you stunned even after a first glance. The square features several masterpieces such as Post Office, Old Capitol Theatre and the list is never-ending. While walking on the streets, you can also spot several statues and creative structures installed which is also a rare site to watch.
Visit The Voortrekker Monument, Make A Visit To Vibey Market at The Sheds, Tall Stories And Agatha Panther, Enjoy Some Peace At Ludwig’s Rose Farm, The Other Side Of Pretoria At Abseiling, Get wilder at the Pretoria Zoo, Enjoy Natural Beauty At Rietvlei Nature Reserve, Hiking At Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Hike At Hennops Hiking &Mtb Trails, Camera Obscura At The University Of Pretoria are the top 10 things to do in Pretoria.
What’s next waiting for you?
There is more in South Africa than just wildlife and Pretoria city is a perfect example of it. Here you will come across several unique travel destinations that you may have not heard before. Now you know exactly where to go and what to do in Pretoria, you can embark your journey right now. If you are planning to explore the best places to visit near Pretoria then check out our other guides on South Africa and browse through all the information.