JohannesburgLocation: South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg
Johannesburg the economic powerhouse of South Africa
Johannesburg, South Africas commercial metropolis is a remarkable and rather daunting city where high-rise buildings cluster at the city centre and suburbs sprawl outwards, some becoming cities in their own right. Green and prosperous enclaves dotted with turquoise swimming pools contrast with dusty African townships. Interspersed among this vastness are great, flat-topped yellow hills and muddy settling tanks -the spoil-heaps and waste of a century of gold-mining.
Johannesburgs best shops and hotels can be found in the attractive northern areas of Rosebank and Sandton. A separate city, Sandton has the most opulent shopping malls. Sight seeing may include Museum Africa which focuses on the cultures of the indigenous peoples, the City Art Gallery, rich in Pre-Raphaelite and Impressionist paintings and with many South African artists represented.
(Including Sandton & Randburg)
Welcome to Johannesburg, southern Africa’s largest and most vibrant city. Not only is Johannesburg a city of commerce and industry, generating more than 35 % of the country’s gross domestic product, it is also a city of friendly people, large open spaces, sports and culture, truly a sunshine city built on gold.
It is known that traces of gold have been found in the numerous streams flowing through the Witwatersrand area as far back as 1853 and that in 1884 a small mine was operated on a farm named Wilgespruit (close to the modern day Johannesburg city centre), but it was not until after the Australian prospector George Hamilton made his discovery in March 1886 that anyone realized just how big the gold reserves really were. Hamilton, at the time employed to build a new homestead on the farm Langlaagte, stumbled across what was the only surface outcropping of the richest gold bearing reef in the world. His discovery not only sparked off the biggest gold rush in history but also forever changed the face of this once peaceful stretch of Transvaal highveld.
By 1889 Johannesburg was the largest town in South Africa – a rowdy town with countless bars, brothels and gambling halls. By the end of that year a total of 630 000 ounces of gold had been recovered from the reef – worth, in today’s value, a staggering R200 million. By the mid 1890’s more than 200 mining companies had their head offices in Johannesburg, with the stock exchange in Simmonds Street as the hub of town. This area, characterized by it’s rows of brokers’ offices, was known as ‘Between the Chains’, as all motor vehicles were kept out by chain fences. Johannesburg became a city in 1928 and by 1960 had over one million inhabitants.
Placed at the heart of South Africa’s communications network and boasting and excellent infrastructure, the Johannesburg of today offers easy and immediate access to many of the country’s major tourist attractions such as the Kruger National Park, private game reserves and stylish resort hotels at Sun City, acclaimed as one of the world’s finest hotels.
Johannesburg and the surrounding areas offers a large selection of recreational options ranging from hiking and mountain biking trails for the outdoor enthusiast to elegant theatres and art galleries catering for the culturally refined. An authentic Zulu kraal offers Zulu dancing displays, while a reconstructed gold mining village offers a nostalgic trip into the city’s golden past, with underground visits and gold pouring demonstrations. Other attractions in and around Johannesburg include a crocodile farm, cheetah breeding centre and snake parks.
The city, and especially the northern suburbs, hosts a large selection of comfortable and attractive accommodation facilities, ranging from budget backpackers and self catering establishments to luxurious five star hotels and lodges, while the gourmet diner has a wide choice of excellent restaurants with cuisine ranging from family fare to sophisticated a la carte menus.
How to get there
Bloemfontein 398 km, Cape Town 402 km, Durban 578 km, Kimberley 472 km, Mmabatho 287 km, Nelspruit 355 km, Pietersburg 319 km, Port Elizabeth 1075 km, Pretoria 58 km
Altitude – 1763 m above sea level
Banks – Absa, Fnb, Nedbank, Standard
May be purchased at commercial banks, American Express, Rennies Travel. On leaving the country, one is permitted to take out up to R500.00 in SA Reserve Bank notes, thereafter a 20 % levy is charged on additional funds removed.
