Pretoria - South Africa
Pretoria. Known as 'The Jacaranda City' due to the thousands of striking Jacaranda trees.
If you visit in late September - early October you will have the pleasure of seeing these stunning trees in flower - adding splashes of colour to every corner of the city. I have visited the inland city of Pretoria 3 times over the last few years as my cousin married a dashing South African man from there, and after marrying ended up emigrating. This city is in the Northern part of South Africa and has a substantially warmer climate than the South, however, they still get incredible storms throughout some of the seasons.
I've compiled a few places worth a visit if you are in Pretoria for a stop over or a long weekend, as its not somewhere people tend to go on a long holiday due to its lack of coast. Its almost more of a transit city as its only 30 minutes from Johannesburg Airport and you can drive to Durban or Kruger park from Pretoria.
Atterbury Mall - This shopping mall is full of Outlet stores where you will find a big Nike outlet store all at discounted rates. They also have a large Factorie Outlet store, then your usual Typo and other retail shops.
Brooklyn Mall - This mall is a big one, you could lose yourself in there for half a day easily. They also have a great cafe called 'Lucky Bean' that serves an amazing flat white - and has decent WIFI if you need to do some work.
Aroma - Gelato! When you're somewhere hot...you have to hunt out the best Gelato! Aroma has a really cool vibe about it, and a big selection of homemade gelato and sorbet to choose from. They place chilled house music and are super friendly.
Blue Crane Cafe - This Cafe / Restaurant is great if you have kids with you. It has a bit outdoor play area, and a resident Tortoise walking about. It overlooks a peaceful lake and you sit with a cuppa reading or bird watching.
Pretoria Botanical Gardens - My favourite little spot in Pretoria - The Botanical Gardens! This particular garden is pretty big and has lots of different areas to it. Rock pools, waterfalls, big grassy areas, jungle areas and a huge selection of native flowers. It also has two great cafe's / restaurants and various wildlife around to see.