Last Updated on March 12, 2024 by Ezra Matiasi

Here is a list of Unusual Things To Do In Pretoria:

  • Camera Obscura Pretoria: Experience real-time cityscape views.
  • Geocaching in Pretoria: Hunt for hidden treasures using GPS devices.
  • Sci-Enza in Pretoria: Engage in interactive STEM education.
  • Visit Mrs Ples: Explore human evolution exhibits.
  • Mountain Biking at Groenkloof Nature Reserve: Ride thrilling trails in scenic wilderness.
  • Marabastad: Discover multicultural markets and cuisine.
  • Pretoria Forts: Explore historic colonial defences.
  • Exciting Activities at Hatfield Square: Enjoy dining, shopping, and recreation

Keypoints On Unusual Things To Do In Pretoria

  1. Unique Perspectives: Camera Obscura unveils Pretoria’s cityscape and landmarks in real-time.
  2. Adventure and Exploration: Geocaching offers treasure hunting across Pretoria, while Marabastad provides cultural immersion.
  3. Interactive Learning: Sci-Enza engages visitors with hands-on science exhibits.
  4. Historical and Outdoor Adventures: Explore human evolution at Mrs Ples, discover military history at Pretoria Forts, and enjoy mountain biking at Groenkloof Nature Reserve.

Camera Obscura Pretoria: Unveiling Pretoria’s Panoramas

Nestled within the heart of Pretoria lies a hidden treasure waiting to be discovered: Camera Obscura Pretoria

Offering visitors a unique perspective of the city, this attraction promises to unveil Pretoria in a whole new light.

Capturing Pretoria’s Essence

Camera Obscura Pretoria provides an extraordinary opportunity to witness the cityscape in real time. 

The most striking feature of this experience is the dynamic nature of the images displayed on the viewing table. 

Here, visitors can observe the hustle and bustle of daily life as people, cars, birds, and even aircraft move across the landscape.

A Glimpse of Pretoria’s Highlights

From the vantage point of Camera Obscura Pretoria, visitors can marvel at some of the city’s most iconic landmarks. 

Towards the east, the hills of Faerie Glen, the Menlo Park tower, and Strubenkop come into view, bathed in the soft glow of the morning sun. 

The city centre, illuminated by the eastern sunlight, reveals stunning details such as the official residence of the State President and the Union Buildings, where even the colours of the flags can be distinguished with clarity. 

On exceptionally clear days, visitors may even catch a glimpse of vehicles traversing the pass in the Magaliesberg leading to Pretoria North.

An Immersive Experience

Stepping into Camera Obscura Pretoria, one is transported into the very heart of a large camera obscura. 

The sharpness and clarity of the images projected onto the viewing table evoke a sense of wonder, reminding visitors of the unique position they occupy within this extraordinary apparatus.

Optimal Viewing Conditions

For the most immersive experience, visiting Camera Obscura Pretoria on clear days is recommended. 

This ensures optimal visibility and allows visitors to fully appreciate the intricate details of Pretoria’s landscape.

Geocaching in Pretoria: Discovering Hidden Treasures

Embark on a real-life treasure hunt through the streets of Pretoria with Geocaching, an exciting outdoor activity that combines navigation and exploration. 

Related Post: Fun Things To Do In Pretoria

The Thrill of Geocaching

Geocaching is a modern-day treasure-hunting game where participants use GPS-enabled devices to navigate to specific coordinates and search for hidden containers called “geocaches” or “caches.” 

These caches can vary in size and difficulty, ranging from small containers holding logbooks to larger containers filled with trinkets for trading.

Exploring Pretoria’s Hidden Gems

Pretoria is home to numerous geocaches waiting to be discovered. 

Whether you’re exploring urban streets, scenic parks, or historic landmarks, there’s a cache waiting to be found around every corner. 

Each cache offers a unique glimpse into Pretoria’s diverse landscape and culture, making Geocaching an exciting way to explore the city.

