Pretoria- Jacaranda City

Pretoria is famous for many things, most notably its status as the executive and de facto national capital of South Africa and for its unique collection of jacaranda trees that litter the streets with lilac blooms, hence the nickname, “Jacaranda City.” Pretoria was founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius, the leader of the Voortrekkers. The founding of Pretoria signalled the end of the Great Trek of the Boer movement.

It is found north-northeast of Johannesburg, 55 km away and is surrounded by the beauty of the Magaliesberg Mountain range in a warm and sheltered valley. The main language spoken is Afrikaans but Pedi, Sotho, Tswana, Tsonga, Zulu and English are also spoken. The city is mostly home to Afrikaners, with around 1 million living in and around Pretoria.

Because of its rich history and diversity of culture, Pretoria has many buildings that reflect the British Colonial style, art deco and uniquely South African architecture. Famous buildings include the Union Buildings, Voortrekker Monument and the President’s home, Mahlamba Ndlopfu. Many of these buildings have been the site of major political and social happenings that have significant meaning to South Africa’s history and which, without, we would not be where we are today.

For example, the Union Buildings is where more than 50, 000 women staged a march to protest the Urban Areas Act of 1950. On 9 August 1956, women marched to Prime Minister JG Strijdom’s office and left petitions bearing more than 100,000 signatures in opposition to the Act that enforced the passbooks that all non-whites were forced to carry with them at all times. The march was led by Struggle icons and freedom fighters, Lillian Ngoyi, Helen Joseph, Rahima Moosa and Sophie Williams. The date was later declared a Women’s Day in South Africa.

Pretoria is well-known for being a haven of modern culture as well as preserving its history. There are many museums and sites where visitors can learn about Pretoria and South Africa including:

  • Africa Window
  • Voortrekker Monument
  • Transvaal Museum
  • Freedom Park

The newest addition, Freedom Park was established as memorial to South Africans who lost gave their lives to the greater good in the South African Wars, World Wars and during Apartheid. Those who have had their names included in the memorial have been Albert Luthuli, Steve Biko, Oliver Tambo and Bran Fischer.

The Blue Bulls rugby team are what the majority of Pretoria’s community are most proud of. Their home stadium is Loftus Versfeld and they have won the prestigious domestic Currie Cup in 2007, 2009 and 2010. Cricket is also popular with Supersport Park in Centurion the site for many international tests and tournaments. Enjoy your own exploration of Pretoria when you embark on one of our luxury journeys.

 

lilac flowers in Jacaranda city Voortrekker Monument on Hunting Safari National Memorial on Hunting Safari Jacaranda city on Hunting Safari