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TThe Tshwane/Pretoria environs hold a magnetic appeal for extreme sports lovers, with a choice of endorphin-inducing activities.
Jumping out of planes has long been a pastime of Pretoria's adventurous set. Find like-minded skydiving types at Wonderboom Airport north of the city. And the Aero Club of South Africa and both the South African hang-gliding and paragliding associations have their headquarters in Midrand – midway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The Rietvlei Nature Reserve offers freshwater fishing on the western and northern shores, game viewing, bird watching and a number of hiking trails.
The Hartbeespoort Dam area (45km from Pretoria) is a great place to enjoy a variety of watersports, including waterskiing, jetskiing and sailing, or take a trip to the top of the Magaliesberg courtesy of the Harties Cableway. Not too far away there are hot air balloon safaris that provide a silent and satisfying means of game viewing, and the Elephant Sanctuary encourages visitors to get in touch with these iconic African animals.
Dirt biking is also popular here, with various quad biking options on offer. Why not hire a 4x4 vehicle and explore the regions of Dinokeng, the Hennops River and the Magaliesberg? If you like horse riding, there are a number of farms located in the Midrand/Centurion and Fourways areas (closer to Johannesburg) where you may indulge your passion.
Near the Cradle of Humankind, some 45 minutes from Pretoria, hiking trails and an exploration of the Sterkfontein Caves will put human origins in perspective. While there, make sure that you make a special journey into the scenic Wonder Cave.
The more daring activities of caving and kloofing (canyoning) are also available on the outskirts of Gauteng province.
TTravel tips & planning info
Who to contact
Pretoria/Tshwane Tourism Information Centre
Old Nederlandsche Bank Building
Tel: +27 (0)12 358 1430
How to get here
Pretoria is an hour’s drive from OR Tambo International Airport.
Best time to visit
Winter is a good time to visit – bear in mind that temperatures in the early mornings are cold (nearing 0°C), but by lunchtime, temperatures are a comfortable 19° or so.
Around the area
Spend time exploring the surrounding areas of Dinokeng, the Cradle of Humankind, Broederstroom and the Magaliesberg. Make sure you visit Wonderboom Airport if you are keen on airborne adventures.
Take an organised tour of Cullinan, and see first-hand where the world's biggest diamond was discovered.
What to pack
Light clothing for the day and sturdy walking shoes if you're planning on going hiking.
Where to stay
There are many guest houses and lodges in and around Pretoria, and cultural villages, bed-and-breakfasts and country houses as you head out into the countryside.
What to eat
Taste different African cuisines at the Lesedi Cultural Village, en route to Hartbeespoort Dam.
- South African Tourism
- Gauteng Tourism Authority
- Dirty Boots Adventure Guide
- Wonderboom Airport
- Aero Club of South Africa
- Rietvlei Nature Reserve
- Hartbeespoort Dam
- Harties Cableway
- Hot air balloon safaris