Hiring a car in Pretoria

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Hiring a car in Pretoria

The de facto capital of South Africa, Pretoria is one of the country's most vibrant cities. Rent a car and go exploring, there is a lot to see.

60-second guide to Pretoria

In its own head...

"Famous for our moving history, lively theatre, art and sporting passion, our city is a highlight on any Rainbow Nation travel itinerary."

...but more realistically

Just an hour from Johannesburg, but a world away, Pretoria is a quiet yet fascinating city steeped in South African history. Nicknamed 'Jacaranda city' due to the purple flowers that line its streets, it's well worth a visit.

The vibe

See where Mandela was sworn in as the first black South African president, watch a major sports match and catch a local art exhibition or theatre production - all before dinner at one of Pretoria's award-winning eateries.

The natives

Expect highbrow, cultural conversation thanks to the plethora of artists, academics and ambassadorial personnel from across the globe that converge here.

The weather

The city's subtropical climate means it experiences hot and rainy summers. However, drought conditions prevail during the cool winter months.

The local speciality

Biltong, a cured meat snack, is like Marmite - you'll either love it or hate it. Vetkoek, fried dough balls, are another local speciality - just try to ignore the calorific content!

The celebrity

Glynis Johns, the famous British actress, dancer, pianist and singer known for her roles in Mary Poppins, Personal Affair and Superstar, was born in Pretoria in 1923.

Did you know?

Pretoria's main thoroughfare, Church Street, is the longest urban street in South Africa and one of the longest straight streets in the world.

They say...

"I have no hesitation in saying that each one of us is as intimately attached to the soil of this beautiful country as are the famous jacaranda trees of Pretoria and the mimosa trees of the bushveld." - Nelson Mandela during his inauguration speech

5 to see in town...

1. Hazel Food Market

Park up the rental car and take a stroll around this food market on a Saturday morning. Once you’ve selected your choice of nibbles (cakes included of course) take them to one of the picnic tables under the trees and tuck in.

Where to park:

Parking is available onsite. If you stash a cool-box in the boot of the hire car, you can drive away with enough goodies to keep you going for a few days.

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2. Church Square

The historic heart of Pretoria, check out the grand Victorian architecture of the old parliament buildings and art nouveau Café Riche.

Where to park:

On-street parking spaces can be found in nearby Skinner and Proes Streets.

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3. Camdeboo Day Spa

If you can’t treat yourself to a little luxury and pampering on holiday, then when can you? Head to this spa for first class treatment in first class surroundings. You’ll find a range of skin treatments on offer, plus a sauna, jacuzzi and opportunities to de-stress in woodland walks. Heaven.

Where to park:

Free parking is available onsite.

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4. Pretoria Art Museum

This highly respected museum, which arguably boasts the best collection of South African art in the world, is well worth a visit.

Where to park:

On-street parking is available on nearby Park and Johann Streets - the museum is on the corner of Schoeman and Wessels Streets.

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5. Freedom Park

Nelson Mandela said in 1999: "The day should not be far off, when we shall have a people's shrine, a freedom park, where we shall honour with all the dignity they deserve, those who endured pain." This is the moving result.

Where to park:

Try the on-site car park or pull up at nearby Pretoria Station.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Borakalalo Nature Reserve

The name Borakalalo means 'place where people relax', which says it all. Enjoy exceptional fishing and bird-watching, or keep an eye out for over 35 mammal species, including the elusive white rhino.

How to get there:

Leave the city via the R513 and R566, and follow the N4 around 140 miles west towards Lehurutshe, in the northwest province of South Africa.

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2. Ellis Park Stadium, Johannesburg

Jo’Burg is often mistaken as the capital of South Africa and when you arrive, you’ll understand why. This city is a bustling, energetic metropolis where everyone is an entrepreneur and anything seems possible.

How to get there:

Just under an hour away, follow Ben Schoeman Highway south merging with the N1, then take the exit towards the Eastern Bypass.

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3. The Cradle Nature Reserve

View fabulous game in this reserve, situated in the heart of The Cradle of Humankind, a famous UNESCO World Heritage Site with one of the world's richest concentrations of fossils.

How to get there:

Follow Ben Schoeman Highway south towards Centurion and take the exit towards the N14. Turn off when you see signs for Randburg/Broederstroom. The journey is just under 40 miles.

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4. Hartbeespoort Dam

Nestled among the Magaliesberg mountain range, the dam is a popular day-trip destination. Take to the water and go windsurfing and jet-skiing, or float up, up and away with paragliding, hang-gliding or hot air ballooning.

How to get there:

Just over 20 miles from the city centre, take the Magalies Toll Route and turn right at the R104 (signs for R512/Broederstroom).

Book car hire pretoria