How to Get Started with Geocaching In Pretoria

Getting started with Geocaching is easy and accessible to adventurers of all ages.

Simply download a Geocaching app on your smartphone or GPS device, create an account, and start searching for caches near you. 

The app provides coordinates, hints, and descriptions to help you navigate to each cache location. 

Once you’ve found a cache, sign the logbook, and if you wish, trade trinkets with items from the cache.

Tips for Geocaching Success

  • Come Prepared: Bring along essential Geocaching tools such as a GPS device or smartphone, a pen for signing logbooks, and small trinkets for trading.
  • Pay Attention to Details: Read cache descriptions and hints carefully to help you narrow down the search area and increase your chances of finding the cache.
  • Respect Nature and Property: Practice Leave No Trace principles and respect private property boundaries while Geocaching.
  • Have Fun: Geocaching is as much about the journey as it is about the destination. Enjoy the thrill of the hunt and the excitement of discovering hidden treasures.

Sci-Enza in Pretoria: Engaging with Science 

Prepare for an interactive and educational adventure at Sci-Enza, Pretoria’s premier science centre. 

With over 200 interactive exhibits, Sci-Enza offers visitors of all ages the opportunity to explore and learn about various scientific principles in a fun and immersive environment. 

Discovering Sci-Enza

Located in the heart of Pretoria on the campus of the University of Pretoria, Sci-Enza is dedicated to promoting STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) education through interactive exhibits and demonstrations. 

From physics and chemistry to biology and engineering, Sci-Enza provides a wide range of exhibits that showcase the wonders of science in engaging and accessible ways.

Hands-On Learning

At Sci-Enza, visitors are encouraged to roll up their sleeves and dive into hands-on learning experiences. 

With over 200 interactive exhibits, there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you’re experimenting with electricity, exploring the principles of motion and mechanics, or discovering the intricacies of the human body, Sci-Enza offers a fun and engaging way to learn about science.

Educational Opportunities

Sci-Enza provides a range of exciting activities for learners of all grades, students, and the general public. 

From guided tours to themed workshops, Sci-Enza offers educational programs that complement classroom learning and provide valuable hands-on experiences.

Whether you’re visiting with a school group, celebrating a birthday, or simply exploring with friends and family, Sci-Enza invites you to discover the wonders of science in a dynamic and interactive setting.

Visit Mrs Ples in Pretoria: Exploring Our Origins

Today, the skull is housed at the Ditsong National Museum of Natural History in Pretoria.

Step back in time and discover the fascinating world of human evolution at Mrs Ples, one of the most famous hominid fossils discovered in South Africa. 

Discovering Mrs Ples

Mrs Ples, also known as Australopithecus africanus, is one of the most significant hominid fossils ever discovered.

This fossilised skull was unearthed in the Sterkfontein Caves near Pretoria in 1947 by palaeontologist Dr Robert Broom

Mrs Ples provides valuable insights into the early stages of human evolution and has played a crucial role in shaping our understanding of our origins. 

Exploring Human Evolution

At Mrs Ples, visitors can learn about the fascinating journey of human evolution through interactive exhibits, educational displays, and informative guided tours.

Explore the environment in which Mrs Ples lived, discover the tools and artefacts used by early humans, and gain a deeper understanding of the scientific discoveries that have shaped our understanding of our evolutionary past.

Understanding Our Origins

Mrs Ples offers a unique opportunity to connect with our ancient ancestors and gain a greater appreciation for the remarkable journey that has led to the existence of modern humans. 

By learning about Mrs Ples and the discoveries made at the Sterkfontein Caves, visitors can gain insights into the complexities of human evolution and the interconnectedness of all life on Earth.

Mountain Biking at Groenkloof Nature Reserve

Prepare for an exhilarating outdoor experience at the Groenkloof Nature Reserve in Pretoria, where mountain biking enthusiasts can immerse themselves in stunning scenery and thrilling trails.

