10 Reasons to Visit Pretoria
1. The Blue Train
The Blue Train is considered to be one of the most amazing train journeys in the world. Traveling between the marvelous cities of Pretoria and Cape Town, the train offers luxury accommodations and amenities such as butler service and en-suite bathtubs. The train is basically a 5 star hotel on wheels, offering some of the most picturesque views of South Africa. Enjoy a leisurely journey with exquisite scenery at every turn. The Blue Train is considered one of the most memorable experiences in the country.
2. Kolonnade Ice Rink
Most people think of safaris when they think of South Africa, but ice skating is a popular pastime in Pretoria. The Kolonnade Ice Rink is the perfect place to spend an afternoon on the ice, and is a popular destination for families. For those who have never been on the ice before, there are instructors and classes to help newbies stay on their feet. Located in the popular Kolonnade Shopping Centre, the Ice Rink is just a short drive from Pretoria, and well worth the trip.
3. Rietvlei Nature Reserve
If there’s something that Pretoria is most famous for, it’s perhaps the stunning natural habitat. The Rietvlei is the perfect place to experience an unforgettable experience of the outdoors, with an amazing variety of native birds and animals. The Reserve is located just between Pretoria and Johannesburg International Airport, and within can be found cheetahs, zebras, rhinos, as well as various bucks and over 300 different species of bird. There are wonderful tours available, as well as opportunities for hiking and picnics.
4. Stamp Museum
You don’t have to be a stamp collector to enjoy the charming Stamp Museum. The Museum is popular among families, and makes for a great way to spend a couple of hours during your trip to Pretoria. It’s free to enter the museum, and within its walls you can find over 500,000 stamps of South African and international origin. See some of the most unique stamps in the world on weekdays from 9am to 4pm.
5. Cullinan Diamond Mine
If you’re interested in seeing the place where the largest diamond in the world was discovered, then you can’t miss a trip to the Cullinan Diamond Mine. The famous Cullinan diamond was 3106 carats before it was cut, and is considered one of the most stunning natural discoveries in South Africa. There are both above ground and underground tours available which allow visitors to see the mine and rough diamonds, cutting, polishing, and mine operations in action. This is a great place to spend the afternoon, and is a unique experience that draws many travelers each year.
6. Pretoria Zoo
It’s no surprise that the Pretoria Zoo is home to some of the most extraordinary creatures in Africa. In fact, the Zoo is considered to be one of the best in the world. It’s officially named the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, and is a perfect choice for families with children looking for a fun and educational experience. There are endless walkways within the zoo, as well as an amazing aquarium and reptile park. And if all this variety isn’t enough, there are also 200 different species of birds.
7. Freedom Park
The history of South Africa is incredibly rich, and Freedom Park is a stunning memorial that commemorates this history with amazing architecture and lush surroundings. Freedom Park celebrates the themes of humanity and freedom with various elements that symbolize these concepts. It’s here that you can find the Wall of Names, showing a list of people who died in the eight conflicts in South Africa’s past. These conflicts include the Pre-Colonial Wars, Slavery, Genocide, Wars of Resistance, the South African War, WWI, WWII, and the Struggle for Liberation.
8. Gotcha Paintball Range
If there’s anything that the people of Pretoria love, it’s sport and adventure. For a unique and thrilling experience, head over to the Gotcha Paintball Range. This is the perfect place to take a break from historic landmarks and have a bit of fun. The Range offers five different playing fields with various styles of paintball games that include a walled village, attack the fox, fox & hound, as well as bush/jungle. With this amazing variety, you can literally spend an entire weekend playing paintball. Each game is 3 hours in length, and each player should be prepared to get dirty, and experience a memorable thrill.
9. Bronkhorstspruit Golf Club
Another option for those who want to be active and a bit competitive is the stunning Bronkhorstspruit Golf Club. It’s commonly known as the Bronkies to the locals, and is just a short 20 minute drive from Pretoria. The course offers 18 challenging holes with marvelously maintained greens. There are regular competitions held at the course, and there are often charity golf games hosted here.
10. Moyo Fountains Restaurant
If you’re looking for the most superb upmarket dining in South Africa, head to Moyo Fountains. Situated in a stunning park, the restaurant offers amazing food with authentic and exotic entertainment for those who visit. There’s a luxurious cigar and wine lounge for those who choose to partake, as well as a main dining area and bar. Visitors find the decor and staff attire to be charming and unique, and the establishment offers an overall memorable experience.