For the Personal Touch
Do you have a few hours between flights with nothing but the airport lounge to fill them? Instead of sitting there, let me show you a little of the historic city of Pretoria. I will customise a tour for you to fit the time available and your interests. Feel like some exercise? The National Botanical Gardens provide a peaceful break, or do a short walk after viewing the Voortrekker Monument. If you have quite a bit of time, a visit to Tswaing Crater is very rewarding. I do suggest that you have at least 4 hours available, so as to allow a visit to more than one venue. Longer would be better, as the minimum travelling distance is 40km. Below is an idea of the wonderful selection of things to see and do. Voortrekker Monument - This imposing monument, set in a nature reserve, depicts the early history of the Afrikaner people in this country on a set of marble panels around the inner walls. The monument is filled with symbolism, and there is a museum and nature reserve. In the same area is Fort Schanskop, a museum covering the 2nd Anglo-Boer War for the theme period of 1899 - 1914. It houses various photographic displays on various aspects of the War : the role of horses in the war in the Stal ;  the history of the State Artillery in Officieren; an overview of the course of the war in Proviand; portraits of Boer generals, on loan from the SA Army College, as well as short biographical sketches, can be seen in the Manschappen display. The gardens are beautiful, and there is a picnic area for lunch. Fort Klapperkop and the Military Museum - The museum is dedicated to military history and has an interesting and varied display of the armaments and military vehicles used in various wars. There are also pictures of soldiers, who participated in the Anglo- Boer War and displays of the weapons used by them. The Fort affords a view across the city. Kruger House -  President Paul Kruger, last president of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, lived in this house from 1884 - 1901, when he went into exile in Switzerland. It is now a museum, showing as closely as possible what life was like at the end of the 19th century., and is well regarded as a historical museum. Church Square - The buildings around this attractive square reflect the gracious elegance of the 19th century. A walk around and past the statue of Paul Kruger brings an idea of a less hurried time. The Dutch architect Sytze Wierda designed the church square  in the the Italian Renaissance style. Nearby is the Church Street cemetery, also known as Heroes Acre, which was established in 1867. This is where many prominent citizens were buried including Breaker Morant, an Australian executed for the murder of missionaries during the Second Anglo-Boer War. The Union Buildings - These buildings, todays housing the Presidency, were once the adminisatrtive centre of the Union of South Africa. Designed by Sir Herbert Baker and built from local stone, they are an impressive feature of the Pretoria skyline. Freedom Park - Set up as a tribute to the truth and reconciliation process, the Freedom Park is built to commemorate the country's political history and to celebrate its cultural and natural heritage. Visit to see the ordinary South Africans who contributed in the development of the new South Africa through museums and a Garden of Remembrance with statues and sculptures. Melrose House - Once the home of George Heys, a friend of Paul Kruger and one of the first industrialists in the ZAR, this elegant 1886 house was the site of the signing of the peace trety ending the Secong ANglo-Boer War in 1902. Today it is a museum, a beautiful example of late Victorian architecture commemmorating the war. Nearby is Burgers Park, the oldest park in Pretoria. Transvaal Museum and City Hall - The Pretoria City Hall faces the Transvaal Museum of Natural history across a square, the two buildings complementing each other. The natural science museum houses the finest selection of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and insects as well as remarkable display of fossils, pre-historic man and geological and archaeological material, including the Geoscience Museum which houses a large collection of precious and semi-precious stones. National Botanical Gardens - The Pretoria National Botanical gardens offer the opportunity to stretch your legs in beautiful, peaceful surroundings. This 76 ha urban oasis is divided in two by a 35 m high quartzite outcrop. Its frosty south-facing section and the north-facing, warmer section present two different worlds and a paved nature trail gives access to the fascinating natural vegetation on the ridge, which boasts a diversity of indigenous fauna and flora. 50 ha is developed garden, using almost exclusively South African plants. The flowering plant species, including 50% of the country's tree species, make this Garden a botanical tapestry. Visitors are offered a glimpse of different biomes such as savanna and forest biomes. Fort West Village - More than 250 historic buildings in one place just 10km west of Church Square, towards Hartbeespoort Dam. Previously known as Fort West Institute and founded in 1880, Fort West Village was set up to house lepers. It has the largest Gauteng fort, built by the French firm Schneider of Le Creusot (of Long Tom cannon fame) for the Anglo Boer War. Smuts House Museum - The many aspects of the life of Jan Christiaan Smuts (1870-1950) - statesman, lawyer, botanist, philosopher, farmer and family man - can be seen in this wood and iron house in the country environment of the Field Marshall's farm south of Pretoria. Short walks on the property through the natural bush are also possible. Sammy Marks Museum - The splendid Victorian mansion, which dates from 1884, was once the residence of the magnate Sammy Marks He made a significance contribution to the industrial, mining and agricultural development of the Zuid-Afrikaansche Republiek. Pioneer Museum - The house at the Pioneer Museum is a T-shaped dwelling with a thatched roof, dung smeared floor and pioneer furniture dating from 1848. The outside oven and outbuildings can also be viewed. A tanning pit, wagon shed, water furrow, threshing floor, water mill, animals, and duck-pond can be seen. Rietvlei Nature Reserve -  This small (3800 ha) nature reserve and dam is a beautiful example of the grassland biome and it’s flora and fauna. Herds of antelope roam the plains, including endemic species as well as the largest, the eland. Rhino and cheetah are also present. Any of the half-day tours listed can be taken as a layover tour for a small extra travelling fee. Please remember - my speciality is customised tours. I will quote on a customised tour or amend itineraries to suit you.
Your Guide
Pretoria O R Tambo Airport Layover Tours Turn several hours between flights into a wonderful experience
Pretoria Layover  From O R Tambo: 55km Tour Time: 4-5 hours Start time: Before 14h30  Pickup & drop-off: O R Tambo or Lanseria.   Price excludes lunch but includes entries, snacks & soft drinks in the vehicle. .  Smuts House Museum  From O R Tambo: 40 km. Tour Time: 3-4 hours Start time: Before 14h30  Pickup & drop-off:  O R Tambo or Lanseria.    Price excludes lunch but Includes entries, snacks & soft drinks in the vehicle.    Sammy Marks Museum  From O R Tambo: 75km. Tour Time: 4-5 hours Start time: Before 14h30  Pickup & drop-off:  O R Tambo or Lanseria.   Price excludes lunch, but Includes entries, snacks & soft drinks in the vehicle. Voortrekker Monument Picnic  From O R Tambo: 55km Tour Time: 5-7 hours Start time: Before 12h00  Pickup & drop-off: O R Tambo or Lanseria.   Price includes entries, a picnic lunch, snacks & soft drinks in the vehicle. Smuts House and Rietvlei Nature Reserve Picnic  From O R Tambo: 55km. Tour Time: 5-7 hours Start time: Before 10h00  Pickup & drop-off:  O R Tambo or Lanseria.   Price includes entries, a picnic lunch, snacks & soft drinks in the vehicle.  Pretoria  and Botanical Gardens Picnic  From O R Tambo: 55km. Tour Time: 5-7 hours Start time: Before 10h00  Pickup & drop-off:  O R Tambo or Lanseria.    Price Includes entries, a picnic lunch,  snacks & soft drinks in the vehicle. Rambling Robin Individualised Private and GroupTours