JOHANNESBURG & SURROUNDS

The Cradle of Mankind


The huge, yellow mine dumps and rusting headgear of the abandoned gold mines to the south of modern Johannesburg are the evocative reminders of the days when the city was essentially a gold diggers' camp - a visit to Gold Reef City lets you relive the exciting gold -rush past. Upmarket shopping malls offer fashionable boutiques, souvenir shops, an impressive range of cosmopolitan & ethnic restaurants, and numerous entertainment venues. Informal art & craft markets are regularly held in the many parks. For the golfer there is any number of challenging courses.

Main attractions:

Gold Reef City - experience Johannesburg during the gold - rush days. Descend deep into a mine, visit the museum.

Randburg Waterfront - attractive complex with live entertainment, restaurants, shops and pubs.

Market theatre complex - theatre and jazz venue in the city centre.

Constitution Hill - Housed in a stunning, ultra-modern building reflecting Johannesburg's rise as a major global city, the Museum of the Constitutional Court, among the attractions on Constitution Hill, stands as a tribute to the metropolis's history. The museum dedicates a unique section to the arcane rock paintings done by the San tribes who once lived outside the Johannesburg region before the thirteenth century. The complex also houses an unforgettable exhibit focusing on the gold and diamond mines sure to bedazzle visitors from all over the globe. Be sure to stop by the museum and learn a little something about the roots of the glittering city before you step out for a night on the town!

Apartheid museum - The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the world dealing with 20th century South Africa, at the heart of which is the apartheid story.

Origins centre - Africa is where our ancestors evolved into human beings; it’s only fitting then that the bustling metropolis of Johannesburg, South Africa, is where the Origins Centre has been established. A world-class museum dedicated to exploring and celebrating the history of modern humankind, telling the story of the emergence of human beings and humanity in southern Africa.

Peacemaker museum - an exhibition commemorating South African Noble Price winners Luthuli, Desmond Tutu and FW De Klerk/Nelson Mandela.

Museum Africa - displays and artefacts illustrate South Africa's turbulent history from prehistory to present.

Flea Markets - Market Theatre & Bruma Lake markets offer almost anything.

Soweto - fascinating tours with reputable operators in South Africa's most famous township.

Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve - a privately owned game reserve covering 1400 ha. Boasts a wide variety of game including some very rare and endangered species. Visit the breeding centre where the main focus is on white lion, endangered species and Bengal Tigers and the nursery/den for all young endangered and orphaned animals.

The Cradle of Humankind - Sterkfontein Caves - source of artefacts from the dawn of humankind, now a World Heritage Site.

Wondercave & Observatory - this 2.2 billion year old cave is a must. By descending 87 steps and then a further 18m by lift into the third largest cavern in SA you will be dazzled by up to 14 different cave formations of which approx 85% are still growing.

Honeydew mazes - were voted 2nd best thing to do with Kids (Action) in the new Leisure Options readers choice awards magazine.