Serving as the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria is often overlooked by its larger neighbour to the south, Johannesburg. However, the city has plenty to recommend it on its own, not least its proximity to the varied and gorgeous countryside to the north. As you might expect, Pretoria acts as a microcosm of how the ‘rainbow nation’ works, with a melting pot of different cultures. The city has numerous green spaces within its boundaries, while there are also plenty of places to watch live sport, chow down on some of the local cuisine and learn about how Pretoria came to be the city it is today. Post-Apartheid, Pretoria is undergoing a number of changes, not least to its centre, which is getting plenty of new shops, cultural venues and public spaces.
One or two of the minor routes in Pretoria could be in better condition. A larger vehicle such as a family saloon is therefore the best thing you could drive here.
Driving in Pretoria
Road Driving Side
Urban Speed Limit
Rural Speed Limit
Motorway Speed Limit
Important things to note
There are five major highways leading into Pretoria. They are the N1, N3, N4, N12 and N14, collectively connecting to most major cities.
Some of these routes are toll roads, while others which don’t have that status are likely to join them soon. Be sure to keep some loose change handy when driving on them.
Most road signs in Pretoria are written in English, while the road names use the same language.
Highlights & Hotspots
The Botanical Gardens are among some of the most beautiful in the whole of South Africa. While entry to the Gardens costs 15 Rand, they’re well worth the admission fee. You’re likely to come across a broad range of native and exotic plants there.
Pretoria Art Gallery is one of only a handful of galleries in the entire Gauteng province. Open on weekend afternoons as well as weekdays, it has a diverse range of contemporary and modern artworks from local artists.
The National Cultural History Museum is arguably the best place in Pretoria to learn about how different groups of people helped to shape the city’s history. It covers the area’s timeline from the Iron Age to the present day.
At the Loftus Versfeld stadium, you can watch the Blue Bulls, Pretoria’s main professional rugby union side. The Bulls, the regional side in the Super Rugby competition, also play here, as do local football club Mamelodi Sundowns.
The nearest major airport is O. R. Tambo International, which lies 28 miles south of the city centre. It is the busiest airport in the country, boasting six terminals. Two serve international flights, two for domestic flights and the others are for transit flights.
Getting there is possible via the R21, which starts in south Pretoria. This road will take you all the way to the airport from a junction just south of the city centre.