Tswana, South Africa
According to wholevehicles, Tswana is the capital of South Africa. Many people know its old name – Pretoria, but in 2005 the mayor’s office decided to rename the city and district in Tswana in honor of the leader, in whose possessions the capital “grew”. Today, only the historical part of the city is called Pretoria.
The largest diamond in the world was once found in Tswana, and today the tallest building in the country is located here. The city has many interesting museums, such as the Police Museum and the Kruger Museum, where things that belonged to the president are kept. The best time for a trip is spring, which comes here in September-October, when the jacaranda trees bloom in lilac color.
Billionaire Elon Musk was born and spent his childhood in Pretoria (Tswana district).
How to get to Tswana
There are regular flights from Moscow and St. Petersburg to Johannesburg and Cape Town, from where it is easy to get to Tswana. Travel by bus from Johannesburg will cost about 6 USD, by minibus it will cost less – 4 USD. You can also get to Tswana by subway, but this is not safe.
From Cape Town to Tswana you can take the bus company Baz Bus (021-439 2323)
The car is the main mode of transport in Tswana. You should order a taxi at the hotel or through a representative of a travel company. Voting on the roads is not accepted.
Rent a Car
To rent a car, you must have an international driving license and be at least 23 years old. For a full tank of petrol, a deposit must be paid, which will be returned to the driver upon delivery of the car with a full tank. Atlases and a map of the country are provided free of charge.
You can exchange currency in bank branches, as well as in hotels. Hotels usually charge a commission and the rate is slightly higher than in banks. There are ATMs throughout the city where you can withdraw money.
In cafes and restaurants, it is supposed to leave 10% of the order value as a tip, it is also customary to give a tip to the porter and porter in the hotel, and also to the huntsman who accompanies you on a safari.
There is no shortage of shops. In Tswana, you can buy clothes, shoes, dishes, and in general everything you might need.
In the local market you can buy quite unusual goods: a chandelier made of antelope horns, zebra skin carpets, bronze sculptures, huge masks or carved furniture of African leaders.
Cuisine and restaurants in Tswana
Many restaurants serve European cuisine, but if you’re looking for something exotic, you should try “local” dishes, such as shark fin, antelope fillet, ostrich or crocodile tail.
Tswana has a subtropical climate. The summer is long and hot, the temperature during the day is about +30 ° C, it often rains with thunderstorms, sometimes hail falls. In winter, the temperature ranges from +5 °C to +20 °C, snow falls, to put it mildly, rarely – about once every hundred years.
Entertainment and attractions
The Union Building is one of the city’s most interesting landmarks. This is an architectural complex symbolizing the unification of four English provinces into a single state. It is also very interesting the Union Building, which now houses the official residence of the President of South Africa, and the inauguration ceremonies of the President are also held here. The shape of the building (two buildings connected by a semicircular colonnade) symbolizes the union of previously separated peoples. Nearby is the building of the African Reserve Bank – the tallest building in Tswana.
The State Theater Complex, consisting of five halls, also deserves attention. The Tswane forts are very popular with tourists. In the center of the city, on the Kerk Plats, there is a monument to President Paulus Krueger. Tswane boasts the longest straight street in the world, Church Street, which is almost 25 km long. Here is the Mint, the Anglican Cathedral, the Palace of Justice and the building of the former town hall.
Near the city is the largest operating diamond mine “Premier”. In 1905, a diamond the size of an adult’s fist was mined here. There is a museum at the mine, which presents exact copies of ever mined diamonds.
Tswana is also home to the Loftus Versfeld stadium, which hosted matches of the 2010 FIFA World Cup.
Bars and clubs are open at night in Tswana.
There are many parks in the city, the most famous among them is the Hanging Garden, Burgers Park and Princes Park are also worth a visit.
Nature lovers should definitely visit the local zoo. The National Zoological Garden is one of the ten best zoos in the world. Its area is 60 hectares, here you can see representatives of the African and Australian fauna, the zoo also has an aquarium and a terrarium. And from 11:00 to 15:00 visitors are offered to feed the seals.
It is also worth visiting the National Botanical Garden, where many plants grow. About two hundred species of birds, several species of reptiles and small mammals also live here. Tourists can go on a safari in a comfortable steam-powered train and visit the Kruger National Park, which is home to antelopes, monkeys, buffaloes, giraffes, elephants, leopards, lions, hippos and many bird species. There are also several hiking trails here. You can stay in the park for a few days.
Kruger House Museum Here are some of the personal belongings of the first president of the Transvaal, as well as original furniture from the late 19th century. The Kruger House was also one of the first houses in Tswana to be lit by electricity.
Melrose House A Victorian mansion named after Melrose Abbey in Scotland. The museum exhibits paintings by English artists, carpets, colorful stained-glass windows, fireplaces, and porcelain items. The building itself is an example of the architectural style of the Victorian era.
Transvaal Museum The museum contains a collection of paleontological and archaeological finds, including finds from the Sterkfontein caves.
Africa Window This is South Africa’s national museum of history and culture and exhibits archeological finds as well as art and historical documents.
Vortrekker Monument In the upper part of the monument there is an observation deck from where you can see the whole city, and in the museum itself there is a sarcophagus with the remains of the heroes who won the battle on the Bloody River.
Military Museum near Fort Clapperkop The museum is worth a visit for at least one exhibit – a pedal English locomotive.
A half hour drive from Tswana is the Museum of Agriculture. Here you can buy grape wine, as well as fruit wine Mampoer, which was clandestinely made by farmers during the days of Prohibition. Every year, at the end of May, the museum hosts the Mampoer festival.
Other museums: Open Air Pioneer Museum, Science and Technology Museum, Police Museum, Museum of Fine Arts.