An October 2003 trip
to Johannesburg by MSRITA
Quote: Saturday, 11 October, 2003. On Saturday our supervisor Sarel du Plessis offered to show my colleague from Canada and me around his hometown of Pretoria. Pretoria is about an hours drive north of Johannesburg and has a population of two million people.
Member Rating 4 out of 5 on October 24, 2003
Johannesburg, South Africa
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 24, 2003
Fort KlapperKop Military Museum
Johannesburg, South Africa
Attraction | "Lion and Rhino Park"
Member Rating 3 out of 5 on October 27, 2003
Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve
Johannesburg, South Africa 1739
+27 11 957 0109
Saturday 11 October 2003 - On Saturday our supervisor Sarel du Plessis offered to show my colleague from Canada and me around his hometown of Pretoria. Pretoria is about an hours drive north of Johannesburg and has a population of two million people. The city of Pretoria is known as an Afrikaans stronghold.
As we were coming into the city we saw a huge building looming on a hillside. This building is the University of South Africa and it has one of the largest correspondence enrollments in the world. As we drove along, I was amazed at all the beautiful rosebushes in bloom everywhere. There were rosebushes planted along the roadsides, hillsides, and even on the street dividers!
We started our sightseeing adventure by driving up to Fort KlapperKop Military Museum. This fort was built in 1897 to prevent repetition of incidences such as the Johannesburg riots and the Jameson Raid. They say "never a shot was fired in anger from this fort". The fort stands high above the city. From this vista you can see all of the city and the surrounding countryside.
From there we went to the Menlyn Mall. The mall has upbeat music coursing through the air and hundreds of shoppers. It is huge with all kinds of department stores, shops, and eateries. If this mall does not have it, I don’t believe it exists.
We had lunch at the Ocean Basket. Collectively we ordered a large Greek salad and I ordered fried hake and chips that were served in a frying pan… delicious.
After lunch we visited the grounds of the Union Buildings, which are the headquarters of government in South Africa. The building is beautiful and very impressive. The building reminds me of the eastern European style of architecture. The immaculate manicured grounds are tiered with colorful flowerbeds and the scent is heaven. I could have stayed there all day. The general public is not allowed inside the buildings due to security. However, they can utilize the gardens, as there were people with books and blankets relaxing and enjoying the beautiful surroundings.
From the Union Buildings we got stuck in a traffic jam. Rugby and soccer are the passions of South Africans. A rugby match between Durban and Pretoria was being played in Pretoria that evening. Everyone had flocked to the city center to attend the game and to participate in the rivalry. Fans were all dressed up in the their teams’ colors and lots of people were tailgating with braais and beer.
For the most part I was impressed with the beauty of this city. The cleanliness, the purple blooms of the Jacaranda trees, beautiful parks, and flowers make this city worth visiting again.
Sunday 12 October 2003- Sunday was spent at the Lion and Rhino Park close to the Cradle of Mankind. This park has an area for abandoned or sick wildlife. A three-week-old abandoned zebra was being cared for and there were baby lions that you could feed with baby bottles.
The highlight of the day was going into the areas where the lions, wild dogs, and cheetahs live. Each are separated by fencing but the area is so vast that you only see the gates to enter the areas. Every Sunday at 1pm the park rangers kill wild game and bring it into each area. You must stay in you car with the windows up, but it is fascinating to watch the animals suddenly appear from the bush to feed. The cheetahs were the most fascinating as they are very shy and they just blend right in with the bush. Everyone had just about given up waiting for the cheetahs to come, when suddenly two of them were standing on a big rock overlooking the savannah and two more were crouching through tall grass toward the kill. They were beautiful!!
indaianpolis, United States