Pretoria

Founded in 1855 by Marthinus Wessels, the son of a pioneering Voortrekker, Pretoria offers travellers on the African rail tour sensational sightseeing and historical splendour for all to enjoy. Affectionately coined ‘Jacaranda City’, the metropolitan mesmerizes locals and visitors alike with mauve blossoms of the Jacaranda trees lining the streets, parks and gardens and rich history around every corner.

Bestowed the title of Administrative Capital of South Africa in 1910, the proud city of Pretoria preserved this ranking even after South Africa became a Republic in 1961. A bustling CBD welcomes jet-setting businessmen and leisure travellers alike with a hub of rich heritage sites and museums. Travellers looking to delve into the rich history of the original Voortrekkers will find a treasure trove of heritage sights that both celebrate and preserve the Afrikaner history.
 
Jacaranda Trees and the sweeping Pretoria skyline provide a colourful background for historical attractions such as the Union Buildings, the National Cultural History Museum and the Voortrekker Monument; all of which can be visited by travellers at their own leisure.  

The Union Buildings

Designed by Sir Herbert Baker to serve as administrative headquarters for the Government, the stately Union Buildings have since set the scene for many important events and more famously, Nelson Mandela’s inauguration ceremony on May 10, 1994. Immaculately terraced gardens scattered with blossoming flora welcomes the public and boast a variety of significant memorials and statues.  

National Cultural History Museum

Having enjoyed the splendour of Rovos Rail’s bygone-era luxury train accommodation, travellers will delight in a visit to the National Cultural History Museum. Housing a wealth of one-of-a-kind collections and exciting exhibitions, the museum is a must-see for history buffs. With collections dating from the recent to the early Stone Age, hop aboard Pretoria’s resident time machine to view everything from the San Art exhibition to the Marabastad exhibit and impressive art gallery.
 
Voortrekker Monument

History enthusiasts will find their fix with a trip to the Voortrekker Monument, a sweeping granite shrine that towers a grand 40 meters on its hilltop home. Established to both commemorate and define the history of the Afrikaner pioneers, each aspect of the building communicates historic or symbolic importance, making the monument a must-see for visitors looking to sink their teeth into a wealth of historic significance.
 
Commissioned in 1910, the beautifully appointed railway station itself entertains a fine history. Greeting travellers in style, the colonial-style building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker who co-designed the city of New Delhi in India and was the esteemed personal architect of Cecil John Rhodes.