You’ve probably heard of the Union Buildings and that many jacarandas line the City of Tshwane’s streets, but did you know that Tshwane might mean “place of the black cow”, and that it’s technically the largest city in Africa? 

Read on for more fun facts about Tshwane (there are a whole lot).

Oh, and if you’re thinking of finding flats to rent in the City of Tshwane, then you’ll need to know how to be a good neighbour (just saying – the people are friendly here, so you’ll need to at least make eye contact!)

  1. Jacarandas aren’t South African trees
  2. Jacarandas are from South America. In the 1880s, a nursery owner brought some seeds over to Johannesburg and they spread like mad. It’s estimated there are 65 000 jacarandas in the City of Tshwane, but, because they’re not a native tree, it’s illegal to propagate or plant any new ones. That means, in about 100 to 200 years, they won’t line Tshwane’s streets anymore. This gives us all the confused feels… they’re invasive, but they’re so pretty. 

  3. Winston Churchill was a prisoner in Tshwane
  4. Winston Churchill was captured by the Boers during the South African War and thrown into prison in Pretoria. He was working as a war correspondent but the Boers put an end to that. Little did they know that he’d escape and get smuggled onto a freight train heading to Portuguese East Africa (that’s Mozambique). He even came back to Pretoria as a war correspondent and fighter – when the enemy city fell in 1900, he rode in on horseback and liberated a bunch of prisoners.

  5. No tall buildings may be built between the Union Buildings and the Voortrekker Monument
  6. By law, no one can construct a building that’s taller than the Union Buildings or the Voortrekker Monument (between the area that both of them are located in). We reckon you didn’t know that. This is to ensure that the view of both buildings remains unobstructed. Also, the suburb that’s closest to the Union Buildings, Arcadia, means “Playground of the Gods”. We think that fact is pretty cool. 

  7. Tshwane is bigger than you think
  8. Tshwane is the largest city in Africa and the third-largest in the world – ok, according to land area. It also boasts 138 embassies (so if you ever need a visa in a hurry, it’s a handy place to live in). Tshwane also has the highest concentration of medical institutions per square kilometre in South Africa (so if you have a medical emergency, you’re also sorted). 

  9. No one knows where the name Tshwane comes from

Tshwane is the Setswana name of the Apies River, which flows through Pretoria. But no one knows where the Setswana name for the river comes from – one theory is that it means “place of the black cow”, which is linked to ceremonies where a black cow was sprinkled with water from the river to end a drought. Apies also means monkeys in Afrikaans, so who knows…

There’s more to Tshwane than you probably realised – and it’s the perfect city to live in (like we pointed out, there are a lot of healthcare facilities and jacarandas – plus there are some amazing attractions you need to check out). It’s also close to Jo’burg’s north, making it the ideal place to find nano apartments and flats to rent.  

Looking for affordable flats in Tshwane? We’re here to help. Live Easy has secure, unfurnished flats and affordable nano apartments that are right in the heart of the Pretoria CBD, and they won’t break your rental budget.  Experience the Live Easy life – find the right rental now