Cullinan Diamond Mine Tour
Visit Cullinan Diamond Mine where you can join either a scheduled overland tour or a longer underground tour. We usually recommend that you add on a private tour to some of the historical sites of Pretoria afterwards. However, you could also combine it with a tour to Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng Cultural Centre.
The small town of Cullinan lies west of Pretoria, where the open grassland of the highveld gives way to the bushveld. The town owes its existence to the Premier Diamond Mine, established in 1902 by Thomas Cullinan. The famous 3 106-carat Cullinan diamond was discovered here in 1905 and, although no longer in its original form, remains unequalled in size.
A short video presentation offers an introduction to the diamond mining industry in South Africa, followed by a guided walking tour of the mine surface. If it interests you, you can also do an underground tour of the mine. This is possible (with an early morning start) at an additional cost.
Tour of Pretoria
Pretoria was founded in 1855 and named after the Voortrekker leader, Andries Pretorius. It is often referred to as the ‘Jacaranda city’. This nickname refers to the thousands of Jacaranda trees lining the streets. Their purple blossoms herald the approach of summer each October.
Trace South Africa’s extraordinary history via a range of imposing, intriguing museums and monuments, beginning with the striking Voortrekker Monument, a memorial to the early pioneering settlers. You travel on to the Kruger Museum, the private residence of President Paul Kruger of the old Transvaal Republic. Then you visit Church Square, surrounded by imposing buildings dating back to the turn of the century. Melrose House is a classic example of a Victorian suburban townhouse – a visit can also be included time permitting (closed on Mondays).
You end this Pretoria Tour with the Union Buildings, which house the offices of the State President. The Union Buildings are not only an architectural icon. They are also the site of the emotionally charged scene that played out at Nelson Mandela’s joyful inauguration as president in 1994. You’ll be standing precisely where South African history turned the corner. This last stop provides an impressive view over the city and completes the tour, before you head back to Johannesburg.