Tshwane/Pretoria is the capital of South Africa and offers visitors a glimpse of their rich and colorful history as well as the modern city they have become. The beauty of the modern buildings dotting the countryside along with museums documenting the rich history of South Africa to the magnificent nature preserves have visitors from all over the world flocking to the area.
Tshwane/Pretoria may be African under it all but it also has a hint of European style as well as a touch of Oriental influence. Nonetheless, Tshwane/Pretoria is a diverse city offering diversity in cultures, structures, and cuisine.
The city is beauty with its tree-lined streets offering the beauty of the Jacaranda tree that bloom in October. With more than 70,000 of these magnificent trees lining the streets many have fondly named Tshwane/Pretoria Jacaranda City.
History of Tshwane/Pretoria
At one time, this area of South Africa was home to the Southern Transvaal Ndebele around 1600. Not long, others realized the beauty of the river valley and another band of refugees under Mzilikazi moved into the area. In 1832, a band of Zulu raiders forced all inhabitants out of the area.
The city of Pretoria was established in 1855 by Marthinus Pertorius, the leader of the Voortrekkers at the time. He named the city after his father Andries Pretouris. On May 1, 1860, the city became the capital of the South African Republic.
The area saw the destruction of both Boer Wars. The first Boer War ended by peace treaty on August 3, 1881. The Second Boer War marked the end of the Republic of Transvaal and the beginning of the British control in South Africa. During this war, Winston Churchill was held prisoner at the Staats Model School in Pretoria before he escaped to Mozambique. On June 5, 1900, the city surrendered to Frederick Roberts. The Peace of Vereeniging was signed on May 31, 1902. Ruins and a few of the forts that were built during the Second Boer War dot the countryside. The few that remain are now national monuments.
Pretoria received official city status on October 14, 1931 and at the time in which South Africa became a republic in 1961, Pretoria stayed as the administrative capital. In 2000, new municipal structures were created all across South Africa at which time Pretoria received the adoption of Tshwane for the Metropolitan Municipality, thus the origin of Tshwane/Pretoria.
Loftus Versfeld Stadium – host of the 2010 World Cup
Loftus Versfeld Stadium is one of the oldest stadiums home in South Africa. The stadium has been the host of many sporting events all the way back to 1923. This was the first concrete structure in South Africa, which at the time could accommodate 2,000 spectators.
Throughout its time, the stadium has many different types of events such as rugby, football, and even concerts. Beginning in 1948, upgrades and renovations have occurred and today the stadium can accommodate 51,762 spectators.
Some upgrading was necessary for the stadium to qualify as a venue for the 2010 World Cup such as upgrading the sound system, floodlights, stadium roof, and the scoreboards. All renovation was completed in January of 2009.
Finding your way around Tshwane/Pretoria is very easy. There are taxis, a public bus service, minibus taxi, and car hires available. You can find all of these services at the airport as well as around the city to provide you with transportation to and from the stadium as well as sight seeing. The most common car hire companies in Tshwane/Pretoria include Tempest Car Hire; the taxis you will see around town include HeinRich’s Taxis and Rixi Taxi. You can also find all the major car hire companies that you normally see while traveling.
Lodging Accommodations nearby Loftus Versfeld Stadium
There is a wide array of lodging facilities available in Tshwane/Pretoria including some so close to the Loftus Versfeld Stadium that you will be able to walk to events.
The closest accommodations include Courtyard Hotel Arcadia, East View Guesthouse, Garden Court Hatfield, and Melvin Residence Guest House all within 1km of the stadium.
Courtyard Hotel Arcadia is a lovely turn of the century manor with gardens that make you believe you are surrounded in the beauty of a park. The hotel offers handicap facilities, dry cleaning, car parking, and a car hire desk. Other in room services includes personal safe, cable TV, and telephone.
East View Guesthouse offers a wonderful stay for family as well as couples with all the amenities you deserve. A few of the amenities include internet workstations 24 hours per day, and the employees will help arrange airport transfers, car hire, taxis, day trips, and restaurant bookings.
The Garden Court Hatfield is home at the entrance to Hatfield, which is an upscale and trendy neighborhood and is only a short walking distance of many historical places. Amenities include handicap facilities, dry cleaning, non-smoking rooms, safe deposit boxes, telephone, internet, bar and restaurant on premises.
Melvin Residence Guest House is home nearby the affluent Embassies and only a short distance from the stadium. The guesthouse offers double rooms with showers, single rooms with baths, air-conditioning and the beauty of sitting on the porch outside their rooms.
Restaurants in the area
Tshwane/Pretoria is home to a wide array of restaurants. Your taste buds and palate will have to make all kinds of decisions as to the type of treats they may wish to enjoy during your stay. A few of the most popular restaurants include As Greek as it Gets serving Mediterranean, Greek, and Vegetarian; Barn 52 serving international cuisine including pizzas and light meals, Café Riche offering bistro, light meals, and Mediterranean, Jasmine Palace serving Chinese and The Baron Brooklyn offering contemporary, fine dining, grills, and light meals.
Things to do in Tshwane-Pretoria
Tshwane/Pretoria is home to all kinds of wonderful attractions including museums and nature preserves. The most popular attractions include:
Church Square is a historical area that at one time was used by farmers to gather their wagons and tents for Holy Communion or nagmaal. The marketplace today is regarded as the center of Pretoria.
The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa is home in Tshwane/Pretoria and is the largest zoo in Africa along with being the only one with national status. The zoo is home to 80 hectares and 2,586 specimens.
The Union Buildings are one of the most famous landmarks in all of Tshwane. The buildings sit overlooking the city on Meintjieskop. The buildings stand for the authority of the state as well as the status of the city being the headquarters of the national government.
Freedom Park is a beautiful place to see a view of Tshwane/Pretoria that is breathtaking. The 52-hectare park is home on Salvokop and honors the heroes and heroines that fought for the freedom of the city.
The Voortrekker Monument sits atop a hill overlooking the city of Pretoria. The designer, Gerard Moerdijk created the monument as a memorial that would stand 1,000 years as well as explain the history and the meaning of the Great Trek. The monument honors around 15,000 pioneers including French, German, and Dutch descendants that left the Cape in 1835 to travel by ox-wagon to where Pretoria stands today, searching for independence and freedom from colonial rule.