By Danielle Kleyn
There is so much to do and see in Pretoria that this is difficult to choose. Here are five places that have to be on your list.
The Voortrekker Monument
This is one of the most visited tourist attractions in Gauteng. The Voortrekker Monument was designed by architect Gerhard Moerdijk and aims to commemorate Afrikaner history and South Africa’s pioneer history. The 40-meter-high granite monument stands in the middle of the 240-hectare nature reserve.
The whole family will enjoy a visit to the Voortrekker Monument. There are numerous routes for cyclists and runners, and horse rides can also be booked. The gift shop, De Afrikander Handelshuis, has an abundance of products that will remind you how pleasant it is to be Afrikaans. In summer you can visit the Voortrekker Monument every day from 09:00 to 18:00, and in winter from 09:00 to 17:00.
The Pretoria National Botanical Garden
The Botanical Garden was established in June 1946 when the Department of Agriculture received the University of Pretoria’s approval to use a piece of the University’s experimental farm for that purpose. The main reason for the transfer of the land was the occurrence of Dichapetalum cymosum in the area; it’s poisonous leaves made the land unsuitable for agricultural experiments.
The Botanical Garden was officially opened on 23 October 1958. Approximately 220 bird species are found there, which makes it a must visit for birdwatchers. Some fifty butterfly species have also been noticed. Other animals living in this impressive garden include rabbits, duiker and various types of lizards. If you’re lucky, you’ll even spot an otter or two.
The Pretoria Zoo
J.W.B. Gunning started the Pretoria Zoo on the farm Klein Schoemans Dal. Later, it was sold to Johannes Francois Celliers, who renamed it ‘Rus in Urbe’. The state took possession of it in 1895 and since 1916 it has been the national zoo, nowadays officially called the National Zoological Garden.
The Zoo occupies 85 hectares and is the largest zoo in South Africa. In addition, it is one of the top eight zoos in the world. It houses a wide variety of animals from all over the world, including kangaroos, bears, penguins, tigers and black rhino. The snake park is impressive, and a ride on a cable car gives you a breathtaking view of the scenery. There are also picnic and braai facilities along the Apies River which flows through the zoo.
Ditsong National Museum of Natural History
The museum was started in December 1892. It is the only museum of natural history in Gauteng and features, among other things, hominid (human-like) fossils from the Cradle of Humankind. The fossil Mrs Ples, who was discovered in 1947 by Dr Robert Broom, is one of visitors’ favorites. The Austin Roberts Bird Hall has about 800 South African bird species with their feeding patterns and habits on display. There is also an exhibition of rocks, minerals and crystals from around the world. You can even see unicellular organisms and a piece of meteorite. The museum also houses a library.
Ludwig started his rose farm in March 1971. It is a family business, currently employing 130 people. Ludwig Taschner, after whom this nursery was named, was born in Germany during World War II. From early on he had a passion for roses and gainied valuable experience while working at nurseries in West Germany, England and Switzerland. In 1962 Ludwig came to Pretoria where he worked at another nursery until he found his rose farm in northern Pretoria in 1971.
Ludwig’s has one of the largest varieties of rose trees in the world. Their restaurant serves delicious breakfasts, light meals and many more. Conveniently close to the restaurant is also a playground for the little ones. If you want to enliven your garden, or just enjoy the smell of fresh roses and a cup of coffee with your family, Ludwig’s rose farm is the place for you.
This article appeared in its original form on De Afrikander Handelshuis’s website. De Afrikander Handelshuis is your one-stop shop for everything that is unique and Afrikaans. Local delivery by courier takes place within three working days. De Afrikander Handelshuis also delivers worldwide within seven working days. Their website is therefore ideal for sending unique South African products on locally and internationally. Visit them at www.afrikander.com and place an order today.
This post is also available in: Afrikaans