Fly to Pretoria/Tshwane, South Africa
Pretoria or Tshwane as many now refer to it as, is more than just a bronze Paul Kruger statue or a flurry of jacaranda trees. Its a city that is shrouded in deep history and an integral part South Africas development. From colonial, apartheid era, and the current democratic state this city has ingrained its reputation of being the head quarters of South Africas political affairs.
Apart from the more serious history, Pretoria has some of the most beautiful scenery and breathe-taking architecture and statues, like the Nelson Mandela statue which stands 9m high at the Union Buildings.
Why visit Pretoria/Tshwane?
- Pretoria boasts the best natural attractions-the famous Jakarandas trees which colour the streets in purple as well as Pretoria National Botanical Gardens are perfect examples of this cities natural beauty!
- Enjoy a family fun-filled day by feeding, playing, or viewing the animals from up high in a cable car at South Africa's largest zoo's which has also been rated the top zoo in the world!
- If you are seeking adventure Pretoria has something for example the Pretoria Sky divining Club which is located at Wonderboom Airport it is said to be one of the most beautiful drop zones in the world!
Pretoria is a generally sunny city and warmer than Johannesburg, so sun protection is a must especially in the drier highveld.
The best time to visit Pretoria would be during spring as this is the time when the Jakaranda trees begin to bloom and this is where you will be able to see why Pretoria is called Jakaranda City, as the streets are covered in purple.
In the hieght of Spring between, September and October temperatures are cooler and pleasant enough to enjoy sight-seeing in the city.
South Africa is known for being very diverse, there are eleven official languages in South Africa which can be found in Pretoria as well. These languages consist of Afrikaans, English, Ndebele, Northern Sotho, Sotho, Swazi, Tsonga, Tswana, Venda, Xhosa, and Zulu.
That being said, the inhabitants of Pretoria/Tshwane predoninanty converse in English, Afrikaans, Tsawna or Ndebele.
Some useful Tswana phrases are:
- Hello - Dumela
- Goodbye - Tsamaya sentle
- Sorry - Ke kopa tshwarel
- Please - Tswêê-tswêê
- Thank you - Ke a leboga
- Because Pretoria was once at the heart of the apartheid regime its very name is the symbol of oppression.
- Pretoria was home to one of the world's biggest soccer ball during the 2010 World Cup, this ball was also 100% recyclable.
- Stanza Bopape street in Pretoria is the longest urban street in South Africa, and one of the longest straight streets in the world.
There are many sights that can be enjoyed in this city. Apartheid has shaped South Africa and especially Pretoria into the city it is today, from the massive Union buildings which is considered to be one of the centres of political life in South Africa, to the Voortrekker Monument that is one of the first Afrikaner national heritage site since the advance of democracy.
Spend time visiting the various museums that are also located around the city like the Transvaal Museum, Kruger House, and the Sammy Marks Museum- walking down the famous Church Square, is where you will be able to absorb a sense of history and culture that came before.
For those art lovers that appreciate African art then the Pretoria Art Museum in Arcadia is a place that you will love-it has beautiful grounds.
The small town of Bronkhorstspruit is situated 50km east of Pretoria, is definitely a place that needs to be explored even if it is just to see the magnificent Nan Hua Buddhist temple.
Hartbeespoort Dam is another place that is loved by locals as there is so many things to do and see from their unparalleled views that can be experienced from the Ama Zwing Zwing zipline, to the beautiful cruise on the dam with the 'Toro Ya Me' boat or even quad biking and paintballing at Arrow Rest.
Pretoria has a lot to offer, and here are a few more places below if you run out of things to do:
- Pretoria National Botanical Garden
- Groenkloof Nature Reserve
- Melrose House
- Pretoria Fort
- Ditsong National Museum
- Dinokeng Game Reserve
South Africa is often referred to as the 'Rainbow Nation' and the same can be said about their food, the food that can be found here is a unique fusion of many different cultures which include Dutch, French, Indian and Malaysian flavours that have been passed down from generation to generation and can now be found in the many restaurants around Pretoria. The best restaurants that can be found in Pretoria include:
- Pacha's Restaurant
- Tin Roof Cafe
- Burger Bistro
- Harissa Bistro
- La Madeleine
- Cafe Bree
- Toni's Fully Furnished Pizza
Majority of the population are of Afrikaaner decent with a strong African following made up of Sepedi, Sesotho, Setswana, Xitsonga, isiZulu
Christianity dominates in this region with a number of dominiations prevelent namely: Anglican Diocese of Pretoria, Apostolic Faith Mission of South Africa, Central Baptist Church, Christian Revival Church, Evangelical Lutheran Church in Southern Africa, Hatfield Christian Church, Hillsong Church, Methodist Church of Southern Africa, Nederduits Gereformeerde Kerk, Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Pretoria, Seventh-day Adventist Church, Shofar Christian Church and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
There are however residents who practise Hinduism, Islam and Judasim in certain communities.
Pretoria is considered to be a relatively safe city by South African standards and violent crime against tourists is very rare.
However walking around at night even in a group is not considered to be all that safe, and as a precaution tourists should remain vigilant at all times.
A Passport with a minimum period validity of 6 months is needed at the time of travel.
A tourist Visa is required of all nationals and residents of Nigeria. Application should be made at least four weeks before departure for South Africa. This can be processed at the South Africa Visa Application Centre (VAC) in Lagos or Abuja.
A valid International Yellow Fever Certificates is mandatory. The certificate is valid for a period of ten years and must be presented prior to boarding a flight.
The High Commission of the Federal Republic of South Africa can be found in Abuja.
Address: Plot 371,
Diplomatic Zone Central Business District Abuja
Phone: 09 462 4200
|Meal, Inexpensive Restaurant||₦1,925||₦580||₦1,199|
|Domestic Beer (0.5 liter draught)||₦250||₦300||₦266.51|
|Taxi 1km (Normal Tariff)||₦200||₦500||₦186.55|
|Pack of Cigarettes (Marlboro)||₦350||₦250||₦506.36|
About Pretoria Airport
Wonderboom Airport (Code: PRY) is located north of Pretoria. Food and beverages: The restaurant that is within the airport is Villa San Giovanni Ristorante.
OR Tambo International Airport (Code: JNB) is located 35 minutes away from Pretoria.
Built in time for the 2010 Soccer World Cup, the Gautrain takes you from O.R. Tambo to Sandton in 15 minutes. In order to use the Gautrain one needs to purchase a Gold Card (available at O.R. Tambo Airport and other outlets). The Gold Card costs R10 and a further R105 to load a single trip to/from the airport. While this may seem expensive, it’s a great alternative to commuting in Johannesburg traffic where one may run the risk of missing a flight because of traffic jams.
The information on this page is correct as of November 2015. While every effort is made to keep information as fresh as possible, Travelstart.co.za takes no responsibility for any of the information being out of date or incorrectly noted.