Pretoria was established by Marthinus Pretorius in 1855 naming it after his father Andries Pretorius the hero of the Voortrekkers in Natal. It became the capital of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek in 1860 and its’ establishment marked the end of the Great Trek. Pretoria is a picturesque city that houses many important buildings and sites that stand at the centre of South Africa’s political history. It has a quite different ‘personality’ to Johannesburg which lies just 45 kilometres to the south. Tours include visiting the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, Kruger House, Church Square, Melrose House and the Union Buildings. The tour passes the North Gauteng High Court made famous world-wide during the Oscar Pistorius murder trial. Interestingly, the Voortrekker Monument is one of the most visited sites in South Africa – especially by Chinese tourists.
Cullinan – home of the world famous Cullinan Diamond Mine – lies about 40km east of Pretoria. It was here that the largest diamond ever discovered – the 3106 carat Cullinan Diamond – was unearthed in January 1905. Here guests can join a surface tour which includes the old miners cottages of Oak Avenue, the working shaft area and the lookout into the hole in the earth created by over 100 years of continuous mining. The hole is a massive four times larger than the Big Hole in Kimberley. Guests are able to buy certified diamonds here.