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Northern Gauteng

Union Buildings Pretoria (Tshwane) designed by Sir Herbert BakerNorthern Gauteng is centered on Pretoria which forms part of the metropolitan City of Tshwane. The City of Tshwane is one of the largest cities in the world when it comes to land size. These boundaries cover the whole of the Northern Gauteng Region and include Pretoria, Centurion, Cullinan, Bronkhorstspruit and Dinokeng.

Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa, and is home to the beautiful Union Buildings designed by Sir Herbert Baker.  As one would expect, the economy of the city is largely based on government and many of the buildings house the various government departments. Pretoria also hosts the second most diplomatic missions in the world (after Washington D.C) with over 130 embassies or high commissions. 

Jacarandas PretoriaPretoria is famous for the Jacaranda trees that burst into the most amazing kaleidoscope of purple blooms between October and November, creating a wonderful backdrop to this beautiful city.

Historically, the area which was to become the location of the city of Pretoria, was inhabited by an African ethnic group, the Southern Transvaal Ndebele’s around the 1600s.

Pretoria was officially founded in 1855 by Marthinus Pretorius as  the capital of the ZAR, a “Boer” Republic of Dutch descendants, which was dragged into war with the British in the late 1800′s over the control of the gold discoveries.

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Voortrekker Monument

Eventually losing the Anglo Boer Wars against the British, the ZAR was incorporated  into the union of South Africa in 1910.

In 1961 the city played its role in the independence of South Africa from Britain and more recently, in the Freedom Struggle.

On 10 May 1994 Pretoria’s Union Buildings was the setting for the inauguration of Nelson Mandela, as the first democratically elected president of South Africa.

This rich history is told through the city’s monuments, museums and buildings and rich cultural offerings like Freedom Park and the Voortrekker Monument

Pretoria is a convenient business destination as it only 45 minutes from Johannesburg, with the business nodes of Centurion, Midrand and Sandton just off the highway between the two cities. It is also close to the OR Tambo and Lanseria airports, and is convenient to the West Rand.

A major Tshwane attraction is the Tswaing Crater, a 1.4km-diameter meteorite crater that is ranked as one of the world’s best-preserved meteorite impact craters.

For all the attractions and things to do in Pretoria and the greater Tshwane, visit ShowMe Pretoria/Tshwane.

Centurion also falls under Northern Gauteng, and offers one of the biggest shopping malls in South Africa and is home to the SA Mint. The easy access to the entire Witwatersrand, the many corporate offices, a residential area flowing between rural small holdings and modern secure lifestyle complexes makes Centurion is a commuter’s paradise. Find out more about Centurion on ShowMe Centurion.

Cullinan (Premier) Diamond Mine, Northern Gauteng

From Pretoria it is easy to visit the more rural areas that surround the city. Destinations of interest are leafy Irene, with its dairy farm; Cullinan, home to some of the rarest and best quality diamonds in South Africa, where you can do a tour of the working mine, or buy great diamonds and jewellery right at the source. Why not take the steam train from Pretoria for a great day trip to Cullinan.

Steam Train to Cullinan from Pretoria

Close to Cullinan is Rayton, an historical mining village and home to the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum, an interesting outing for the whole family.

Bronkhorstspruit Dam and Nature Reserve, Northern Gauteng

Bronkhorstspruit is a magnet for bass fishing and water sports and the town has a wonderful Anton Smit outdoor sculpture galleryBronkhorstspruit is also home to the Nan Hua Buddhist Temple where you can attend retreats or just visit and find out about Buddism. 

Nan Hua Buddhist Temple, Bronkhorstspruit, Northern Gauteng

Large tracts of Northern Gauteng are vast stretches of indigenous bush that features game and nature reserves and several conservancies which are rewarding for bird watching. Here you will find the Rietvlei Nature Reserve which features, amongst others, white rhino, buffalo and cheetah and the Groenkloof and Wonderboom Nature Reserves, the latter being famed for its 1 000-year-old Wonderboom (wonder tree). 

Northern Gauteng is a good mix of everything a city has to offer within close proximity to natural attractions in the countryside centered around quaint villages from by-gone eras.

Towns of the Northern Gauteng Region

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