The seat of the executive branch of government, and the host to all foreign embassies to South Africa – Pretoria, stands as one of the most influential cities in the Rainbow Nation.
Pretoria Live Webcam View from UNISA campus
Situated in the central part of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality, the capital city, that shares this title with Cape Town and Bloemfontein, has plenty to offer. To most, a concept of multiple capital cities might sound justifiably confusing, but when it comes to South Africa, it’s simply the norm.
Pretoria serves as the executive branch, with Cape Town taking care of the legislative branch and Bloemfontein being the judicial. This came to be due to many cultural and political struggles over the many years of South African history.
As a tourist destination, Pretoria houses a national botanic garden, multiple nature reserves, historical monuments, and museums, so if you are interested in South African nature and history, it is one of the prime locations to visit.
And when it comes to the thrill-seekers, skydiving, cliff climbing, 4×4 adventures, and much more will surely provide the adrenaline fill.
Whilst in the last 10 years the population has greatly increased, it is still somewhat shy of 3 million residents, making it a bustling yet welcoming place. With a wide range of hotels and the temperatures at around 20 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) during the winter months, it’s a perfect location for a year-end vacation.
And when it comes to a filling winter meal in the warm and pleasant summer weather, is the African cuisine. Reflecting the diverse range of cultures found in the region, from the indigenous to much later European influences, the country is full of wonderful dishes.
The indigenous cookery showcases dishes that mainly comprise of a wide range of fruits, nuts, bulbs, leaves, and other products gathered from wild plants and by hunting the wild animals, while the other side of the culinary mix focuses on combining French, Dutch, and Indian influences.
Coming all the way to South Africa and not getting to enjoy the local wildlife would be more than a shame, especially when everything is just around the corner. For example, the Dinokeng Reserve offers a packed stop if you’re limited on time, found just half an hour away from the airport, you’ll be able to find the Big Five – buffalo, cheetah, elephants, rhinos, and lions.
That’s a fast route to South African nature for sure. But if you have time to spend, you might be interested in the Pretoria Zoom, officially known as the National Zoological Garden. It is a 210-acre zoo, where you’ll not only find the Big Five, but also some endangered species, such as black rhinos, gorillas, and pygmy hippos. If you choose to skip on it, you might regret not taking the opportunity.
As you’re making your way around town, you might notice a rather grand and dignified structure overlooking the city. There is a big chance, that the structure is the Union Buildings. It is the official seat of the South African government, that is housed in an enormous Acropolis-inspired building. Not that long ago, it was the biggest building in the entirety of South Africa.
If you’re a fan of rugby, another magnificent sight will be the Loftus Versfeld Stadium, the home of the Blue Bulls, a 51,000 seat stadium that hosts international sporting tournaments and sometimes even musical performances. The facility was refurbished in 2010 in preparation for the World Cup and is a good place to visit if you love sports just as much as the South African people.
The list doesn’t stop there. You can go scuba diving, join tours exploring the wildlife, enjoy some of the local food made by the people that grew up with it, visit the plethora of wonderful museums or just catch a movie at one of the IMAX theatres, there really is no limit to what you can find yourself doing. But if you don’t feel like leaving your home just yet, feel free to catch a sneak peek with one of the free webcams you can find on this site!