Why does Pretoria have a reputation as a place of boredom when, clearly, there are so many things happening there? And none of them have anything to do with its eighties reputation as “Snor City”, named for the ubiquitous moustaches on the ubiquitous civil servants that lived and worked in the capital city back then.
Here in 2015, however, the Jacaranda City rocks its own unique vibe. What other city in the country can say, for instance, that it has free wifi?
But get off your device next time you’re there and do some awesome stuff. Like:
1. Wonderboom Nature Reserve – located just north of the city, this nature reserve is most famous for a 1 000 year-old ficus salicifolia tree, a wild fig called the "wonderboom" which was once reputed to be large enough to shade 1 000 people at a time. It is much smaller now and surrounded by daughter trees that have sprung up.
2. Moonlit Horse Rides at the Voortrekker Monument – the Breeders of Cape Riding Horse host daytime and evening rides at the park surrounding the famous monument, catering for a wide variety of riding experiences including the complete novice.
3. Ann van Dyk Cheetah Centre – this world-famous cheetah centre is in the Hartbeespoort Dam area, just 45 minutes to the north-west of the city, and well worth the drive. It is a breeding centre for a host of other animals, including the rare brown hyena.
4. Sundowners at the Protea Hotel Fire & Ice! Menlyn. The city’s newest addition is set to open on 15 March 2015 and take ultra-cool to a whole new level in Tshwane. Expect to jostle with the beautiful people as well as the power brokers while you sip your cocktail on the spectacular pool deck which has to be seen to be believed.
5. Harties Cableway – whilst still in the Hartbeespoort Dam area, don’t miss the Harties Cableway. It was first opened in the 1970s, but has recently re-opened and it is quite literally the best view you could hope for of the Magaliesburg Mountains, the dam and the surrounding areas. There’s also a pizza restaurant and play-area for children right at the top.
6. Walks at Union Buildings – the seat of government has lavish terraced gardens surrounding it, and is perfect for those afternoon romantic walks with views of Arcadia and Pretoria central.
7. Dinner at Pangaea Salon Privé – this is a must-see venue for lovers of wine and jazz. The lounge features and extensive wine list and you can unwind to live jazz performances in the cool, informal lounge or take in dinner from the restaurant featuring a trendy gourmet menu.
8. Shopping at Duncan Yard – This is a shopping experience like no other in Pretoria, where you can browse from over 15 shops and restaurants surrounding an alfresco centre. It is reminiscent of an old Italian village.
9. Workshop at The Clay Club Studios – the Clay Club, which specialises in original hand painted inserts and bisques, holds regular workshops where you can learn to paint ceramic tiles or a bisque.
10. Drumming at Klitsgras – Leave your high heels and fancy white clothing for this one. You’re at a red-earthed amphitheatre where after grabbing your food and drink from the bar, you sit around a fire and join novices and pros alike in an evening of fun drumming.
Where are your favourite places to hangout in the city of Pretoria, tell us in the comment section below or send us a mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or come join us on our Facebook, Twitter or Instagram accounts - and you could be featured on News24.