Johannesburg cityscape South Africa

Welcome to Johannesburg

Johannesburg is a fast-paced, modern city with superb hotels, shopping centres and restaurants. Founded in the 1880s by Gold prospectors, Jo’burg is the economic hub of our country and offers all the attractions of a first class city.

Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city and capital of its inland Gauteng province, began as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement. It’s known for Soweto township, a sprawling jumble of African workers’ houses that was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former residence is now the Nelson Mandela National Museum. To the northeast, Herman Ekstein Park encompasses a boating lake and Johannesburg Zoo.

Things to do in Johannesburg

Soweto Township

The Soweto Townships are at the centre of South African culture and music. SOWETO, acronym for South Western Township, is home to over 2 million people, who, despite living in crowded and chaotic conditions, have a tangible sense of community, one which ironically, the ordered, walled northern suburbs lack.

Inside Soweto, we visit the Hector Pieterson Museum, and discover the cause of the tragic riots which led to his death; we pass Mandela House, and give you time to visit this fascinating little museum (own account).

Sandton City

Sandton City is a shopping Center located in Sandton, Johannesburg. Originally founded and owned by the property development company Rapp and Maister, the center opened its doors to the public on September 12, 1973. The Center covers a gross leasable area of 128,000 m2 (1,380,000 sq ft) of retail space. The office space combined with the Sandton Sun Hotel increase the total area to 215,000 m2 (2,310,000 sq ft). Sandton City and the adjacent Nelson Mandela Square together form the largest retail complex in Africa. A pyramid-shaped roof was added in the 1990s and provides the distinguishing architectural feature of Sandton City.

Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City is an amusement park in Johannesburg, South Africa. Located on an old gold mine which closed in 1971, the park is themed around the gold rush that started in 1886 on the Witwatersrand. Park staff wear period costumes of the 1880s, and the buildings on the park are designed to mimic the same period. There is a museum dedicated to gold mining on the grounds where it is possible to see a gold-containing ore vein and see how real gold is poured into barrels.

There are many attractions at Gold Reef City, including water rides and roller coasters. The live shows of Idols South Africa are filmed live in the “Hippodrome”, a large auditorium based in the park. Gold Reef City is located to the south of the Central Business District off of the M1. It is also the site of the Apartheid Museum.

Sites to visit from Johannesburg

Sun City

The Sun City tour guarantees a wild and wonderful day. We begin early with a professionally guided, closed vehicle game drive into Big Five country: the Pilanesberg National Park. Who knows which of the Big or Little Five you’ll see? The real fun of a safari is the search for the wild animals, naturally shy, who lurk behind bushes or up trees. The game reserve is set on the hills of a 1.3 million year old dormant volcano. It’s been quiet for a while now, so hopefully it’ll stay that way.

Cradle of Humankind

On the History of Humankind tour, we’re going right back to our beginnings. We take you to the exceptional World Heritage Site of The Cradle of Humankind. The superb Maropeng Visitor Centre is truly an exciting, world class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. For those not well versed in the stumbling beginnings of the human population, the History of Humankind is a great chance to really see and feel the difficult first years of our species.

Kruger National Park

The most famous game viewing area in South Africa is the world-renowned Kruger National Park, in Mpumalanga. At about 350km long, and on average, 60km wide – makes it about the same size as Wales. The oldest National Park in Africa, visitors have been enjoying Kruger Park Safaris since it was officially opened to the general public in 1927. It has 147 species of mammal, (including the Big 5), 114 reptiles (50 snakes), 49 fish, 34 amphibians, 227 butterflies, 336 trees and 507 birds.