Overloaded Circuits? Take a Trip That Will Afford You Memories for a Lifetime

Whether you are a veteran globetrotter, you rarely venture outside your own ZIP code, or you are somewhere in between, South Africa in general, and Pretoria in particular, is a great vacation destination. Most people speak English, or at least a form of it. At the same time, South Africa is nothing like the United States in terms of the culture and weather. Remember that when it’s summer in the U.S., it’s winter in South Africa. Pretoria itself is a big city but it is not teeming with people and tourists, so there are lots of things to do and not a whole lot of crowds to fight.

In terms of accommodations, try the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn. The rooms are very, very nice with lots of amenities, yet the hotel is rather unassuming from the outside. Furthermore, it’s very close to a lot of things that your family wants to see in Pretoria.

Nature and Outdoor Sights

The Voortrekker Monument is a good place to start, because it’s an excellent place to understand about the mixture of pioneer and African culture that made South Africa what it is today. The granite monument is almost twenty stories tall, and makes an outstanding photo opportunity.

The Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre sits high atop most of the lists for things to do in Pretoria. Most people in the U.S. have never even seen one cheetah except on television, and this place has hundreds in their natural habitat. There are many other endangered animals as well, including rare African wild dogs.

For something a little more serene, try the Pretoria National Botanical Garden. It’s a huge oasis in a very busy urban area, making it a garden almost like no other. The garden is very well-maintained, and also an excellent place for a family picnic.

Finally, your kids haven’t lived until they go to Horseback Africa. This place is one of the highest-rated attractions in Pretoria. The more adventurous people in your party will want to try the Lion Walk, which is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Urban Sights

South Africa’s seat of government, or at least one of them, is in Pretoria. Think of Washington, D.C. mixed with a Western U.S. capital that’s in the middle of a national park, and that’s essentially the Union Buildings. With European colonial architecture in the buildings and an immense Nelson Mandela statute, the sight represents all that South Africa has to be proud of, as well as some things that many people would rather forget.

If sports are your thing, catch a rugby match at Loftus Versfeld Stadium. Don’t forget to eat some of the local stadium cuisine and stop by the pro shop for some Blue Bulls Rugby Union team gear.

Finally, there’s the Menlyn Park Shopping Centre, which is one of the largest shopping malls in Africa. It has over 300 stores, some of which are familiar and some of which are uniquely South African. The mall also features a rooftop drive-in movie theater, a 3-D indoor theater, and fun fufi slides.

Take a vacation like no other in Pretoria.

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About Ella


Becky, Steve or the other two useless ones (shhh they won't read this) form part of the Openstories team, a collaborative travel blog that we use to dump our ideas, plans and experiences onto the worldwide web. We're honored that you're hear reading this, and we'd love to hear from you. Thanks for dropping by!