Gauteng, South Africa

Johannesburg Tourism

The city of Johannesburg has been dubbed the City of Gold or Egoli as it was once the most prosperous of gold fields as found in the Vaal Triangle.

Today this has made Johannesburg the hub of business and the economy of South Africa. It is fast paced and exciting with plenty of activities for travelers to take part in and lots to see.

Whilst the original CBD of Jo’burg has been considered very dangerous in the past, much is being done to improve the area and encourage businesses back. The new CBD though is located on the outskirts of the actually city center and in districts like Roodepoort, Krugersdorp, Fourways, Rosebank, Randburg and the affluent Sandton. You can enjoy tons of entertainment at the man made waterfronts, shopping malls, theme parks, zoos, and centers. The massive Coca Cola Dome in Northriding, Randburg plays host to some of the biggest international acts and bands and events like My Coke Fest are local hits. The Civic Theater is the largest theater complex in South Africa and here you will see the largest productions and stage performances in musicals, dance and drama.

Aside from theaters there is the Expo Center at Nasrec which is the largest in Southern Africa. It houses everything from performances to exhibitions. For those that are feeling lucky, there are also lots of casinos to visit. The skyline of the CBD is unforgettable with the 90 story Hillbrow Tower silhouetted against an orange sky. The Carlton Center is the tallest building in the city reaching a height of 50 stories. This city held the first for many of the important activities and industries in South Africa. It opened the first chemist, the first brewery being Wilshire Brewery, the first roller skating and ice skating rinks at Kerk Street and near park Station respectively, and the first café.

Johannesburg also boasts the largest urban forest in the world and over 6 million trees can be found in the parks, dams, pavements, nature trails and gardens. Some great choices for luxury accommodation in Johannesburg include the Courtyard Hotel Sandton, the Hilton Sandton Hotel, Michaelangelo Hotel and Towers, Sandton Sun, Birchwood Executive Hotel and Conference Center, Courtyard Rosebank, Doreale Grande Hotel and the Emperor’s Palace Casino, Grace Hotel, Palazzo Montecasino in Fourways, and the trendy Westcliff Hotel in the Northern Suburbs.

Gold Mines and Gold Reef City

While in Johannesburg you should take the time to look at the interesting history dating back to the discovery of gold in 1886. There are many tours that you can take to show you the gold mines and even the ones that are still in operation. You can also visit Gold Reef City which is a replication 1880’s town built as partly education, partly recreational. There are shows, rides, tours, kid’s entertainment and much more. Here you can even watch as they pour gold and create real bars which you can touch. There are African drummers, pony rides, face painters, roller coasters, casinos, restaurants, accommodation and more.

Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site

One of the places of great historical interest has to be the Cradle of Humankind. This was named a World heritage Site in 1999 for its importance in archeology with over 13 digging sites. It is also known as “The Home of Our Ancestors” after a human skeleton, that was almost complete, was found in the Sterkfontein Caves dating back 3.3 million years. Various other fossil specimens of animals, plants and micro organisms have been found at various other sites in the Cradle of Humankind. To visit here is easy and there are tea gardens, restaurants, guest houses and various displays and exhibits like the Crocodile Ramble and Bird Aviary. There are game reserves, show caves, trout fishing and of course tours.

Soweto Tourism

The largest black population in South Africa lives in the former segregated township of Soweto, which stands for South Western Township.

It is the most famous township in the world and has seen massive changes from a dusty, dangerous area to a vibrant cosmopolitan area offering African retreats, B&B’s tours and much more. Great young talent has been discovered here in recent years and this is shown especially with the world acclaimed award winning Soweto Gospel Choir. Trends in the fields of fashion, dance, sports, drama, business and politics have emerged from this metropolitan township.

Various projects have been taking place over the past few years to improve life here like the tarring of roads, installing electricity cables, and the building of proper brick houses. Monuments to apartheid heroes like Hector Petersen and Nelson Mandela have been erected and the moving Apartheid Museum highlights life in Soweto in the 60’s and 70’s. You can feel as if you are toy-toying with the people, dodging police fire and canisters as you watch replays of old footage on double volume screens. This museum is one of the most poplar attractions in Gauteng and is located just next to the Gold Reef City Casino.

The Hector Petersen Museums is another great place of interest as well as Archibishop Desmond Tutu’s House and Nelson Mandela’s old house. Many people do not realize that overnight stays are also allowed and this will be a great way to get to know the pulse of Jozi. Other accommodation options are Zizwe Guesthouse, Vhavenda Hills Bed and Breakfast, and Ekhaya Guesthouse.

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