Air France, Air Namibia, Alitalia, Austrian Airlines, British Airways, Cathay Pacific, Comair, Iberia, KLM, Lufthansa, Nationwide, Quantas, Sabena, South African Airways, SA Airlink, SA Express, Swiss Air, Virgin Atlantic
Johannesburg International Airport – Arrivals / Departures, Grand Central, Lanseria, Rand Airport
Airport Bus (Johannesburg Terminal), Airport Bus (Sandton), Airport Bus (Pretoria Shuttle) City Buses, Magic Bus, Intercape, Greyhound, Translux, Rand Coach
Car Hire - Avis, Budget, Hertz, Imperial, Tempest
Blue Train Reservations, Transnet Enquiries, Transnet Reservations (Main Line), Metro Rail, Rovos Rail
19th Century Mine Stope
This stope, one of many sub surface diggings in this part of Johannesburg was part of the old Ferreira Gold Mine Camp
Adler Museum of the History of Medicine
Pharmacological, surgical and dental exhibits. A fascinating herbalist shop was added recently.
Adler Museum of Music – Collection of musical instruments
Afrika Cultural Centre
The old potato sheds have been converted into a ‘Young People’s Creative Workshop’. There is a resource centre and the cultural centre is the location of the first children’s museum.
George Harrison Park
It is a historic site where the main gold reef was first discovered in 1886. visitors may view the remains of the original mine workings and the stamp mill used in the early days for releasing gold from ore. The park is open seven days per week.
This pub was the meeting place of the horse set for many years. It is the oldest pub in the City with many antiques and photographs recalling the early days.
Built in 1918 on ground bought by Mahatma Gandhi, who was practicing as a barrister in Johannesburg at the time.
This mosque was built in 1916 and has a minaret that is 30 m tall. Female visitors are not permitted during prayers.
Joubert Park - The city’s oldest park, granted by the Volksraad in 1887
Madiba Freedom Museum
The finest ‘New South African’ Museum. The museum covers the political history of South Africa’s former president, Nelson Mandela, together with the ‘power struggle’. On display, you’ll find things such as an original pass book, photographs of important gatherings and many more. Bookings essential.
Tuesday – Sunday: 09:00 – 17:00. Since it was founded in 1935 as the Africana Museum, Museum Africa has collected a treasure house of geological specimens, paintings, prints, photographs and objects relating to the history of the area stretching southward from the Zambezi River to the Cape of Good Hope. This is the only museum which attempts to tell the story of life in southern Africa from the Stone Age to the Nuclear Age and beyond. It tells this story with honesty and objectivity, using it’s extensive collections, recent research, and the advice of experts in the field of geology, archaeology, anthropology and history. The museum also houses the Bensusan Museum of Photography, the Museum of South African Rock Art and the Geology Museum.
The Building has a history too
Put up in 1913, the building was Johannesburg’s fruit and vegetable market until 1974. It was then acquired by the Africana Museum to develop into it’s permanent home. These plans were finally realized when Museum Africa opened in August 1994. situated in the Newtown Cultural precinct, the museum is a close neighbour to many cultural and entertainment venues.
What Museum Africa is all about
A museum is always a work in progress. Special interest groups, academics and museum specialists help Museum Africa’s staff to put up displays that will reach and teach every visitor. Galleries and exhibitions in Museum Africa explore themes which allow an in depth look at episodes in the story of South Africa from the Big Bang to the computer age. The aim is to reflect the area’s complex geological, social, political and economic history in unconventional and thought provoking ways. Culture is a living, changing thing that cannot be captured in a display case. Museum Africa also aims to be a space for storytellers, praise poets, actors, dancers, musicians, etc.
Museum of South African Rock Art
South Africa has one of the richest rock art heritages in the world. Both paintings and engravings are found throughout the sub continent. Most was the work of the Bushman. Because the sites are often vandalized, many rocks have been brought into museums for preservation. Some of these are on display in the gallery. The second part of the exhibition is a ‘rock shelter’ which illustrates how the art was part of the Bushman religious and social life.
Bensusan Museum of Photography
Visit Level 4 East for an entertaining look at the story of the invention and development of photography. Have darkroom processing explained in song. Experiment with lenses and mirrors and play with optical toys that reveal the principal on which movies are based. Alhazen’s Lighthouse takes you to a desert tent where the Arab scientist explains how light works. Other displays focus on the latest technology and gives practical hints on how to take better pictures. Visit the Photographic Library for access to South Africa’s best collection of books on photography. Membership is free and all levels of interest are catered for. The Photo Gallery hosts temporary photographic exhibitions.
