Pretoria / Tshwane
Tshwane, the mega city capital of South Africa - is made up of Pretoria, Centurion, Akasia and several townships such as Mamelodi, Atteridgeville, Soshanguwe, Mabopane, Temba and Hammanskraal. Johannesburg is 70 km to the south of Tshwane while O R Tambo International Airport is 40 km south east and links to Pretoria city centre along the broad R21 freeway and the Gautrain rapid rail link.
As the seat of government, all Government Departments are in Pretoria. The Office of the State President is in the magnificent Union Buildings, - visited by many heads of state from around the world. Pretoria as the capital city is the diplomatic hub of South Africa with over 135 embassies and diplomatic missions like the United Nations, World Bank and European Union. This is more than Washington but less than New York, seat of the UN, - that has 165 embassies.
While not only known as the Jacaranda City, Pretoria is proud to be the academic city with four Universities where half of all South Africa's students are enrolled, these are UNISA, the University of Pretoria, Tshwane University of Technology and Medunsa. Pretoria is also the city of science with seven scientific councils, such as the CSIR, ARC, Medical Research Council, HSRC, Atomic Energy Board, and Geo-science.
Pretoria is also the "Detroit" of South Africa with three of the seven motor vehicle factories in South Africa; Ford, BMW and Nissan.
Established in 1853, Pretoria is nearly 40 years older than Johannesburg where gold was discovered in 1897. It has a mild climate, and with its leisurely ambience, relaxed atmosphere is the favourite place to live in and visit.
A number of commercial hubs with large shopping malls make business visits to the city a must. Brooklyn, Menlyn, Woodhill, The Grove, Silver Lakes and the Kollonade are but a few. The Kollonade serves the areas of Dinokeng and Roodeplaat.
Whether yours is a business visit to any one of the government offices, the universities, the science councils or the commercial hubs the Guesthouse Association of Tshwane and Pretoria East (GATE) can offer a wide range of excellent establishments to stay in.
With its cosmopolitan flavour, beautiful gardens and parks, Jacaranda lined boulevards, stately monuments and buildings, - Pretoria is a must stop over for tourists.
The iconic Union Buildings, imposing Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, historic Church Square with its Old Raadsaal, Palace of Justice (where Mandela stood trial), Nederlandsche Bank, Paul Kruger's statue and much more are well worth a visit.
You are invited to make Pretoria your "staging post" to visit the many surrounding tourist attractions, - with its easy access to the R21, N1, N4 and N14 freeways; - its link roads such as Rigel Avenue, Garsfontein Road, Atterbury Road, Lynnwood Road, Old Pretoria Road, Zambezi Drive and Kameeldrift Road.
Drive to the east and you find Culinan with its famous diamond mine. Drive to the north and you find the Tswaing Meteorite Crater, Roodeplaatdam and Dinokeng. Drive to the west and you find Hartebeespoortdam, Chameleon Village, De Wildt Cheetah Sanctuary, the Elephant Sanctuary, and Monkeyland and further west the Lion Sanctuary, Sun City and Pilanesberg, - all within a one day return trip.
To the southwest lies the Cradle of Human Kind with the origins centre, Maropeng, Sterkfontein Caves and the Lion and Rhino Park. Drive south and you can visit Sandton City, Newtown in Johannesburg, Gold Reef City, the Apartheids Museum and Soweto with the famous Villakasi Street - home of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela.