Pretoria is the executive Capital of South Africa. Pretoria was named after the Voortrekker (Boer pioneer) leader Andries Pretorius. It falls under the metropolitan municipality of Tshwane. The debate around changing the name of the city to Tshwane is ongoing (2013).
Pretoria lies at an altitude of 1,350 m above sea level in the transition belt between the Highveld to the South and the typical Bushveld (Middle veld) to the North. It is surrounded by hills of the Magaliesberg Mountain Range. The region was originally (around the 1600’s) inhabited by the Southern Ndebele tribe. During the difaqane wars among the different tribes refugees under Mzilikazi arrived in this region. Ultimately, in 1855 the city was founded under the leadership of Andries Pretorius.
Today the larger Pretoria (Tshwane municipality) has a population of 2.95 million (2011). The main language spoken is Sotho followed by Pedi, Afrikaans, Tswana, Tsonga, Zulu and English.
Popular attractions in Pretoria include the Voortrekker Monument, Church Square, the Kruger House, the Union Buildings, and the University of Pretoria. Other nearby attractions include the Premier Diamond Mine, the Lesedi Cultural Village and the Hartbeespoort Dam.
The German-guided version of our tour that covers the highlights of South Africa (link to English tour provided as well). It provides a mix of cities, countryside, historical sites, scenic drives, nature, wildlife, culture and people. The southbound tour starts in Johannesburg and ends in Cape Town.
Highlights: Panorama Route , Blyde River Canyon , Kruger National Park , Swaziland , Hluhluwe-Imfolozi Game Reserve , St. Lucia , iSimangaliso Wetland Park , Transkei , Garden Route , Storm’s River Mouth , Knysna , Cango Caves , Route 62 , Cape Winelands , Stellenbosch , Paarl , Cape Town .
Tour popular attractions in Pretoria, the Executive Capital of South Africa, including the Voortrekker Monument, Church Square, the Kruger House and the Union Buildings. The city was named after the Voortrekker (pioneer) leader Andries Pretorius. It borders Johannesburg to the north.
Highlights: Pretoria , Voortrekker Monument , Kruger House , Union Buildings .
The Voortrekker Monument is situated on a hilltop to the south of Pretoria. Designed by Gerhard Moerdyk, the huge granite structure was inaugurated on 16 December 1948. It commemorates the historic “Great Trek” to the North by Dutch (Afrikaner) Boers in order to escape British rule in the Cape Colony.
The Kruger House museum in Pretoria was the residence of Paul Kruger, president of the "Zuid Afrikaanse Republiek". The ZAR was one of the two boer republics that were founded after the Great Trek from the Cape Colony. This unimposing house contains furniture and memorabilia that reflects the lifestyle of the period.
The Union Buildings in Pretoria, South Africa, is home to the offices of the State President and the Department of Foreign Affairs. These imposing buildings were originally designed by Sir Herbert Baker for the recently founded Union of South Africa (1910). The inauguration of Nelson Mandela as the first president of the new democratic South Africa also took place at this venue.