Volcanoes, plate tectonics, Tapinocanimus, UV light, meteorites, silica, sinkholes – what are they? If you don’t know, the Geological Museum will help you understand the world around you, learn to use it wisely and realize how the earth sciences are the foundation of everyday life.
This series of displays focus on some of the ways in which change has swept through the life of the city and it’s people – at work, at play, in housing and the organization of society. Johannesburg’s Earth Roots and Early History looks at such questions as: What lived here before the gold reef was discovered? How do we find out about these early times? Gold consider the monetary, symbolic and decorative importance of the precious metal that spawned a metropolis. What about the workers allows glimpses into the lives of the often unrecognized people whose toil underground and on scaffolding, in factories and in houses brought the city to being. Walk through the mine tunnel, visit the compound, the mine manager’s house and the world of the domestic worker. The display also looks at the stormy interaction of capital and labour. Sounds of the city takes you into a 1920’s slumyard and a Sophiatown shebeen to learn about the music born in Johannesburg as people fused Western (especially American) and local musical traditions into marabi and, later, township jazz. Walk the passage of the rhythms of resistance and the return of the exiled musicians. When day changes to night, have you got a home to go to? Birds of a cornfield asks questions about homelessness in South Africa’s biggest city as you walk through the jigsaw puzzle of apartheid legislation. Actual shacks from informal settlements show how human creativity can make something out of almost nothing. The Boomtown mobile looks at the changing face of the city that grew faster than any other in South Africa. Experience the transformation from dusty veld to the teeming metropolis whose architecture mingles Western traditions with a cityscape fashioned by the gold mining industry. What’s in a name? Focuses on Newtown, the area in which Museum Afrika is situated. Can the ordinary person influence government? Discover changing visions for Newtown, from clay sodden Brickfields to Cultural Precinct, and the ways in which government and people interact and clash in planning a city suburb. Finally, walk the Road to Democracy and see how Johannesburg was a microcosm of the struggle for universal adult franchise in a society deeply divided by language and gender differences and by apartheid.
Tried for Treason
The inspiration for this display was a series of drawings made in court by 10 Horvitch, one of the accused in the 1956 – 1961 Treason Trail, and acquired in 1995 by Museum Africa. In 1956, 156 people were accused of high treason and prosecuted in a trial that lasted four years. The trail was a turning point in the consolidation of apartheid and of resistance to it. The displays tell chapters in the story of the trail in the voices of the people involved – the trialists and their families, the police, the legal teams, the press photographers and the media. Living history in the form of video interviews and notebooks to capture visitors memories of the trial also form part of the exhibition.
Guided Tours School Group Visits
These can be arranged in advance with the educational department.
Shops - Relax and enjoy a snack or coffee and cake and shop for the special souvenir.
Public Research Facility
Staff are available to help researchers who need access to the photographs, paintings and other stored collections.
How to get there
By bus: No 62 or 63 from Eloff Street. By car: M1 North or South: take the Smit Street offramp.
Newton Cultural Precinct
In central Johannesburg, is a microcosm of South African culture and history. Since it was declared a cultural precinct, Newtown has experienced a revival. Old warehouses and other buildings have been renovated to house a variety of museum displays.
The Market Theatre, a major catalyst of the culture in the area, is home to the Rembrandt gallery, showcasing local and international art.
Situated in the old fruit market, displays the complex history of South Africa in an unconventional and thought provoking manner. The workers’ compounds of the old power station now house the Workers’ Museum and are the site of a major photographic exhibition.
The Artists Proof Studio, one of a number of print works, runs workshops on printing methods for the community. Saturday sees the square come alive with the sights and sound of the Johannesburg Market. Newtown is home to all these and much more. Together they make up a precinct that offers a vibrant display of the rich culture of South Africa.
Historical farm set in tranquil surroundings. Sumptuous Sunday lunches are served, booking essential.
This suburb is laid out on the southern slopes of the Witwatersrand ridge, which is the watershed between the Indian and Atlantic Oceans. It was the pioneer garden suburb in South Africa. Sir Herbert Baker’s home, Stone House, and that of Lord Alfred Milner’s ‘Kindergarten’, Moot Cottage, are to be found in the suburb. For more information contact the Parktown and Westcliff Heritage Trust.
