Known as a former apartheid city which was doomed by oppression and discrimination, Pretoria in South Africa is definitely far from where it was. Today, it is something that the country is proud of: with its observable development in its economy, the advent of numerous hotels and fine-dining restaurants, the suburban villages now abloom with verdant plants and the palpable feeling of cultures mixing with each other resulting in a flamboyant crowd.
Truthfully, Pretoria has developed well over the years and slowly, the city is making its mark as a relevant destination for travelers setting foot in the country. Here, you’ll experience the cosmopolitan side of living simply and be mesmerized by how the people of Pretoria strived to make their hometown a budding tourist spot. When you’re craving for something that’s fresh and unconventional, try Pretoria to get the greatness that the city offers.
Pretoria is located approximately 34 miles northeast of the South African capital city Johannesburg. The town is elevated at 4,393 feet above sea level and is said to be on the transitional belt with Highveld on its southern edge and Bushveld on its northern tip.
Pretoria is surrounded by the towering hills of the well known Magaliesberg range and is currently inhabited by almost 750,000 residents. The city has a total land area of 265.46 square miles and is within the province of Gauteng.
According to the Koppen Climate Classification, Pretoria is under the humid subtropical climate which equates to long summers with high probabilities of rain and cold but dry winters. The highest temperature recorded in Pretoria is at 42-degrees Celsius in January and this can stretch until December depending on the weather.
Temperatures are said to decrease in June, July and August with 5-degrees Celsius as the all-time low. In an annual scale, precipitation can be tracked at 28.86 inches and the total sunshine hours are at 3,220.
Unfortunately, there are no airports located within the limits of Pretoria and the only way that travelers can land in South Africa is through Tambo International and Lanseria Airport, which are 28 miles and 22 miles out of the city respectively. Once inside Pretoria, the most common bus line that you’ll see is named the Putco Bus Systems, which can easily get you connected to the rest of the town.
The bus rides are scheduled by Pretoria’s government and the so-called Tshwane Bus Booklet is handy when you want to know more about the times and trips available within the week. For public transportation, Metrorail operates the rail services in the city and this starts from Pretoria’s city center branching out to other nearby cities such as Germiston, Johannesburg, Ga-Rankuwa, Mamelodi and Soshanguve.
What to See
Built as far back as 1886, the Melrose House now houses a billiard room to satisfy the sporty side of every visitor.
The beautiful architecture will also impress you as stained glass and the in-house conservatory are sure to blow you away.
Erected in 1949, the Voorktrekker Monument is one of the best landmarks known in the whole of Pretoria which represents the group of people from whom it was named.
Similar to Paris’ Eiffel Tower, Pretoria’s Voortrekker Monument is a stone wall carved with numerous wagons in a circular form.
Heroes’ Acre Cemetery
One of the most revered cemeteries in the whole of South Africa, the Heroes’ Acre Cemetery is located just a few meters south of Church Square.
This tranquil patch of land is a resting place for some of Pretoria’s most treasured personalities like Hendrick Verwoerd, Andries Pretorius and Paul Kruger.
Pretoria – Lonely Planet
About Pretoria – Explore South Africa