Just 30 miles north of Johannesburg, Pretoria is South Africa’s administrative capital with a marked colonial history. Its Afrikaner history is substantial and gives the city a rugged feel as it reinvents itself as an emerging cosmopolitan hub alongside rows of beautiful jacarandas that provide welcome shade from the burning African sun. HAPPYCAR is here to help you find the best car hire Pretoria has to offer so you can take full advantage of this picturesque city, and a car hire from Johannesburg Airport is also available. We check the prices of international and local providers so that you don’t have to check each website to provide you with the best deals to make your money go further on a rental car that fits your specific vacation needs.
Originally a Boer farming community nestled in the Magaliesberg Mountains, Pretoria was caught up significantly in the Boer Wars after their annexation from the British, and only began to rise again after Mandela’s inauguration at the Union Buildings in 1994. Since then, students and diplomats have flocked to the city and are en route to building a substantial cosmopolitan metropolis. The central hub, Church Square, features some fantastic architecture and the nightlife is energetic. Pretoria is an excellent choice after Johannesburg, and whatever your reason for visiting, a HAPPYCAR car hire in Pretoria can guarantee the best car for your needs.
A walk through the central district will reward you with some great architectural sights with a distinct colonial influence, such as the sweeping sandstone headquarters of Government, the Union Buildings, and the Voortrekker Monument, a UNESCO World Heritage Site commemorating the Voortrekker’s journey from the Cape to the Hinterland. The National Botanic Garden can be found in Pretoria, along with the National Zoological Gardens, the largest zoo in the country and one of the top 10 zoos in the world. The Ditsong National Museum of Cultural History provides a fascinating insight into Stone Age and Iron Age artifacts, while the Mapungubwe Museum showcases excavated ornaments from a 13th century Iron Age settlement in Limpopo.
Pretoria’s nature reserves are fantastic and a Pretoria car rental can take you to sights such as Groenkloof, Rietvlei, Moreleta Spruit, Faerie Glen, Wonderboom Nature Reserve and the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary. Those with an interest in history should stop off at Freedom Park on Salvokop, a monument to democracy, and Kruger House, the historical residence of former President of the South African Republic Paul Kruger. The Pretoria City Hall is another beautiful sight, flanked by rows of beautiful violet jacarandas. The hall was built in 1931 to celebrate the achievement of Pretoria’s city status.
For all Pretoria’s leisurely development it offers some excellent fine dining and being the diplomatic hub of South Africa, it has many cuisines on offer. One of Pretoria’s oldest restaurants, La Madeleine, offers storied Belgian food and good Italian food is surprisingly easy to come by. Congolese food is also available, where you can find antelope casserole and deep fried plantains, and for a local taste, the Monument Restaurant near the Voortrekker Monument offers Afrikaans Boerekos and a relaxed Sunday brunch.
Just over an hour from the city with a Pretoria car rental, the section of the Magaliesberg Mountains that extends into Gauteng is a magnet for Pretorians desperate to escape the tempo of city life. Although the hills can hardly be described as remote, you’ll find ample opportunities for nature trailing and hiking. As in much of the area around Pretoria, however, the important part lies underground, with a series of caves, underground passages and archeological sites making up the famous Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Of course Johannesburg is right next door, and if you are up for a true South African excursion then you can take a 13 hour trip to Cape Town, sitting vibrantly by the bay. Whatever you choose, HAPPYCAR can help you get the best deals on your next car hire!