Discovering Groenkloof Nature Reserve

Nestled on the outskirts of Pretoria, the Groenkloof Nature Reserve is a pristine wilderness area that offers visitors the opportunity to escape the city and immerse themselves in nature. 

Spanning over 600 hectares, the reserve boasts a diverse landscape of rugged terrain, rocky outcrops, and scenic vistas, making it the perfect playground for mountain biking enthusiasts.

Exploring the Trails

Groenkloof Nature Reserve features an extensive network of mountain biking trails that cater to riders of all skill levels, from beginners to seasoned pros.

Whether you’re seeking a leisurely ride through tranquil bushveld or an adrenaline-fueled descent down challenging singletracks, you’ll find a trail to suit your preferences at Groenkloof.

Scenic Beauty

As you navigate the trails at Groenkloof, you’ll be treated to breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape, including expansive grasslands, dense bushveld, and rocky hillsides. 

Keep your eyes peeled for native wildlife such as zebra, giraffe, and various antelope species that roam freely within the reserve.

Tips for Mountain Biking at Groenkloof

  • Come Prepared: Bring along plenty of water, snacks, and sunscreen, as well as basic bike maintenance tools in case of any mechanical issues.
  • Respect the Environment: Stay on designated trails, avoid disturbing wildlife, and adhere to leave-no-trace principles to help preserve the natural beauty of the reserve.
  • Safety First: Wear appropriate safety gear, including a helmet and protective clothing, and ride within your skill level to minimize the risk of accidents or injuries.

Marabastad: Exploring Cultural Diversity

Marabastad is a historic and culturally rich neighbourhood in Pretoria. 

Known for its bustling markets, diverse cuisine, and colourful architecture, Marabastad offers visitors a glimpse into the multicultural fabric of the country.

Discovering Marabastad

Located just west of Pretoria’s city centre, Marabastad is a melting pot of cultures, languages, and traditions.

Originally established as a settlement for Indian labourers during the late 19th century, Marabastad has since evolved into a vibrant multicultural neighbourhood, home to a diverse community of residents from various backgrounds.

Cultural Diversity

One of the most striking features of Marabastad are: 

  • Cultural diversity
  • Mix of shops
  • Restaurants 
  • Religious institutions
  • Traditional African crafts
  • Spices and textiles from around the world. 
  • Sample authentic cuisine from diverse culinary traditions, including Indian, African, and Middle Eastern fare.

Historical Significance

Marabastad holds significant historical importance as a site of immigration and cultural exchange in South Africa. 

Over the years, it has been home to waves of immigrants from India, China, Africa, and Europe, each contributing to the neighbourhood’s rich tapestry of cultures and traditions. 

Today, Marabastad stands as a living testament to the country’s multicultural heritage.

Exploring the Neighborhood

Visitors to Marabastad can spend hours wandering its bustling streets, taking in the sights, sounds, and smells of this vibrant neighbourhood. 

Explore colourful markets, visit historic landmarks such as mosques and temples, and engage with locals to learn more about their cultural traditions and heritage.

Planning Your Visit

  • Location: Marabastad is located west of Pretoria’s city centre, easily accessible by car, public transportation, or on foot.
  • Hours: The neighbourhood is typically bustling during daylight hours, with markets and shops open for business. It’s recommended to visit during the day to fully experience the vibrancy of the area.
  • Exploration: Marabastad is best explored on foot, allowing visitors to immerse themselves in the bustling atmosphere and interact with locals.
  • Respect: As with any cultural neighbourhood, it’s important to respect the customs, traditions, and privacy of the residents of Marabastad.

Also Read: Things To Do With Family In Pretoria

Pretoria Forts: Exploring Military History

Today, visitors can explore several of the Pretoria Forts, including Fort Schanskop, Fort Wonderboompoort, and Fort Klapperkop, which have been preserved as heritage sites and are open to the public for guided tours and self-guided exploration. 

