Pretoria's surrounding areas offer a wealth of attractions for the independent traveller – there’s the Dinokeng tourism region, the Cradle of Humankind, the Hartbeespoort Dam and the Magaliesberg, as well as a number of small noteworthy attractions just outside the city limits.

Did you know?

Dinokeng means 'place of rivers' in the Batswana and Bapedi languages.      

Pretoria's surrounding areas give visitors the opportunity to explore the Gauteng province. There's Johannesburg just 45 minutes away (along the highway), the Dinokeng area, the Magaliesberg, the Cradle of Humankind and Hartbeespoort Dam.

Of all the areas surrounding Pretoria/Tshwane, Dinokeng offers the widest variety of fun attractions. Here you can go on game drives, nature walks, visit the Cullinan mine (where the world's largest diamond was found), learn about Ndebele culture, visit the Khuwana Tavern and spend time at a bona fide Buddhist Temple. It's no wonder then that this tourism region has been touted as ‘Africa in one day'. The town of Cullinan is part of this route and is a great place for a relaxed lunch.

The Cradle of Humankind is also an easy drive from Pretoria and here you'll find a number of attractions including the Sterkfontein Caves and the fascinating Maropeng Visitor Centre. There are also wonderful eateries in the area – with Roots restaurant at the Forum Homini boutique hotel leading the way.

Hartbeespoort Dam, located along the R512, is a great place for water sports, golf and weekend getaways. There are a number of attractions close to the dam including the Elephant & Monkey Sanctuaries, an aerial cableway, snake parks, craft and curio stores and a number of spas.

The Magaliesberg with its ancient mountains, agricultural lands, craft routes and country hotels is a wonderful place to get away from it all. There are quaint country hotels, friendly B&Bs, as well as a choice of eateries.

En route to Brits, book a tour of the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre, stop by well-stocked, smaller game reserves, or try your luck at the Carousel Entertainment Complex for gambling entertainment.

There's also the suburb of Irene, near Centurion, where you'll find the home of former General Jan Smuts on Doornkloof Farm. Here there is an excellent organic market and an art gallery well worth visiting.

Travel tips & Planning info

Who to contact

Pretoria/Tshwane Tourism Information Centre
Tel: +27 (0)12 358 1430

Tshwane Tourism Association
Tel: +27 (0)12 841 2593

How to get here

You’ll find Dinokeng along the N4 to Witbank – follow the Rayton/Cullinan signposts along the R515. If you want to visit the Cradle of Humankind, Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg take the N4 west.

Around the area

The Cradle of Humankind and the Magaliesberg. For a quick stop-over the Rietvlei Dam is a good option.

Tours to do

Head out on the Magaliesberg Meander, take a trip along the Crocodile Ramble or book a tour at De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Centre.

Get around

Hiring a car or 4x4 vehicle is a good idea and guarantees your independence.

What will it cost

There's an entrance fee into Maropeng Visitor Centre of R125 for adults and R70 for children (4-14).

Length of stay

Take three to four days exploring the Gauteng countryside.

Where to stay

Forum Homini boutique hotel in the Cradle of Humankind is an excellent option if you are wanting something upmarket. The Valley Lodge in Magaliesberg is excellent value for money, and the Hys Rex (linked to Janharmsgat se Agterplaas in Cullinan) is a great self-catering option.

What to eat

Book a decadent Sunday buffet lunch at the Mount Grace Hotel & Spa in the Magaliesberg. De Hoek, another charming Magalieberg establishment, is also known for its fine cuisine and peaceful country surroundings.

Best buys

The roadside galleries near Hartbeespoort sell a wide variety of arts and crafts.