Pretoria is regarded as one of the finest towns in South Africa, and with an amazing mix of vibrant people and relaxed atmosphere, is one of the most interesting places to gently ease you out of normal life and into an African frame of mind. Just one hour out of Johannesburg, the city has long been known as the real capital of South Africa.
The city is known as Jacaranda City due to its tendency in spring to go from urban grey to an amazing purple as the jacaranda trees flower. With a rich history, the beautiful buildings add to the beauty, and make sight-seeing an occupation of many who come to visit, with gentle walks through the city providing the perfect way to see it up close.
This rich history has prompted the creation of several museums, which are good to explore whilst on a sight-seeing tour of the city. These include the Eksteen Transport Museum, a Natural History Museum, the Fort Klapperkop Military Museum and the Voortrekker Monument. To commemorate the struggle of the South African people against apartheid, Freedom Park is being created, and this is available to explore and to give a peaceful place to think.
For those with an interest in the arts, the town has a small West End in which ballet, opera and cabaret shows. This is located in the centre of town, and larger musical and dramatic productions are put on too, ensuring visitors are never short of entertainment. Art galleries are abundant in the town, and exhibitions of contemporary and ethnic art are always on display, with some permanent exhibitions and some that change regularly.
For the outdoors lovers, the town has plenty of sports facilities and gentle walks to explore, with a hide at the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary for those wanting to watch the birds. Magnolia Dell and the Pretoria Botanical Gardens are beautiful, and provide a peaceful place to spend an afternoon soaking up the sun. The National Zoological Gardens, with a snake park and aquarium next door, are the place for animal lovers to go to.
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