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PretoriaPretoria lies in a warm, sheltered valley surrounded by the hills of the Magaliesberg range that ensure that temperatures are invariably a few degrees warmer than Johannesburg. In October Pretoria comes alive with blossoms and leaves no one in doubt as to the origin of its nickname - Jacaranda City.
The city functions as one of three capitals of South Africa with a population that exceeds a million people. The city centre is laid out in typical city fashion on a grid with wide roads, making getting around fairly simple.
Pretoria's potential name change to Tshwane (the city lies in the greater Metropolitan municipality of Tshwane) was approved by the names' council in 2005 but has still not been officially implimented. When visiting the city there are many attractions, such as the Pretoria Botanical Gardens, the Zoo, the Union Buildings and various museums and galleries that include Melrose House, the Pioneer Museum, Sammy Marks museum, and the Voortrekker Monument.
Pretoria's suburbs include Arcadia, known for its historical buildings, embassies and hotels. Waterkloof is named after the original farm that stood there when Pretoria was founded in the 19th Century. Meaning "Water Rivine", Waterkloof is a leafy, established area that is home to some of the city's most expensive real estate. The Union Buildings as well as the President's residence are also situated here. Pretoria was represented at soccer in the 1960's by Arcadia United F.C.
The lovely, sedate neighbourhood of Hatfield has become known as the embassy suburb because of the inclination of embassies to move into the large homes that grace the area, which does in turn give one an indication of their size. Hatfield lies in the heart of Pretoria, just outside the city centre between Arcadia and Lynnwood. It is close to the University, to Loftus Versfeld rugby stadium, and underwent a multi-million rand facelift to prepare it for the 2010 World Cup.
Hatfield has its own burgeoning business area, and the Hatfield Plaza with its shops and entertainment, as well as a number of restaurants are all located in the suburb. The centre of Pretoria is only about 5 kilometres from Hatfield.
East of the city centre of Pretoria is the leafy neighbourhood of Garsfontein that manages to maintain an impression of calm and tranquillity due mostly to the tree-lined avenues peppered with jacarandas, despite being close to major highways and only 3 kilometres from one of the largest shopping centres in Pretoria.
Garsfontein is a relatively new suburb and the neighbourhood has a propensity for townhouses and cluster developments due to the recent boom.
Centurion is a town in Gauteng Province, South Africa, located between Pretoria and Midrand (Johannesburg), and part of the City of Tshwane Metropolitan Municipality. It is located at the intersection of the N1 and N14 highways. The R21 also passes through Centurion.
Today Centurion features modern shopping malls, such as Centurion Mall, several entertainment spots, a theatre, golf courses and a driving range. Several Hotels are located in Centurion as well as a plethora of smaller Guest Houses.
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