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A Guide to Pretoria

The center of Pretoria is rich in history and architectural treasures. Some of the highlights include the African Window Museum and Church square, around which you’ll see a number of buildings from the late 1800s including the Raadsaal (CoJacaranda_Trees_Pretoriauncil Hall of the Zuid-Afrikaanche Republiek) and the Palace of Justice.

Additional attractions include a few interesting museums, an arts theater and Burgers Park, which was established in 1882 as Pretoria’s first city park. At the State Theatre, which consists of several individual theaters, you can enjoy productions ranging from opera to ballet, drama, cabaret and jazz. The Wonderboom Nature Reserve is situated just north of the zoo and boasts a giant fig tree, estimated to be more than 1,000 years old, covering half a hectare.

Not far from the city, you can visit the diamond mines and the national parks that South Africa is so famous for. If your interest is in bird-watching, the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary boasts more than 100 species which can be seen in their natural surroundings. If land animals are more to your liking, you can visit the Cheetah Research and Breeding Centre, where scientists strive to preserve this fascinating species. Numerous reptile attractions are also nearby including the Hartebeespoort Dam Snake and Animal Park, Makopa Reptile Park and the Thaba Kwena Crocodile Park.

The area surrounding Pretoria is particularly conducive to outdoor activities. You can enjoy walking, riding a mountain bike or driving a four-wheel drive vehicle in the Groenkloof Nature Reserve, the second oldest nature reserve in the world. Here you are likely to see antelope, giraffe and lots of other animals. The nature reserve is located between the city center and Centurion. You might want to visit Hartbeespoort Dam or take a hot air balloon ride over the savannah. There’s also a cable car here, a golf course and water sports for your enjoyment.

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