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Things to do in South Africa’s capital city

Pretoria offers an amazing mix of cultural, outdoor and foodie experiences. Whether you like exploring nature, learning more about South Africa’s history, or just relaxing with a cold beer in hand, the Jacaranda City has you covered. Here’s our list of top things to do in Pretoria.

Pretoria National Botanical Gardens

The Pretoria National Botanical Garden is a colourful 76ha botanical tapestry showcasing glimpses of various habitats, each with their own distinctive features and charm. These gardens cover 7700 sq m and are planted with indigenous flora from around South Africa. There are 20,000-odd plant species, labelled and grouped according to their region of origin – definitely a must-see for keen botanists.

Rietvlei Nature Reserve

The 3 800-hectare Rietvlei Nature Reserve surrounds the magnificent Rietvlei Dam which supplies Pretoria with 15% of its water. The reserve comprises endangered Bankenveld grassland and is home to approximately 2 000 animals including cheetah, leopard, buffalo, white rhino and a host of buck, making it one of the better populated game reserves in Gauteng. The bird watching is remarkable with two dams on the reserve with bird hides which provide open water and wetland habitats. If you're looking for activity filled getaways in Gauteng, then a visit to Rietvlei Nature Reserve provides just that.

Union Buildings

Located atop the Meintjieskop in the Arcadia suburb; The Union Buildings in Pretoria are the official seat of the national government and house the offices of the South African president. An important South African heritage site, the impressive building is surrounded by pretty terraced gardens that offer panoramic views over the city. Unfortunately, you cannot go inside the buildings themselves, but visitors are free to explore the terraced gardens that look out over the city. The gardens are a particularly popular place for family picnics or to have wedding photos taken and also often function as the venue for major concerts and festivals.

Menlyn Maine Central Square

Picture a modern-day version of a village of yore, with people living, working, relaxing and interacting in a high-quality, sustainable, pedestrian environment. Menlyn Maine Central Square is an art-filled shopping extravaganza. From shopping, to the gym, Menlyn Maine strives for convenience and self-sustainability. It is a green centre, hosting a hotel and many restaurants as well.

The capital city of South Africa is a fantastic place to discover local culture, food, art and entertainment, and you could easily spend weeks delving into all it has to offer. Make sure you visit these places on our list on your next visit to Pretoria.

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