While the jacaranda tree may not be indigenous to South Africa, its purple plumes have become the unofficial symbol of Pretoria. Springtime visitors to the city will find the country’s administrative capital bathed in a violet hue by 40,000 jacaranda trees lining its streets.
Although, Pretoria lies just north of Johannesburg, it couldn’t be more different from its sister-city. Where Johannesburg is a home for fast talkers, fast walker and fast drivers, Pretoria offers a more laid-back atmosphere. Wander among the wide streets to the Union Buildings (the official seat of South African government) or visit any of the city’s historical monuments: the 40-metre-high Voortrekker Monument gives you a bird’s-eye view over the entire city, and Freedom Park commemorates those who died during wartime and in the fight against apartheid.
The Pretoria Botanical Garden and the Pretoria Zoo are other attractions worth visiting while in the Jacaranda City. The zoo spans 85 hecatres and is home to around 9,000 animals of 700 different species. The Pretoria Botanical Garden allows you to break away from the city life by taking a relaxing stroll through the 76 hectares of savannah, forest, and fynbos biomes – showcasing the most beautiful specimens of South African plant life.
- In springtime, the 40,000 jacaranda trees bloom and turn the city into a purple paradise
- The Union Buildings, the official seat of the South African government and the President’s Office
- The Pretoria National Botanical Garden boasts the best in indigenous South African plant life
- Freedom Park commemorates those who dies in warfare and in the struggle against apartheid
- The 40-metre-tall, granite Voortrekker Monument offers amazing views of the cityscape