The city, in the Gauteng Province in northern South Africa, was founded in 1855 by Voortrekker leader Marthinus Pretorius, who named it not after himself, but after his father, Andries, who had led a small Voortrekker to a victory over a much larger Zulu force in the Battle of Blood River in 1838.
Pretoria was the capital of the South African Republic, and it has been the administrative capital of the country South Africa since the Union of South Africa was formed in 1910. When the Union of South Africa became an independent country in 1961, the city remained the administrative capital and is known as the country’s national capital.
Pretoria is home to the National Zoological Gardens of South Africa, also known as the Pretoria Zoo, which is the national zoo of South Africa. The Pretoria National Botanical Garden is also located just east of Pretoria.
The Rietvlei Nature Reserve, which contains more than 300 different species of birds and around 1600 mammals, is also located in Pretoria, and it’s just one of several nature reserves in the area.
The city is also arguably the country’s sports capital at the moment, as the reigning South African Premier Soccer League champions, Supersport United, and the reigning Super 14 (top rugby union club competition in the Southern Hemisphere) champions, the Bulls, are both located in Pretoria.
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