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Pretoria is one of South Africa’s coolest cities and at Acacia Africa, for 2019 we have changed the start and end point of our tours visiting Johannesburg to this magnificent Jacaranda lined city.

Why the change to Pretoria? Here are a few facts you may not have known…

– Pretoria is one of the three capital cities of South Africa. It’s the executive (administrative) city and de facto capital of the country. The two other capitals are Bloemfontein (Judicial) and the Mother City, Cape Town (Legislative).

– Pretoria is one of South Africa’s leading academic cities and is home to the largest residential University in South Africa – The University of Pretoria, the largest distance education university in the world – UNISA and the Thawane University of Technology

– One of the world’s most famous fossil skulls ‘Mrs. Ples’, the nickname for what is considered a distant ancestor of humankind dating back over 2-million-years ago is housed at the Transvaal Museum in Pretoria. The intact skull was discovered at the Cradle of Humankind (a world heritage site) close to Johannesburg.

– Most of Pretoria’s streets are lined with Jacaranda trees that blossom purplish-blue flowers in spring, giving rise to the city’s nickname “Jacaranda City”. The Jacarandas bloom in October, which coincides with the year-end exams at the University of Pretoria. Start your gap year with us as there’s a cool urban myth that if a flower from the Jacaranda tree drops on your head, you will pass all your exams.

– The city is named after Andries Pretorius who helped in the creation of the South African Republic.

– Church Street is Pretoria’s main street and holds the record for being the longest urban street in South Africa and one of the longest straight streets in the world.

– Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies (40 in total) in the world after Washington D.C.

– Pretoria is home to the world’s largest soccer ball sculpture. It weights a whopping 50 tonnes and is 24 meters across and eight storeys high. This sculpture was built around the top of the Lukasrand Telkom Tower in anticipation for the 2010 FIFA World Cup.

– The largest gem diamond every found – The Cullinan Diamond was discovered near Pretoria at the Premier Mine on January 26, 1905.

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