A day out - things to do in and around Pretoria

You will not be hard pressed to find something to do in Pretoria - from live music events to flea markets, the city has it all. Travel just a few minutes out of the city and you will find even more things to entice you.

First things first - things to do in Pretoria

Filled with history, Pretoria is definitely a city where you are having fun while learning about the history of our country.

If history is your thing you are spoiled for choice:

The Voortrekker Monument

The majestic Voortrekker Monument is situated in the northern part of South Africa in the Pretoria (Tshwane) region in a nature reserve. It is a unique Monument which commemorates the Pioneer history of Southern Africa and the history of the Afrikaner and is situated in a beautiful setting. Today it is the most visited heritage site of its kind in Gauteng and one of the top ten cultural historical visitor attractions in the country.

Freedom Park

The mandate of Freedom Park is the creation of a memorial and monument that will narrate a story spanning a period of 3.6 billion years through the following seven epochs: Earth, Ancestors, Peopling, Resistance and Colonisation, Industrialisation and Urbanisation, Nationalism and Struggle, Nation Building and Continent Building; as well as the Garden of Remembrance to acknowledge those that contributed to the freedom of the country.  

It is also home to the Wall of Names - an awe-inspiring structure (697m), inscribed with the names of those who died during eight conflicts within South Africa’s history.

Natural History Museum

The Ditsong National Museum of Natural History formerly known as the Transvaal Museum was founded as the Staatsmuseum of the ZAR on the 1st of December 1892.  And it has, since then acted as custodian and documentation centre of South Africa’s natural heritage.  The Museum’s collections and exhibits include hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and associated fauna, including Mrs Ples [the nickname attributed to a fossil skull believed to represent a distant relative of all humankind]; fossils, skeletons, skins and mounted specimens of amphibians, fish, invertebrates, reptiles and mammals.  On these collections are based the Museum’s educational programmes, research is done and information is communicated to all people of South Africa as well as to the international community.  The Ditsong National Museum of Natrural History is the only natural history museum in Gauteng and one of the largest in South Africa.  It is unique in that it is the only institute in South Africa that offers the local, national and international community the opportunity to view its collections including original fossil material usually denied the public.

Paul Kruger House

The Paul Kruger Museum and its contents bear witness to the forceful personality of the man who lived there as leader of a small republic in southern Africa, at a stormy and unsettling time of his people’s long struggle against British imperialism.

The Museum consists of the original house in which S.J.P. Kruger, President of the old Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek (ZAR), and his family lived during the last years of the 19th century, as well as two display halls and President Kruger’s State Railway Coach.

If you are looking for something to really sink your teeth into, why not visit one of these food and flea markets:

The Pretoria Boeremark

You will have to get up at crack of dawn for this market. Open every Saturday from 05:30-09:30 the market is the place to be if you are looking for fresh produce straight from the farm. Food here is traditional boerekos and make sure you get a cup of boeretroos ( coffee) while you peruse the products available.

The Hazel Food Market

Normally the market is open from 08:00-14:00, on October 5th this year however the market will not only be open during their normal trading hours but a special market will also take place from 17:00.

Come and enjoy a lovely evening under the stars with more than 60 stalls selling food, craft beer, wine and cocktails. Come early to grab a table or bring your own. They will be showing the rugby match.

Want a little more? Things to do outside of Pretoria

You don’t have to drive very far to find something to do in the outskirts of Pretoria.

Hartbeespoort Dam

Meander around the market in Chameleon Village, take a boat ride on the dam or visit the Elephant Sanctuary. All of this a mere 40 minutes from Pretoria.

Anton Smit Sculpture Park

The world renowned sculptor Anton Smit has a sculpture park just a mere 40 minutes from Pretoria where art lovers can enjoy a selection of his work over a cup of delicious coffee from the on-site coffee shop. 

The Anton Smit Sculpture Park's three-hectare grounds are situated on the northern side of the Bronkhorstspruit Dam, the natural limestone formations, manicured lawns and succulent gardens creates a stunning backdrop. It is in this setting that one can view the expansive collection of monumental sculptures and installations.

It is a destination of creativity attracting tourists, art buyers and includes Imagine Café, a full service coffee shop open daily Tuesday through Sunday, 10am to 4pm. The Park expands the traditional concept of an art venue, ensuring a truly unique and inspiring experience. 

(Images courtesy of Anton Smit)

Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site and Dinokeng are initiatives of the Gauteng Provincial Government to establish geo-spatial tourism destinations in the north-west and the north-east of the province, close to the densely populated metropolitan areas of Johannesburg, Tshwane and Ekurhuleni.

What are some of your favourite places to visit in and around Pretoria?

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