On a hill overlooking the city, the Freedom Park memorial honours the sacrifices of those who lost their lives in the struggle for freedom and celebrates the diversity of the South African people. The park comprises of a series of sites, linked by a spiral pathway, that explores culture, heritage, history, indigenous knowledge, and spirituality through African architecture, landscaping and sculpture. The museum itself tells an interactive story of Africa, starting millions of years ago with African legends, and winds its way through history to include the eras of colonisation, industrialisation, nationalism and finally democracy.
The third fort to be constructed for the protection of Pretoria before the outbreak of the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), Fort Klapperkop has been restored to its original state to showcase these 19th century defensive fortifications. The museum displays military memorabilia, rifles and furniture from the period, while an old steam locomotive and Pretoria’s last tram is also situated on the grounds. The magnificent hilltop view make this the perfect picnic spot, while the rough terrain is a favourite of hikers and mountain bikers alike.
Built in 1884, Kruger House was the original home of Paul Kruger, third president of the Republic of South Africa. This Victorian-style house situated not far from Church Square was one of the first in the city to use electricity, as well as the first to have a telephone installed. It has been refurbished to reflect the period in which “Oom Paul” and his second wife Gezina lived there from 1883-1901, before he was exiled to Europe.
Formerly known as the Transvaalse Museum, the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History houses collections that exhibit the natural heritage of South Africa, including hominid fossils from the Cradle of Humankind at Maropeng and the world-famous Mrs Ples, the fossil skull that provides compelling evidence for the hypothesis that humanity originated in Africa. The museum is located within a beautiful sandstone building in the heart of the business district. The enormous skeleton of a dinosaur grabs the imagination at the entrance, while interactive displays of birds, animals, insects and geological collections are sure to keep the whole family entertained.
Situated in Church Square, in the heart of Pretoria, the Post Office Museum will delight philatelists with its collection of stamps, art and objects related to the postal service. The entire history of South African stamps is exhibited in the museum’s display and provides a unique perspective of the country’s past. Entrance is free.
Perhaps your interests lie towards farming implements, animal-drawn vehicles and homemade goods such as cookies, jams and soaps. If so, then the Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum on the outskirts of Pretoria is just the place for you. The family-friendly farmstead allows visitors to take a step back in time to experience South African farming through the ages. Children will be delighted to see the Nguni cattle, Painted Persian sheep and other domesticated animals, while adults can partake in the Mampoer distilling attraction. The Museum also plays host to an annual Mampoer festival, a fun event that includes liqueur-tasting, traditional food stalls and a flea market.