Pretoria is a city in the northern part of Gauteng Province, South Africa. It is one of the country’s three capital cities, serving as the seat of the executive branch of government. Pretoria has a reputation for being an academic city with three universities and the Council for Scientific and Industrial Research (CSIR) located in its eastern suburbs, the city also hosts the South African Bureau of Standards making the city a hub for research. Pretoria is the central part of the Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality which was formed by the amalgamation of several former local authorities including Centurion and Soshanguve.
Pretoria is named after the Voortrekker leader Andries Pretorius and within South Africa is popularly known as the “Jacaranda City” due to the thousands of Jacaranda trees planted in its streets, parks and gardens.
Pretoria is home to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa as well as the Pretoria National Botanical Gardens. There are also a number of smaller parks and gardens located throughout the city, including the Austin Roberts Bird Sanctuary, Pretorius Square gardens, the Pretoria Rosarium, Church Square, Pretoria Showgrounds, Springbok Park, Freedom Park, and Burgers Park, the oldest park in the city and now a national monument. In the suburbs there are also several parks that are notable: Rietondale Park, “Die Proefplaas” in the Queenswood suburb, Nelson Mandela Park and Mandela Park Peace Garden and Belgrave Square Park.