Johannesburg and Surrounds

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Johannesburg and Surrounds

Overview
Activities and Highlights
Seasons
Region Map

Description

"The dynamic city of Johannesburg is Africa’s most urbanized economic jungle, flourishing with 10 million trees which give grounds to the city’s label as the world’s biggest man-made forest. Not only big on plants, but big on travel too, the city’s airport is the biggest and busiest in Africa.

Once known as the ‘Gold Capital of the World’, Johannesburg is visited by many and is still being referred to as Egoli, thriving as The Place of Gold. As the driving force behind South Africa’s growing economy, the city bursts with an ever busy atmosphere and buzzes with the fast paced lifestyles of its locals.

Filled with creativity, fashion and artistic expression; Johannesburg’s locals are all about bigger, bolder, and beautiful glitz and glamour, knowing all too well that what may be in today might not be fashionable tomorrow. Museums, theatres and galleries litter the city streets and preserve the creative and historic spirit of Africa while the booming cafê culture of the youthful adds finesse to the life of the city.

Although the northern Johannesburg areas, from Rosebank, Randburg and Melville, to Sandton and Midrand, are characterized by leafy urbanization and a sprawling economy, the southern regions of Johannesburg contrasts blatantly with the conflict of poverty.

Soweto is sea of shantytowns which played a major role in the fight for freedom during the Apartheid regime. Johannesburg is an amalgamation of historic importance, cultural vigour, stark economic contrasts and artistic expression which can be found nowhere else but in Africa."

Access Details

Johannesburg is easily accessed by air from any major hub in the world, with daily connections to 6 continents served by over 60 airlines flying into O.R. Tambo International Airport. North of Johannesburg is Lanseria airport, serving many domestic routes.

A vast network of excellent freeways forks out in all directions, so self driving is very easy in and around Johannesburg. The high speed Gautrain whisks passengers from the airport to Sandton in about 12 minutes.

Suggested Stay Details

There is more to Johannesburg than a transit hub. It is worth spending a couple of days exploring some of the interesting historic an cultural places of interest. There are great golf courses and shopping opportunities to bide your time.

Type of Experience

"CRADLE OF HUMANKIND: The area has more than 300 caves and regarded as a World Heritage Site. Thousands of important fossils have been excavated from these mines shedding light on life dating back to 4 million years ago. Skeletons of hominids such as the famous “Mrs Ples” and “Little Foot” have been found on site and has the world’s most complete collection of human evolutionary fossils . Visit these ancient sites and explore the historic caves of Sterkfontein.

APARTHEID MUSEUM: Visit the museum and experience a sense of the painful struggles many had gone through to achieve the right to equality and freedom. The history of the Apartheid regime is chronologically arranged and confronts you with images and exhibitions of brutality, emotionally draining and heart wrenching honesty.

Before even stepping into the museum you are accosted by signs which categorized the past and its people based on segregation and skin colour. Most shocking is the feel of a room filled with the eerie atmosphere of sacrifice and has its ceiling covered by 121 hangman ropes, each representing the life of executed political prisoners during the countries dark racially divided past."

Infrastructure

The city of Johannesburg is equipped with world class infrastructure. Possessing the busiest airport in Africa and an excellent transport network, Johannesburg is pleasantly appealing to both the business traveller and the tourist.

Malls are found within every district and street markets can be found within the cities and townships. Accommodation range from five-star Victorian hotels to elegant and luxury guest houses, as well as quaint and comfortable safari lodges.

Geography

Although Johannesburg is the largest man made forest in the world, the Highveld area is dry. Many of the city’s northern regions are developed but the southern areas are largely occupied by shantytowns.

History

"Buntu-speaking tribes are believed to arrive in the surrounding areas of Johannesburg during the 13th century, invading on the land of the San people who initially inhabited the land. Sotho-Tswana communities settled and populated the regions during the 18th century and remains of these people can be seen throughout Johannesburg.

Since the great battles fought within the Zululand, the Sotho-Tswana communities were displaced by the Ndebele tribes in the 18th and early 19th century. They were replaced by the arrival of the Voortrekkers in the 19th century who claimed sovereignty of Johannesburg.

Discovering gold in the 1880’s caused a major influx of treasure seekers, causing the area to expand massively. "

Activities & Highlights

"BIG FIVE GATEWAY: With an excellent transport network, Johannesburg is a gateway to big five wildlife safaris. Situated just 3 hours outside of the city, the safari regions of the Waterberg are alive with lions, leopards, rhino, elephants and buffalo. Madikwe Game Reserve is another big five reserve which may be accessed by car and situated about 5 hours away from the Johannesburg area.

CORPORATE JUNGLE: Known as the powerhouse of economic Africa, Johannesburg is home to many and the most international corporations in southern Africa. Buildings scrape the skies such as the Mable Tower, Southern Life Centre and Carlton Centre, which is the tallest in Africa and offers breathtaking views of the city skyline. The city is frequented by many business travellers, and the corporate infrastructure, convention and conference centres are world class.

BUSINESS AND PLEASURE: As the corporate jungle of southern Africa, Johannesburg is not only about business. The city is has some of South Africa’s best entertainment sites, such as Gold Reef City. This is a lively theme park with its ever-wakeful nightlife and casino that transports you back to the era of the gold rush in the 1880’s.

The spas of Magaliesberg offer relaxation and luxury to the tired business traveler in need of revitalization. The city itself is filled with many award winning restaurants, cuisine influenced by Africa, Middle Eastern, European and East Asian."



Season Travel Details

The Highveld climate of Johannesburg has a dry, sunny climate which is interrupted by late afternoon, early evening thundershowers predominantly during the months of October to April. Maximum temperatures during these summer months average to 25.6 °C (78.1 °F), with an average maximum temperature during June of 16 °C (61 °F). Winter is characterized by mild days and cool nights, minimum temperatures of 4.1 °C (39.4 °F) may be expected during June and July

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