Posted by: RasmaSandra | September 22, 2017

Incredible Pretoria


Pretoria a city in Gauteng Province, is the administrative capital of South Africa and is known as Jacaranda City because of the many jacaranda trees.

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The Voortrekker Monument was built between 1938 and 1949 to honor the journey of the Voortrekkers. These were Boer pastoralists who took a journey north over the coastal mountians of the Cape into the heart of the African veld. The monument is surrounded by a 3,4-sq-km nature reserve.

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The edifice is ringed by a stone wall that is carved with 64 wagons in a traditional laager or circle.

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The building is shaped like a huge stone cube and each corner bears the face of an Afrikaner hero. Visitors can take a staircase and an elevator to the roof from where they can get fantastic views of Pretoria.

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Freedom Park is located atop of Salvokop Hill offering panoramic views. The park was opened to the public in 2007 and includes a series of poignant memorials. The site overlooks the nearby Voortrekker Monument.

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One of the highlights in the park is the Wall of Names, inscribed with the names of all the people who lost their lives in South Africa’s major conflicts. There is an eternal flame. The Gallery of Leaders gives an inspirational look at role models on the road to freedom. Guided tours are available that offer visitors interesting stories and the symbolic features of the architecture.

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You can walk on Mveledzo, a spiral path that cuts into the natural landscape.

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Right in the heart of the city you’ll find Church Square which is surrounded by

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impressive public buildings like the Palace of Justice,

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the Ou Raadsaal or Old Government building, the Old Capitol Theater, First National Banking and the Old Nederlandsche Bank building. In the middle of the square is a statue.


The Kruger Museum has found its home in the former residence of Paul Kruger, president of the South Africa Republic from 1883 to 1900. The house was built in 1884 and is guarded by two stone lions. Visitors can see period furniture and a collection of personal items belonging to Kruger and his wife.

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The Union Buildings sit in beautiful gardens on Meintjieskop Hill which is the highest point in the city. They were designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1913. These are impressive sandstone buildings in a mix of Italian Renaissance, English Renaissance and Cape Dutch styles.

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It’s the seat of government and home to the offices of the president and the state archives. In the gardens you’ll find the Delville Wood Memorial, commemorating the South African soldiers who fought in WW I; statues of the South African Prime Ministers Louis Botha, J.B.M. Hertzog and J,C, Smuts;

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as well as a nine-meter-tall statue of Nelson Mandela. Visitors can stroll in the gardens and get great views of the city.

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The Pretoria Art Museum is an art museum that displays South African art. There are also regularly changing exhibitions.

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Melrose House is a stately mansion that was built in 1886. The Treaty of Vereeniging, ending the Anglo-Boer War was signed in the dining room on May 31, 1902. Highlights here include a grand billiard room with a stained-glass smoking nook and a conservatory that has a collection of political cartoons from the Anglo-Boer War.

It is a National Monument that was built in 1866 by businessman George J, Heys. It is filled with antiques. The house is also used for art exhibitions, concerts and antique fairs. There is a cafe serving snacks in the tea garden.

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Pretoria National Zoological Gardens stretches for 85 hectares.

One of the highlights here is a cable car running to the top of the hill overlooking the city.

This large zoo has a walk-through aviary, a reptile house and the country’s only inland aquarium with many species of fish among them ragged tooth sharks.

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Highlights among the large mammals include the lion and tiger exhibit, hippos and elephants.

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Visitors can tour the zoo in rented golf carts, ride the cableway or stroll along the paths to get up close with the animals. Night visits and overnight camping is available.

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The National Cultural History Museum offers a look into the cultural history of South Africa. There are exhibition on San rock art, Iron Age figurines from Limpopo and a small gallery of contemporary South African works.

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The Pretoria National Botanic Garden is located in the eastern suburbs. It spotlights South African species with over half the country’s tree species as well as lots of flowering plants, cycads, sloes and others.

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A quartzite ridge cuts the park into two sections. The plants are grouped according to climatic region, like the savannas of the Karoo, coastal forests and the grassland plains of Namibia. There are paved nature trails leading through the natural vegetation of the rocky ridge above the garden.

The National Herbarium is home to the largest collection of plant specimens in South Africa with over a million species cataloged and stored here. You can enjoy a meal at the lakefront restaurant.

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Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center is a non-profit center that was established in 1971 as a cheetah breeding project. Since then the center has successfully bred African wild dogs, Cape vultures and brown hyenas among others. The center was also the first to breed the rare king cheetah.

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Visitors can choose from a variety of educational tours like a three-hour guided tour and touch experience where visitors accompany keepers on feeding rounds and enjoy petting experiences.

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Both hikers and nature lovers enjoy the Moreleta Kloof Nature Reserve. In the 19th century this reserve was a dairy farm and one of the original buildings has been converted into a restaurant where visitors can dine on a lovely deck and watch animals go by.

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There are springbuck, impala, bushbuck, zebra and ostrich as well as many different birds.  Water for the animals is provided by a tributary that flows through the reserve. There is a choice of different hiking trails.

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  1. Your articles are beautiful. You have visited some lovely places. Great

    • Glad you enjoyed the tour. This is an armchair blog. I haven’t visited and couldn’t possibly have visited all the places I write about. I put my blog together with information I gather and select the best photos so people can enjoy seeing and learning about the beauty of these places and can add them to their travel lists.

      • Ok nice to know that. I will look up to your articles for our holiday destination. They r quite informational

  2. As always a beautiful picture tour with places and animals.

    • Thank you Crystal.

  3. I enjoy the images of the animals. In Africa I love the focus on preservation. Why do parts of Africa still support big-game hunting? It seems like such a waste of life to me.

    • So true Danny but game hunting still is of interest and safaris still draw in many tourists. Of course the best would be taking tourist on safaris where they only shoot with a camera. Hopefully in the future.

      • I cannot imagine looking at a beautiful elephant and saying “man, look how beautiful! Let’s kill it.”

  4. But you could imagine looking at an elephant and saying take a photo.

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