The beacon marks the apex of the triangle of waste grounds on which the original village of Johannesburg was built in 1886.
Railway Society of South Africa Preservation Centre
Historic locomotives and other railway equipment are preserved here in full working order.
SA Breweries Centenary Centre
History of brewing going back centuries before 1895 when SAB was officially registered on the London Stock Exchange. Entrance fee charged, includes two beers.
St Mary’s Cathedral
Built in 1887, this Anglican Church has a cappella built in memory of South African soldiers who died during the First World War.
The James Hall Museum of Transport
The James Hall Museum of Transport is devoted to the study and collection of vehicles that illustrate the development of land transport in South Africa. The museum is located at Wemmerspanand various items are on display, ranging from the earliest bicycles and animal drawn wagons and carts to steam and petrol driven cars and trucks. A leaflet on trains and the story of the tyre is available at the museum. Tours of school groups and other interested parties can be arranged.
South Hall – Mezzanine Level
The first section is devoted to the history of the bicycle. The velocipede or ‘boneshaker’
(1869) is a heavy machine with wooden iron rimmed wheels and no springs. Riding a bicycle like that would certainly shake all your bones. Other vehicles include a penny farthing, a tandem and a tricycle. Displays include more modern bicycles, motorcycles like the 1909 NSU Imp, a 1917 Cleveland and the Triumph. Two examples of scooters which do not have bicycle type frames are the Lambretta and the Eak.
Animal drawn vehicles and display, including the horse drawn Cape Cart (two and four seaters), spiders (Surrey), Governess Carts, a Victoria, a Scotch cart and a replica of the famous Zeerderberg Coach. Among the ox wagons is an example of the Voortrekker ‘Kakebeenwa’ and the ‘bokwa’ wagons. Transport wagons usually carried heavy loads and were drawn by approximately 16 oxen. They either had a half tent or were open. These wagons could carry loads of up to 2700 kg.
The world renowned collection of steam vehicles on display includes steam rollers and steam wagons. The Sentinel Steam wagon was used extensively on the mines. In the North Hall the famous steam tractor ‘Texas Jack’ (1896) may be seen, while in the porch area several steam locomotives and steam jib cranes used in the mines are on display. The pont had been buried in the banks of the Komati River for over 70 years when it was dug up and brought to the museum. One of it’s important functions was to transport riders, their wagons and oxen across the crocodile infested waters of the Komati. The anchor comes from Norval’s Point on the Orange River.
On display are a collection of early municipal vehicles, including a traveling library (1939), a horse ambulance, horse drawn sanitary cart, water cart and refuse cart. The museum houses a fine collection of fire fighting equipment, including fire buckets, fire alarms, hoses, hand pumps, fire extinguishers and fire engines.
Exhibits depict the history of the Automobile Association and various petrol driven vehicles are on display at different times. The earliest motor car on view is the Clement Panhard of 1900. As one proceed through the hall it is notable how cars changed over the years. Tyres were a real headache for the early motorist, Dunlop patented it’s pneumatic tyre in 1888, which meant a more comfortable ride and greater speeds. On display are solid rubber tyres, as well as the Induna, the first tyre manufactured in South Africa.
On display on the porch are various steam locomotives and cranes. A cable car from Table Mountain can also be seen. The first cable cars were made of wood, but with the Royal Visit in 1947 it was decided to that two metal cars were required, one of which now is on display in the museum. Various agricultural implements, ox wagons, pony and donkey carts can also be seen in this area.
On display is a horse drawn tram, used in Johannesburg from 1891 to 1902. it was pulled by two horses on a track laid out in the middle of the road. The driver blew on a bone whistle to warn pedestrians of the tram’s approach. The electric trams on display are all double decker and include the last one to be used in Johannesburg in 1961. The various trolley buses on display come from Pretoria, Durban, Johannesburg and Cape Town, while the diesel buses are from Johannesburg, London and Cape Town. The first electric lift installed at Corner House is to be seen at the exit, as well as a lift from the Turffontein Race Course.
The Electricity Department workers compound which has been restored. There is also a Workers Library which functions as a resource centre for workers.
