Although usually only used for quick stopovers by most travellers, Joburg is an exciting and vibrant city, with some excellent hotels, fantastic shopping facilities, loads of historic signifcance, and a flourishing sporting culture.
With the launch of the Gautrain in 2010, the Sandton district is now only 10 minutes from the airport, and this places one in a position to easily access most of the city's highlights.
Soweto and Apartheid Museum Tours
Very few people are unaware of the turbulent history of South Africa, nor of the struggle which was fought for many years. Soweto (South West Township) was a major contributor to much of this history, and every person visiting South Africa should take the chance to explore this township.
Guided tours take you into the heart of the location, to shabeens, the Hector Pietersen Memorial, the street where 2 Nobel Peace prize winners lived (Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu) and more, and this can be combined with a walk through the fascinating and informative Apartheid Museum.
If you are lucky enough to time your holiday with an international cricket, rugby or soccer match, Johannesburg is a great place to be a spectator.
Whether it be in the thronging crowd at Ellis Park, The Wanderers, or Soccer City, you will feel most welcome (even if you're supporting the Aussies) and will be blown away by the festive spirit which is the norm in these stadiums.
The Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind, one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa, and the only one in Gauteng, is renowned as the place where humankind originated. It is here that the first hominid, Australopithecus, was found in 1924 at Taung in the North West Province by Professor Raymond Dart of the University of the Witwatersrand.
The Cradle of Humankind area boasts 13 excavation sites that are recognised as national heritage sites, both internationally and by the South African Heritage Resources Agency. For those wanting to experience the birthplace of humankind firsthand, the official visitor centres for the Cradle of Humankind, Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves, are within an easy hour’s drive from Joburg.
Lesedi Cultural Village
Lesedi Cultural Village was established in 1993 with the vision of of providing an authentic showcase of the traditional cultures of some of the well known African tribes who have their home in South Africa.
Representatives of these tribes facilitated the design of the cultural villages to ensure an historically representative portrayal of the cultures, highlighting aspects of the traditional way of life. Members of these historic communities live at Lesedi and continue to breathe life into their fascinating cultures.