Wander through the forts’ labyrinthine passages, climb atop their ramparts for panoramic views of Pretoria, and immerse yourself in the history and atmosphere of these historic landmarks.

Delve into South Africa’s military past by exploring the historic Pretoria Forts, a series of fortifications built during the late 19th century to defend the city against potential threats. 

Situated on strategic high points around Pretoria, these forts offer visitors a fascinating glimpse into the country’s colonial history and military architecture.

Discovering the Forts

Constructed between 1896 and 1899, the Pretoria Forts were part of a larger defensive network established by the British colonial authorities to safeguard Pretoria, then the capital of the South African Republic (Transvaal). 

Among these forts were the German-built:

  • Fort Schanskop
  • Fort Wonderboompoort
  • Fort Klapperkop, 

as well as the French-built Fort

Historical Significance

The Pretoria Forts played a crucial role in South Africa’s colonial history, particularly during the Anglo-Boer War (1899-1902), when they served as defensive strongholds against British forces. 

Despite their military significance, the forts saw limited action during the war, but their presence influenced military strategies and contributed to the overall defence of Pretoria.

Architectural Features

Each of the Pretoria Forts exhibits unique architectural features and design elements characteristic of late 19th-century military architecture. 

From earthworks and trenches to fortified bunkers and gun emplacements, the forts showcase the ingenuity and craftsmanship of their builders and offer insights into military tactics and defensive strategies of the time.

Exciting Activities at Hatfield Square

Welcome to Hatfield Square, the ultimate student relaxation district and a hotspot for fun and convenience in Pretoria! 

Here, the buzz never stops, and there’s always something exciting to do.

  • Delicious Dining Options: Indulge in a little retail therapy and grab a delicious pizza or sample international cuisine at one of the many restaurants and eateries in Hatfield Square. Enjoy the convenience of having a variety of dining options right at your doorstep, making it easy to satisfy your cravings any time of day.
  • Retail Therapy: Explore the diverse mix of shops and boutiques offering everything from trendy fashion items to unique gifts and souvenirs. Whether you require textbooks from the university bookshop or looking for a stylish new outfit, you’ll find it all conveniently located in Hatfield Square.
  • Recreational Fun: Take advantage of the rooftop basketball and soccer courts for some recreational fun with friends. Dive into the swimming pool, work out at the gym, or unwind in the chill rooms – all included in your accommodation fee for ultimate relaxation and recreation.
  • Community Engagement: Join the vibrant community of students at Hatfield Square and connect with peers from diverse backgrounds and cultures. Participate in community events, social gatherings, and collaborative activities, fostering friendships and memorable experiences.


Pretoria offers a diverse range of experiences for visitors with the unusual things to do in Pretoria, from uncovering the city’s hidden panoramas at Camera Obscura to embarking on real-life treasure hunts with Geocaching. 

Cultural immersion awaits in Marabastad, while Sci-Enza provides engaging scientific exploration. 

For history enthusiasts, Mrs Ples and Pretoria Forts offer insights into human evolution and military heritage, respectively, while outdoor enthusiasts can enjoy mountain biking at Groenkloof Nature Reserve. 

Whether seeking adventure, education, or cultural enrichment, Pretoria has something unique to offer every visitor.

About the Author

Ezra Matiasi

Head Content Writer

Hello! My name is Ezra Matiasi, and I'm the enthusiastic mind behind Travello, a captivating travel blog that takes you on remarkable journeys around the world. With a passion for exploration and a love for sharing captivating stories, I curate the best travel experiences, hidden gems, and breathtaking landscapes. Through vivid descriptions and captivating photographs, Travello aims to inspire wanderlust and help fellow travelers make the most of their adventures. Join me as we embark on exciting virtual voyages and discover the wonders our beautiful planet has to offer. Let's explore the world together, one adventure at a time!

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