CSIR Conference Centre
Pretoria - a microcosm of culture and a veritable window of Africa. Whereas South Africa is known as a world in one country, the jacaranda city, so nicknamed after the many purple-blooming trees lining the city streets, Pretoria is more of a country in one city. It offers a treasure-trove of breathtaking adventures, exciting experiences and unforgettable memories. Although it has a controversial historic past, Pretoria is evolving into a dynamic democratic future. Today, the administrative capital of South Africa is also the epitome of the Rainbow Nation.
As South Africa's capital city, it is a cultural hub and a centre of research and learning. It is a friendly city, with open streets, open spaces and open-hearted people. Pretoria is a 'people's city' with something for everyone.
Pretoria boasts a strategic location with expansive highways connecting it with the other provincial capitals and it is the gateway to many favourite tourist destinations. Pretoria is also within easy reach of Johannesburg International Airport.
The city enjoys a warm and pleasant climate, with an average of about nine hours of sunshine a day for 300 days a year. The area delights with stunning sunsets and impressive highveld thunderstorms during the summer. Winters are mild, with temperatures averaging between six and 23°C, while in summer, temperatures range between 15 and 28°.
Although Pretoria is a bustling city, it is in tune with nature, with beautiful gardens and jacaranda-lined streets. It is home to a variety of nature reserves, including the National Zoological Gardens, which houses a host of indigenous and exotic bird and animal species in spacious surroundings. The energetic hiking trails are within easy reach. Several game lodges, offering the opportunity to view buffalo, elephant, lion, rhino and leopard in their natural habitat, are within a short distance.
For the enthusiast, Pretoria is a sporting haven for both local and international events, with world-class stadiums catering for a variety of activities. Health clubs, gyms, swimming pools and lush green golf courses abound. There are also many other adrenaline-pumping activities to select from: water sports, skydiving and hot-air ballooning, to name but a few.
Many options are open to those in search of entertainment. The city is renowned, both locally and internationally, for its award-winning restaurants - sophisticated and romantic or rowdy and relaxed venues are on offer. Pretoria offers something to tempt every palate. The choices range from a la carte, buffet, international, traditional South African and African cuisine to family restaurants, steakhouses, diners and fast food outlets. The city also has cinemas aplenty, showing the latest box-office hits as well as films for the discerning viewers. A variety of clubs and pubs await discovery, from informal township jazz to rave and rock clubs, and there are also live cabaret shows in the Carousel Casino and the Sun City entertainment complex. On the cultural side, the State Theatre, housed in the city centre, regularly stages musicals, operas, ballets and drama shows. Pretoria is also the starting point for the world-famous Blue Train and the Rovos Rail luxury steam train trips.
Upmarket shopping malls, flea markets and ethnic sidewalk vendors clamour for the visitor's attention. From the glitter of diamonds and gold to fascinating tribal beadwork and artefacts, there will be something just right to recall those special memories.
Pretoria also offers the best academically challenging institutions - the University of Pretoria, the University of South Africa (UNISA), Vista University and the Medical University of South Africa (MEDUNSA). Pretoria also houses a selection of technical colleges, a teacher training college and a technikon.
Pretoria is not only the seat of administrative power in South Africa, it is also the 'display cabinet' of the country's cultural heritage. The city offers a choice of 35 museums, housing displays which range from pioneering traditions, colonial and classical European culture to mystical eastern and colourful African cultures, as well as agriculture, forensics, science and history. Art routes, galleries and art museums feature a selection of both local and international works of art. Diamond mines, wine estates, herbal and health farms to visit are also available for longer visits.
A variety of accommodation options is available, from international standard top-class hotels, quaint home-from-home guest houses and lodges, furnished apartments, resorts and youth hostels.
A conference city of international repute, Pretoria has some 200 conference facilities. The conference facilities in Pretoria range from formal auditoriums to intimate and picturesque venues, offering something to suit all types of conferences, conventions and private business meetings. The impressive CSIR Conference Centre is already favoured by many organisers for scientific and technological conventions, as it is on the grounds of the only South African institute mandated to research and engineer the scientific and technological growth of the country. The CSIR Conference venues are set among indigenous trees, in a tranquil park-like environment with a spectacular view of greater Pretoria. Designed to international standards, this is an elegant yet highly functional centre that ranks with the best in the world. It is also an ideal venue for all types of conferences, whether big or small, intimate meetings. The Union Building and most international embassies are also within a 10 km radius of the CSIR Conference Centre.
Pretoria offers the opportunity to walk in the footsteps of colourful heroes, follow game trails, dance and gamble the night away or sip cocktails amid breathtaking scenery. Whatever the taste of the visitor, Pretoria has it all!