Did you know?
The historic Union Buildings in Pretoria is the South African government's administative centre.
Cradle of Humankind
Step back in time to a place where man first roamed the earth. The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site in Gauteng province comprises numerous limestone caves containing the fossilised remains of ancient forms of animals, plants and most importantly, hominids.
These cave sites have produced over 850 hominid fossil remains and to date represent one of the world’s richest concentrations of hominid fossil bearing sites.
This is also the home of ‘Mrs Ples’, our famous 2,8 million year-old ancestor. Go back in time at the Maropeng Visitor’s Centre as you learn all about our human origins.
Constitution Hill is a national heritage site that has witnessed a century of South Africa’s history, and stands today as a tribute to our country’s dramatic transition to democracy.
Today it is a human rights precinct and a major tourist attraction in Johannesburg. It is also the home of South Africa's Constitutional Court.
The Old Fort complex (home to the notorious Number 4 prison), which is part of the Constitution Hill complex is definitely worth a visit and is to date, the only jail in the world that housed two major international peace icons, namely Mohandas Gandhi and Nelson Mandela.
Next to Gold Reef City, you’ll find The Apartheid Museum. Here you can take an emotional journey down the turbulent corridors of 20th century South Africa.
This world-class museum features innovative architecture and high-tech displays, where, through pictures and words, the turbulent times that resulted in South Africa’s struggle for freedom – have been recreated.
While the displays are heart wrenching the museum celebrates the triumph of the human spirit over adversity and is a beacon of hope that salutes South Africa’s bright future in a new era of democracy.
Gold Reef City
Gold Reef City, in the south of Johannesburg, is the city’s renowned entertainment theme park which recreates the environment of the late 19th century gold rush days.
Here you’ll find a fun historical recreation of Johannesburg’s mining heritage, two theatres showcasing South African talent, a thriving casino and a number of restaurants and delightful eateries.
A major highlight is a trip down a decommissioned mine shaft. And for those seeking a bit of an adrenalin rush there are numerous amusement rides to choose from including the ‘Anaconda’ and ‘Tower of Terror’.
Tshwane’s impressive Freedom Park pays tribute to those who have fallen during South Africa’s turbulent political history.
This beautiful garden of remembrance celebrates significant moments in the history of South Africans that shaped and paved the road to freedom and democracy.
The gardens contain commemorative sculptures and statues, along with a Wall of Names, naming 25 000 people who gave their lives for a brighter future. Although still a pretty new attraction, Freedom Park will no doubt become 1 of Gauteng’s most revered tourist attractions.
The Lion Park
If you only have 2 hours to get out of the city don’t miss a trip to the Lion Park in Lanseria.
Drive through the spacious enclosures and view the lions up close (the park includes the rare white lions of the Timbavati) from your vehicle.
One of the highlights is an up-close-and-personal experience where visitors get to pat lion cubs and witness the feeding of the larger animals.
There are also cheetah and wild dog enclosures, as well as giraffe, zebra, ostrich and hyena. There's also a variety of antelope which roam freely in the several acres that make up the Lion Park.
The most famous township in the world, Soweto is a great place to become acquainted with South Africa’s struggle history and have a good time while you’re at it.
Visit the Mandela House Museum in Vilakazi Street and then head off to Sakhumzi Restaurant for some live music and local food.
Another very worthwhile pit-stop is the Hector Peterson Memorial and Museum situated not far from the spot where 12 year-old Hector was shot on 16 June 1976 during the Soweto uprising.
A meal at one of Soweto’s famed township shebeens like Wandie’s, Nambitha or the afore-mentioned Sakhumzi Restaurant is an absolute must, make sure you have a few hours to spare as township life can get pretty entertaining.
For those who like to be active, do an eco-friendly cycling tour of Soweto, where you can enjoy a unique urban adventure with a qualified guide and really get to know the ins and outs of the township. And for the really adventurous, why not bungee jump between the Orlando cooling towers, a well-known Soweto landmark.
The funky precinct of Newtown is a great place to explore Jozi’s urban culture.
There are fantastic restaurants, laid-back jazz venues, comedy clubs, late-nite eateries, night clubs and great places to experience the cosmopolitan vibes of the City of Gold. Mary Fitzgerald Square is definitely worth a visit.
It includes the eclectic Museum Africa, the Bensusan Museum of Photography and the world-famous Market Theatre. There are also loads of galleries, crafts shops and street artists that make up the Newtown offering.
Gauteng highlights at a glance:
• Bungee jumping off the Orlando Cooling Towers
• Cradle of Humankind
• A township tour of Alexander or Soweto
• Rosebank’s African market
• Eating out at Joe’s Butchery in Alexander
• A night out in Newtown Precinct
• A day-trip through Dinokeng
• Water sports on Hartbeespoort Dam
• A visit to the Union Buildings