Cumberland Bird Sanctuary
Situated in Bryanston, the reserve boasts two dams, a wetland and two bird hides – 92 species of birds have been recorded.
Delta Park Environment Centre
A serene park with dams and a wide variety of birdlife.
De Wildt Cheetah Farm – An exciting outing. Booking essential
Part of the Braamfontein Spruit, adjacent to the Johannesburg Botanical Gardens. An active sailing club caters for yachtsmen, canoeists, board sailors, scuba divers and model boat enthusiasts.
Harvey Wild Flower Reserve
This unspoilt section of Linksfield Ridge offers beautiful views of Johannesburg and the Magaliesberg. An unmarked trail starts here and ends at Giloolly’s Farm. Open Daily.
Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
Started in 1969 and cover 365 acres. The gardens boasts a bonsai garden, herbal garden, medical and literary garden and a 24 acres rose garden, believed to be the largest rose garden in the world. Thomas Bowler St, Roosevelt Park.
Kromdraai Wonder Cave & Conservancy
Krugersdorp Game Reserve
Lion Safari Park
Lone Hill Nature Reserve
Characterized by granite koppies and internationally renowned for the early Iron Age furnaces discovered in 1986. The 3,6 ha reserve has a trail winding through the ruins of a Tswana village to the top of the koppie, offering magnificent views. Detailed information available from the Sandton Parks, Recreation and Conservation Division.
Declared a nature reserve in 1959. The vegetation is indigenous to the Witwatersrand. An archaeological site of great interest, as relics dating to the Stone Age has been discovered here (approximately 100 000 BC). Two Iron Age furnaces have also been discovered and preserved in the reserve. Open every first and third Sunday of the month from September to May.
Norscot Koppies Nature Reserve
Notable for it’s rocky granite koppies, the 10,4 ha reserve offers a diversity of vegetation, as well as an open water area with a hide, popular with bird watchers. The reserve is home to the Cape Silver Fox. Signs of iron smelting and granite mining by early settlers to be seen. Adjoining the reserve is a waterfowl reserve with a 1,5 km trail. Detailed information available from the Sandton Parks, Recreation and Conservation Division.
Outspan Bird Sanctuary
Situated in the heart of Sandton, the sanctuary provides a convenient escape from the hustle of every day life. The 1,9 ha sanctuary is situated on the Outspan Spruit, and consists of four different ecological zones. Detailed information available from the Sandton Parks, Recreation and Conservation Division.
Rietfontein Nature Reserve
Situated close to the confluence of the Braamfontein Spruit and the Sand Spruit, this reserve is home to the Head Office of the Sandton Parks, Recreation and Conservation Division. The 25 ha ecologically sensitive reserve has steenbok, grey duiker, mountain reedbuck, a large variety of birds and indigenous flora. A 2,4 km trail winds through the reserve, with maximum 15 people allowed at any time.
Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve
An 18 ha park made up of two rocky ridges with a profusion of indigenous plants. Four plant houses and numerous signposted walking paths. Guided tours available. Visitors are advised to visit the park in groups.
Santarama was opened in September 1973 to provide a regular source of income for SANTA. Your visit to this popular attraction helps this organization save lives through the active promotion of tuberculosis control in South Africa. Board of Cadbury’s Chocolae Eclairs Mini train to embark on a fascinating journey through South African history and development. Over 100 scale models of prominent landmarks are displayed in the eight acres of beautiful gardens on the banks of the Wemmer Pan. Movement and sounds add a touch of reality to your family trip through the ever growing fantasy city. Step aboard and Sunrise Toffee Ferry for a tranquil boat ride on Wemmer Pan and sail alongside Van Riebeeck’s galleon as you return to shore. This full size model of the Dromedaris is on permanent exhibition at Santarama and remains a popular function venue for any occasion. The licenced Model Bar & Restaurant nearby is newly refurbished and serves a range of hot and cold light meals and refreshments at reasonable prices. Enjoy a cup of tea and the picturesque views from the terrace while your children climb the Frutus Deluxe Jungle Jim and Bounce around the Jumping Castle. Don’t forget to book the colourful party room for birthday celebrations and remember that Santarama is a safe enclosed site in which to have fun. Bring along your camera to snap those special family moments in photogenic surroundings. Group discounts for 20 to more people. Educational and entertaining day trip for school parties. Ample parking for cars and buses on site. On the municipal bus route with taxi ranks nearby. Wheelchair and pram access (except to the Dromedaris).
