Your gateway to South Africa and beyond
The cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria are situated in the Gauteng province, the smallest province of South Africa. However, these two cities together form the largest economic and industrial hub of South Africa. Johannesburg, home to the O.R. Tambo International Airport, is your first point of arrival in South Africa, and is also your main gateway for local, national and international travel, including the rest of Africa for luxury safari travel. Johannesburg, the heart and hub of Gauteng, is a sprawling metropolis that encompasses the city centre, commercial districts, colourful townships and upmarket residential areas. Its ‘sister’ city, Pretoria, situated a half-hour drive’s north is the capital city of South Africa and offers travelers a more leisurely city-based experience, with its fascinating history, significant old buildings and interesting museums and urban-based nature reserves.
Johannesburg, your bustling city gateway to Africa
Johannesburg, Joburg, or Jozi as some prefer to call it, is a bustling city offering visitors an experience as unique and diverse as the city itself. Whether you are on a leisure or business trip, in search of a cultural encounter, an adrenaline rush or simply want to relax and unwind for a few days, the city of Johannesburg has everything you are looking for and more. Johannesburg, the heart and hub of Gauteng, is a sprawling metropolis that encompasses the city centre, commercial districts, colourful townships and upmarket residential areas.
It is the financial and industrial capital of South Africa and was founded in the heydays of one of the world’s biggest and richest gold rushes – earning it the name of Egoli meaning ‘place of gold’. From nightlife and theatre to wining and dining, outdoor adventure, extreme sports and shopping, Johannesburg is loud, bold and vibrant with something for everyone. Stay in Sandton for upmarket shopping and dining, head to Maboneng, the creative quarter, for boutique shops, street food and hip bars, or Rosebank for a quieter stroll past florists and vintage shops. Alternatively, use the city as a base for visiting the nearby Sun City and Pilanesberg National Park, home to the Big 5.
Pretoria, the proud capital & Jacaranda City
Pretoria, the South African capital, is situated only 40 miles to the north of Johannesburg. Known as the Jacaranda City for all the purple blossom Jacaranda trees, which line its streets in Spring, Pretoria is a lovely, quiet city. It has a long, evolved and fascinating history. Here you will find significant old buildings and fascinating museums.
Practically mandatory when visiting the city are the Pretoria Botanical Gardens, the National Zoological Gardens, the Union Buildings and various museums and galleries that include Melrose House, the Pioneer Museum, Sammy Marks museum, and the Voortrekker Monument. The Transvaal Museum has natural history displays and is the home of Mrs Ples, the australopithecine fossil found at Sterkfontein in the Cradle of Humankind. One of the world’s largest urban nature reserves, Rietvlei Nature Reserve, 4000 hectares in extent, is situated on the outskirts of the city and boasts with a range of small and large wildlife species, and an incredible diversity of birds.
Celebrate South Africa’s Heritage, History and Culture in Soweto & Cradle of Humankind
If you are staying longer in Johannesburg or Pretoria, we highly recommend a privately guided day tour to both the Soweto township and the Cradle of Humankind. Soweto lets you experience the very recent revolutionary history in South Africa, providing a fascinating glimpse into the bustling neighbourhood life of modern-day Soweto while learning more about its interesting history. During this tour you will visit the Apartheid Museum, Hector Pieterson Memorial Museum, Vilakazi Street, Mandela Family Museum, Desmond Tutu’s home, Kliptown informal settlement, the Orlando Towers and Soccer City stadium where the 2010 FIFA soccer world cup was played.
Beyond the suburbs and a 90-minute drive from Johannesburg, lies the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site which boasts human history dating back 3 million years – including the famous fossils of “Mrs Ples”, “Little Foot” and an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton. The Sterkfontein Caves are where most of the fossils have been found. The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an award-winning, world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. Besides learning about stones and bones, you can wine and dine in tranquil surroundings, try out a range of adrenalin-pumping activities, discover a range of wonderful wildlife and experience interesting cultures and craftmanship.
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