The capital city of South Africa is not one, not two but
three. Yes, South Africa has three capitals. There are few countries in the
world which have two capitals like Benin, Bolivia, Chile, Georgia, Malaysia,
Netherlands. Nevertheless, South Africa is the only country in the world to
have three capitals.
South Africa’s administrative capital is
South Africa’s legislative capital is Cape Town.
South Africa’s judicial capital is Bloemfontein.
Why South Africa has three Capitals?
The reason for the three capitals was due to the
establishment of the Union Republic of South Africa in 1961.
Initially, Cape Town had been the capital of the Union,
before which it was the administrative capital of the British. Since it was
still influenced by colonialism, there were proposals to move the capital to
Pretoria came up.
Then the other set of people from central came up with the
proposal for Bloemfontein as a “completely new” capital.
There were concerns raised that providing a single city to
handle all branches of government may lead to excessive power in one place.
Instead of having the party split on this argument, the ruling party decided to
split the functions of government. Hence, they decided to have three branches of
government in three different capital cities.
The Capitals of South Africa
Facts to know:
Pretoria holds the administrative branch of government. Earlier
Pretoria was the capital of Apartheid South Africa and is situated in the
northern province of Gauteng.
In South Africa, It is considered as a city with the most
opportunities for high-level studies, with universities such as the University
of Pretoria which was established in 1908 is one of the oldest and most
significant universities in South Africa.
Pretoria is the second most populated capital city in South
Pretoria is also called the “Jacaranda City,” owing to the
numerous jacaranda trees that sprinkle purple blossoms all over Pretoria’s
parks and streets every year.
Pretoria is known for the longest urban street in South
Africa, 50-tonne soccer ball built on top of the Lukasrand tower in Pretoria
which is a world record, and also has one of the oldest human skulls preserved.
Places to visit in Pretoria:
National Zoological Gardens of South Africa
Freedom Park Heritage Site & Museum
Local Food Market
Natural Reserves and Dams
Is Pretoria safe for tourists?
Pretoria is considered to be a comparatively safe city by
South African standards, and brutal crimes and violence against tourists are
Cape Town, the legislative capital, holds the parliament of
South Africa. It is the oldest city in South Africa, colloquially named the
Mother City. Cape Town has the first downhill tobogganing track in Africa,
called “Cool Runnings.” It is home to the Cape Floral Kingdom.
Facts to Know:
You can discover around 7,000 plants in Cape Town which
can’t be found anywhere else in the world.
Amongst the three capitals of South Africa, Cape Town is the
most familiar with travelers. It is located along the coast and surrounded by a
beautiful mountain backdrop.
Cape Town’s coastal serenity, magnificent hills, and
combination of multicultural metropolis made it the best place to visit in the
world by both The Daily Telegraph and The New York Times in 2014. This is also
the most populated Capital city.
Places to visit in Cape town:
Table Mountain National Park
Kirstenbosch National Botanical Garden
Green Point Urban Park
Cape of Good Hope
Beaches and Islands
Is Cape town safe for tourists?
Cape Town isn’t an ideal place for women. It’s not 100% safe
for solo travelers as well as owing to the crimes in the city. Having said that,
if you are keen on touring this beautiful place, always keep an eye on your
surroundings. Travel in groups only. Do not wander around after dark.
Facts to Know:
Bloemfontein, which means “blooming flowers” or “fountain of
flowers” in Africaans, is the judicial capital of South Africa. The government
also conducts an annual rose festival and is also known as “City of Roses.”
Bloemfontein was the birthplace of writer J. R. R. Tolkien
and athlete Zola Budd. The Supreme Court of Appeal of South Africa is also
located here. Bloemfontein has the most extensive fire service museum in South
Africa. This is the least populated city in South Africa.
Places to visit in Bloemfontein:
National Botanical Garden
Is Bloemfontein safe for tourists?
Bloemfontein is comparatively safe than other cities of
South Africa, You can walk through during the day, but the city is still in a
high crime region, and no risks should be taken at any time in and around the
city. The chances of street crime and muggings are as high. Don’t get carried
away by the easygoing atmosphere.
How is the climate in the Capitals?
Since the three capital cities are located in
distinct regions of South Africa, each one experiences a different climate.
Pretoria is located in the humid subtropical
zone, which means its weather is defined by hot and humid summers, cool and dry
winters. It receives abundant rainfall during the summer months.
Cape Town, in contrast, is located in a
Mediterranean zone, which means its weather is defined by warm and dry summers,
cool and wet winters.
Bloemfontein is in a semi-arid climate. Its
climate is usually with dry and hot summer. This city holds only around 22
inches of rainfall every year.
South African visa for tourists:
The tourist visa to South Africa will cost you
around 35 – 40 usd.
The citizens of Singapore, UK, USA, and few more
countries do not require a visa to enter South Africa for a visit up to 90
There are few countries like India where you can
get a visa for free of cost.
There are few countries where you can get a free
visa for a stay of up to 30 days. You can refer this website for a complete listing of countries that are needed
to present an application for a visa, and that can be exempted to apply for a
South Africa Currency value:
One usd = 14 South African Rand equals
Best time to visit South Africa:
The best time to go to South Africa is anytime from April
end to October. Here is the time where you can find the best animal safari
encounter, which South Africa is famous for.