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Tourist Places To Visit In Pretoria
Familiar as the "Jacaranda City" to many locals, Pretoria uniquely has jacaranda trees lined up along most of its streets. The city was formed by Marthinus Pretorius in 1855, resembling a peaceful sister in comparison to the nearby Johannesburg. Pretoria is studded with some exciting tourist places to visit, including a truckload of historical and cultural museums that are sure to take you back into the bygone era. Ancient buildings are apt symbols of the marvelous architectural prowess of yesteryears. Tourists can also visit game reserves and botanical gardens to catch a glimpse of South Africa's wildlife. Let us have a look at some of these exciting tourist places of Pretoria.
The Smuts Museum is a significant historical feature of the Doornkloof area of the city of Pretoria. Named after Jan Smuts, an exceptional military leader and philosopher of South Africa, the museum is surrounded by shrubs and native trees planted by the man himself. Jan Smuts was a botany fanatic, which means he would want those trees grown right up to his doorstep at times. The several artefacts and souvenirs stored in the museum depict the life and times of Jan Smut's presidential and military career. A trip to the museum would remain incomplete without a visit to the refreshing botanical garden situated in the vicinity.
Pretoria National Botanical Gardens
Raised in 1946, Pretoria National Botanical Gardens is an excellent birdhouse, with more than 200 bird species residing here. Some of the beautiful birds that throng the garden include kestrels, falcons, Verreaux's Eagle, and hawks. Various plant species such as medicinal plants, aloes, fynbos, cycads, succulents, Savanna, and natural ridge vegetation prevail within this botanical garden. Seasonal species such as the massed aloe collections that bloom in winter and the green lawns and shade trees of summer attract a truckload of tourists to the garden.
National Cultural History Museum
Situated on Visagie Street, the National Cultural History Museum forms one of the most enterprising museums in the city of Pretoria. It showcases works of revered South African artists along with crafts such as weaving, embroidery, basketry, and beading. The museum wonderfully exhibits an insight into the diverse cultures that prevail within South Africa. There is an art arcade that displays sculptures and paintings portraying the different cultures of the country. It is only fitting that the National Cultural History Museum is known as a center of living culture with its intriguing records, manuscripts, and photographs.
Groenkloof Nature Reserve
Groenkloof Nature Reserve has been flourishing with fascinating wildlife since the latter half of the 18th century. It forms the first game reserve on the continent, nestled in the Fountains Valley along the edge of the city. Some of the fascinating animals that throng the game reserve include zebra, blue wildebeest, ostrich, impala, giraffe, red hartebeest, kudu, and jackal. Contrary to the developed city area of Pretoria, Groenkloof Nature Reserve forms a rejuvenating green belt within the city. Adventurers can embark on different escapades such as wilderness trails, hikes, horse trails, and mountain biking.
The Pioneer Museum is set up elegantlyagainst the backdrop of an ancient Victorian farmstead. This farmstead consists of many settings from the yesteryears, such as farming implements that have remained intact, a threshing floor, and a horse mill. Housing a shop, a thatched entertainment area, an amphitheater, and an area meant for preparing braai. Pioneer Museum gives tourists an intriguing glimpse into the farming prowess of the bygone era, showcasing how they baked bread in old clay ovens and roasted coffee beans in those days.
Pretoria National Zoological Gardens
The Pretoria Zoo organizes overnight stays for groups of families and friends at its premises, offering a view of breathtaking animals from close quarters. A visit to the zoo is the perfect chance to catch a glimpse of the majestic African Elephant. The zoo houses more than 3,000 animals along with the largest inland aquarium in the whole of South Africa. Some of the prime attractions of the zoo include white rhinos, white tigers, and an eerie insectarium. Tourists can pick and choose between camping and aquarium tours. Additionally, the night tours prove apt for sighting elephants, red pandas, owls, and lions.
Magnificent Union Buildings
The majestic Union Buildings are positioned atop Meintjies Kop, providing a breathtaking overview of the city of Pretoria. A towering statue of the great leader, Nelson Mandela, welcomes visitors at the foot of the buildings. The Union Buildings forms the bureaucratic chair of South Africa's government, accommodating the distinct offices of the President of the country. The buildings stretch to about 275 m, resembling a semi-circular structure with wings placed along the flanks. This unique structural blend depicts the unification of a previously divided people. You must visit this architectural masterpiece of Pretoria.