African Herbalist Shop
Visitors are welcome to browse around. Come face to face with authentic mutis (medicines) used by South Africa’s sangomas for the last few centuries. Guided tours are available.
Antiques and Collectibles Fair
Specialist dealers from across the country display their wares.
Big and brilliant, you can find absolutely everything your heart desires from hundreds of stalls.
Collectibles Fair - Collectibles from dealers around South Africa.
Balfour Flea Market
Two hundred stalls offering a large variety of goods, pony rides, live and kiddies entertainment.
Benoni Plaza Flea Market
One hundred stalls offering clothing, handicrafts, artwork, jewellery, live entertainment
An educational park home to a number of farm animals, giving the city child the opportunity to experience farm life. Excellent braai facilities are available.
Bunny Park - Spend a day with your children, playing with the animals and relaxing.
Bruma Flea Market World
With 600 stalls. Kids world provides endless entertainment for the kids. Always something happening, whether it be live music or magicians.
Offers a spectacular bird’s eye view from the 50th floor of the Carlton Centre, an ideal orientation experience for visitors to Johannesburg. Entrance on the upper level of the Carlton Shopping Centre, Commissioner Street.
Chinese Trade Fair Market
180 stalls take away food, live entertainment, children’s playground, beer garden, tea garden.
Collector’s Book and Doll Fair
Antique jewellery, silver, porcelain, clocks, watches, dolls, as well as a range of collectible and used books. Rooftop Market, Rosebank – second Sunday of every month.
Wander through South Africa’s premier Crafter’s market place. Leisurely explore the stalls of beautifully handcrafted items on display from over 100 talented crafters and artisans. Experience the love, pride, dedication and quality of their workmanship. The Crafter’s Marketplace is open seven days a week for your shopping pleasure and convenience. The range of crafts available includes products made from wood, wrought iron, exotic papers, dyed materials, knitwear, wax, glass, fragrances, stone, pottery, dried plants, bronze and other materials. After you have experienced the Marketplace, relax on the balcony of Platters, the exclusive coffee shop at the Crafter’s Marketplace.
Crocodile River Arts and Crafts Ramble
Maps are available from Tourism Johannesburg. This exciting event takes place the first weekend every month. Artists studios open, offering pottery, watercolours, oil paintings, hand woven garmets, iron sculpture. Luncheons are available at the Riverbend Studio (pizza baked in an outdoor oven), La Piqnique (French style picnic hampers) or continental country cooking from Millbank (Sunday lunch only).
Dion Centre Flea Market - Entertainment every Saturday
Disselboom Pleasure Resort
For a fun day with the family only 30 min from Johannesburg. ‘Foefie Slide’ over a stream, braai walks, camping and caravan area available. Visit the farmyard or go for an ox wagon ride.
Doll Collectors Fair
The fair is the largest and most popular of it’s kind in southern Africa. Exhibits include antique, modern reproductions and original limited edition dolls from leading local and international artists. There is also a wide range of accessories and teddy bears.
Elephant Hide, Crafts, Curios & Farm Stall
Right in the heart of busy Sandton, set in a tranquil, lush garden with Egyptian Geese, an authentic thatched house. You can relax, have a cup of tea and watch the creation of traditional Ndebele bead work. Buy all your curios, gifts and farm stall products at excellent prices.
Flea Market World
Big, diverse market. Non stop entertainment includes Zulu and gumboot dancers, buskers and musicians.
Visit the flower market for an unusual morning. Sit in on flower auctions, buy cut flowers from wholesalers and marvel at the large selection of pot plants. A profusion of bright colours – chrysanthemums, gladioli, proteas, larkspurs, lilies, roses, delphiniums and gypsophila.
Garden World Craft Market
Operated from a converted shade house with background music, more than 60 different crafts, children’s playground, tea garden set in picturesque gardens.
A profusion of colour and fragrances makes a trip to this nursery very worthwhile. A superb tea garden is also housed on the premises.
