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Region of Gauteng - City/Town of Pretoria


City/Town of Pretoria

City/Town : Pretoria
Region : Gauteng
Country : South Africa
Continent : Africa
Population : 741,651
Area : 687.54 sq km
Latitude : 25°44′46″S
Longitude : 28°11′17″E
Visiting Pretoria

from WikiTravel

Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, is in Gauteng.

The area known today as Tshwane Metro Council, with Pretoria (City) at its centre, was allegedly occupied by the Sotho people for many centuries. During the 15th century the Ndebele people also migrated into the area and settled along the banks of what is today called the Apies River. Around 1820 the Matabele under the leadership of Mzilikaza also entered the region, leading to local conflicts between the Matabele newcomers and the already established Sotho and Ndebele tribes as well as the European Voortrekkers who were steadily moving northward through the country. These conflicts came to an end when the Matabele were defeated by the Voortrekkers in 1837 at Mosega.

By 1855 there was no known tribe in what is known as Pretoria area today. Only nomadic groups passed through this area, with a leader/person Tshwane (so it is alleged) one of the them. Pretoria was founded in 1855. Initially the capital of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek was Ohrigstad, but Pretoria became the capital of the then ZAR. Later on Pretoria became the capital of the Transvaal province (old ZAR) after the Anglo-Boer War. The city was named after Andries Pretorius, the boer leader at the Battle of Blood River where the Voortrekkers defeated the Zulus under King Dingaan. In 1856 the area today know as Arcadia was acquired in exchange for a pony and added to the town.

In 1899, during the Anglo-Boer War, Winston Churchill was captured and held as a POW in Pretoria until his eventual escape to Mozambique. British forces captured Pretoria in 1900 and held control over the city until the signing of the Peace of Vereeniging treaty in 1902.

When the Union of South Africa was established in 1910, Pretoria was elected the capital and is still the administrative capital of the Republic of South Africa today.


  • Botanical Gardens, ☎ +27 (0)12 843-5194 (, [11]. Open 8AM to 6PM daily. R15 entrance fee (R18 on special event days). 
  • National Zoological Gardens (The Zoo), 232 Boom Street (Near the city center), ☎ +27 (0)12 328-3265 ( Aquarium, reptile park and all the larger mammals. One can also camp within the zoo on Friday and Saturday nights. R10 for secure parking plus R36 entrance fee. For those not inclined to walk, golf carts are available at R80 per hour. 
  • The Union Buildings, 2 Church Street, ☎ +27 (0)12 323-5649. The location of the South African presidency with beautiful gardens. Building designed by sir Herbert Baker. 
  • The Wonderboom (Wonder tree), Wonderboom Nature Reserve, [12]. A fig tree over 1000 years old 
  • Pretoria Art Gallery, Cnr Schoeman and Wessels Str, Arcadia Park, ☎ 012 344 1807/8. Tuesday to Sunday: 10:00 to 17:00. One of Gauteng's few public art galleries - diverting range of modern and contemporary art, and thankfully open on Saturday afternoon's and Sundays. R20.


  • Correctional Services Museum, ☎ +27 (0)12 314-1766, [13]. Open 9AM to 3PM Monday to Friday. 
  • Melrose House Museum, 275 Jacob Maré Street, ☎ +27 (0)12 322-2805 ( Where the peace treaty that ended the Anglo-Boer War as signed in 1902. 
  • National Cultural History Museum, 149 Visagie Street, ☎ +27 (0)11 324-6082, [14]. Learn about the people and the cultures of South Africa, from the Iron age till today. (Wheelchair friendly). 
  • Pioneer Museum, ☎ +27 (0)12 803-6086 (, [15]. Open 9AM to 4PM daily. An old pioneer house R7 entrance fee. 
  • Sammy Marks Museum, Zwartkoppies, ☎ +27 (0)12 802-1150, [16]. 
  • Transvaal Museum, Paul Kruger Street, ☎ +27 (0)12 322-7632, [17]. Where you can meet Mrs. Pless [18] when she is not on tour somewhere. 
  • Voortrekker Monument and Fort Scanskop, Eeufees Road, Groenkloof (On Proclamation Hill, big cubic building, to the south west of the city, you can't miss it), ☎ +27 (0)12 326-6770, [19]. R40 per person (plus R22 per car). 
  • Freedom Park, Salvokop of Potgieter Street (Located on a hill across from the Voortrekker Monument), ☎ +27 (0)12 470-7400 (, fax: +27 (0)12 361-0021), [20]. 
  • Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum, ☎ +27 (0)12 736-2035 (, [21]. 
  • Kruger House Museum, 60 Church Str, ☎ +27 (0)12 326-9172 (fax: +27 (0)12 328-5173),


  • Friends of the Rail, ☎ +27 (0)12 548-4090, [23]. Take a step back in time and circle Pretoria on a steam train or visit Cullinan, birth place of the worlds largest diamond. 
  • Klitsgras Drumming Circle, Tierpoort, Garsfontein Road (Take the Garsfontein Road (M30) in the eastern direction. 14km after crossing Hans-Strijdom Drive, turn left onto Plot 62. It's right next to the Excel service station.), ☎ +27 (0)83 311-0025, [24]. Drumming circle out in the bush. Held every second Friday night.
  • Groenkloof Nature Reserve, Fountains Valley Resort, ☎ +27 (0)12 440-8316 (, [27]. 5:30AM to 7PM in summer and 7AM to 8PM in winter. Walk, mountainbike, go on a 4x4 drive or stay over in the second oldest nature reserve in the world. See giraffe, antelope and many other animals. R15 entrance fee, R35 (with R300 refundable deposit) for an overnight hut (sleeps 12), R50 per day for mountainbike hire, R100 for guided walks, R40 for access to the 4x4 trail (R250 if you get stuck and call for a recovery vehicle). 
  • Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, cnr Boshoff and Roper, ☎ +27 (0)12 440-8316 (, [28]. Open 7AM to 5PM (6PM in summer). Free entrance. 
  • Wonderboom Nature Reserve, ☎ +27 (0)12 341-0591, [29]. Open 7AM to 6PM, entrance until 4PM. Not much wildlife, some Dassies at most. A very old fig tree.