Pretoria is known as Jacaranda City after the numerous trees that colour the city purple each spring.
A mega city
Tshwane, the mega city capital of South Africa, which lies only 50km from OR Tambo International Airport and is connected to the airport by the Gautrain rapid rail link, consists of Pretoria and surrounding areas. Five major highways lead into the City of Tshwane providing vital access from all over the region.
As the administrative seat of Government and hosting a number of Embassies, City of Tshwane has proven to be a leader on the African continent in providing affordable industrial sites, various industries, office space, education and research facilities.
Tshwane is a cultural city with grand architecture, a plethora of museums – both historical and modern – monuments, grand sculptures, bustling markets and vibrant township scenes complemented by up-market fine dining restaurants, street side cafe’s and ultra-modern bustling city shopping centres.
Tshwane is a cosmopolitan city. Tshwane has the most foreign representative bodies in the world after Washington DC. As the seat of government, all South African 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 such as the United Nations, World Bank and European Union.
Science and research hub
Tshwane is an academic, science and research hub. With four universities the University of Pretoria, Tshwane university of Technology , UNISA and Sefako Makgatho,no less than seven national science councils this centre of scientific research and learning boasts the highest level of education in the country.
Tshwane is an African city boasting two nature reserves with big game such as rhino, antelope, lion and giraffe close to the city centre and a third, on the city boundaries, boasting the Big 5. Green belts, wetlands and special natural park sanctuaries within the city also cater for birding enthusiasts. Dining options within these reserves abound to satisfy the tastes of the nature lover with a penchant for fine dining.
Pretoria is located in a summer rainfall area with hot days regularly followed by short and intense afternoon thunderstorms. The thunderstorms are often accompanied by lightning and occasionally result in hail. Summer temperatures range between 16°C at night to 30°C during the day. Winters are mild and dry with temperatures averaging between a minimum of 5°C and a maximum of 20°C.
Pretoria has the second largest number of embassies in the world, after Washington, D.C. in the United States.
Tshwane is renowned for its natural heritage and recently became the only city in the world with a big-five game reserve within city boundaries: the 90 000-hectare Dinokeng Big 5 Game Reserve.
Pretoria is home to an extensive portfolio of public art. Pretoria boasts a vibrant art scene and a variety of works that range from sculptures to murals to pieces by international and local artists.
The Cullinan Diamond (the largest diamond ever found) was discovered near Cullinan at the Premier Mine on 26 January 1905.
Mrs Ples, the nickname for what is considered one of the oldest intact skulls of a distant ancestor of humankind, dating back over 2-million-years ago, is housed at the Ditsong Museum of Natural History in Pretoria.