Pretoria is the city I call home. I love it all year round, but during the month of October, Pretoria transforms into a purple paradise. Why? The Jacaranda trees bloom from late September to middle November, giving Pretoria the nickname of The Jacaranda City.
There are an estimated 70 000 Jacaranda trees throughout Pretoria. The Jacarandas coat the streets and sidewalks with a purple flower blanket. From a high vantage point, you can see the splashes of purple throughout the city.
Jacarandas are aliens
Strangely enough, Jacaranda trees are not endemic to South Africa. They are native to Central and South America. The first trees in Pretoria originally came from Brazil. Jacarandas are not actively being removed, like other invasive species. It is, however, illegal to plant new ones.
Best places to see Jacarandas
In my opinion, the best and safest neighbourhoods to enjoy the purple splendour is Brooklyn, Groenkloof and Nieuw Muckleneuk. Where can you find the oldest Jacarandas in the city? In Eastwood. They were planted back in 1829! Stay clear of neighbourhoods close to the city centre like Sunnyside and Arcadia. It’s not safe there!
Bees love the Jacaranda flowers. Just be careful when you walk around, especially if you are allergic.