Gemstone Scratch Patch
A treasure chest of glittering, multicoloured jewels. Over 24 varieties of semi precious stones are to be found in this scratch patch.
Germiston Arts and Crafts Market - First and last Saturday of every month
View Flea Market - Sundays 09:00 – 16:00
Horse Racing – The Jockey Club of Southern Africa
Frequent races takes place at the Turffontein, Gosforth Park and New Market Race Courses.
Hospice Flea Market - Loads of gifts and goodies – all for a good cause
Ice Skating - Skates can be hired. Great fun for the whole family.
Irene Village Market
Country atmosphere with 250 stalls of antique, ceramics, clothing, leatherwork, African Art, candles, jewellery, painted fabric, pewterware and more.
A home for South African and international jewellery manufactures diamond cutters and associated industries.
Johannesburg Art Gallery
Set in Joubert Park near Johannesburg Station, the gallery houses a fine collection of South African and international art, including French Impressionist and 20th century Abstract works. South African artists are well represented, especially Anton van Wouw and Gerard Sekoto.
Johannesburg Live Steam Club
More than 3000 species of animals and birds, many of them on the endangered list, are housed at the Johannesburg Zoo. Guided night tours offered.
Lesedi Cultural Village
Set in the rural Bushveld, yet less than an hour’s drive from Johannesburg, Lesedi Cultural Village offers a taste of Africa with a difference. Lesedi is a collection of traditional family units housing the elders, wives and children from a variety of colourful Southern African tribes. In each village, a few huts have been set aside for you, the visitor, with all the comforts of modern amenities. At Lesedi, ‘place of light’, you are invited to be the guest of a traditional family and to share in their rich culture.
See the White Stallions go through their paces in an indoor arena. Booking at Computicket. Tickets available at the door.
Margaret Roberts Herb Farm
A spicy outing, both entertaining and educational. Group visits and workshops take place on a set basis.
Market Theatre Arts and Crafts Market
Selling a large array of fine African craft from every corner of the continent.
Market Theatre & Precinct
Built in the early 1990’s. Originally the Indian produce market; saved from the bulldozers and converted into an internationally renowned theatre venue. This complex is also home to Kippies, a superb jazz venue named after legendary black saxophonist Kippie Morolong Moeketsi. This intimate bar features live jazz and is guaranteed to keep patrons swining until late into the night. The Precinct also houses the French Cultural Institute, the Foundation for the Creative Arts, the Newton Art Gallery, the Yard of Ale, the Gramadoelas Restaurant, which offers genuine South African cuisine including crocodile and mopani worms, and various curio and antique shops.
Michael Mount Organic Market
Browse for gorgeous hand made gifts or sit down to a light supper on the moonlight market nights.
At the time of the gold rush, black workers were drawn to the Golden City in their thousands. They were mostly migrant workers, who lived in the compounds and made their own entertainment mainly by dancing and singing. Mine dancing may be seen when visiting Gold Reef City, Heia Safari Ranch or a working mine.
Musical Fountains – Randburg Waterfront
A 50 m long fountain, waving water patterns up to 30 m high through 1000 nozzles – and all to the sound of music performances, nightly.
Norscot Manor Market – From porcelain to rugs, from flowers to pates.
Educational and entertaining programmes are presented throughout the year. This well equipped facility offers lectures and professionally conducted tours, guiding visitors through the southern skies and space. A shop sells start charts, telescopes, astronomy books and posters.
Phumagena Zulu Kraal
A 100 % authentic Zulu kraal with Zulu people living and working there. Watch a tribal dancing display and enjoy a traditional meal whilst the sangoma throws the bones for you.
Randburg Eisteddfod - Takes place yearly in September
Standard Bank Gallery
Features three exhibition halls, one of which houses a selection of the Standard Bank African Art Collection. Exhibitions change regularly, showing the best in contemporary South African art, the annual World Press Photo Awards, exhibitions from the Standard Bank National Art Festival, as well as local and international collections.
Situated on a dolomite hillock in the Isaac Edwin Stegman Nature Reserve. Regarded by scientists as one of the world’s anthropological treasure houses. It was here that Dr Robert Boom discovered Mrs Ples (Plesianthropus transvaalensis). Guided tours every half hour. