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24 hours in Pretoria

A day spent in Pretoria can include visiting historical sites, observing local art and trying the best picnic spots in town.

If you’re looking to spend a day in Pretoria, here are some places you can visit …

Walk the gardens of the historical Union Buildings, and see the 9m-high Nelson Mandelastatue, which was unveiled just after his death in December 2013 by President Jacob Zuma. The Union Buildings are a strong feature in South Africa’s history books – on 9 August 1956, 20 000 women marched to the Union Buildings in protest against South Africa’s apartheid-era pass laws. In 1994, after the first democratic elections, this was where Mandela made his inauguration speech.

Have coffee or lunch at TriBeCa in the CBD. This coffee shop is surrounded by stunning architecture of old buildings such as Old Reserve Bank building and the Palace of Justice. Judging by the social media commentary on the popular cafe, we’d say it’s quite a gem:

A visit to the popular Pretoria National Botanical Garden is recommended – it is home to over 220 bird species, more than 50 butterfly species and mammals such as the slender mongoose and scrub hare.

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The National Zoological Gardens of South Africa (also called the Pretoria Zoo) is a fun spot if you are looking forward to an excursion with the family. It is the largest zoo in the country, and attracts more than 600 000 visitors a year. There are about 5 000 animals, reptiles, fish and birds to see.

For some South African art, the Pretoria Art Museum is home to a large collection from legendary local artists like Gerard Sekoto, who is famous for his township street scenes, and Henk Pierneef.

You can also try Aroma Gelato and Waffle Lounge for scrumptious waffles and home-made gelato.

The Voortrekker Monument, a National Heritage Site, commemorates the pioneer history of South Africa. It is situated in a nature reserve where you can see animals like, zebra, springbok and wildebeest. Here you can wander the grounds and even enjoy a braai (barbecue) with your friends.

Source: southafrica


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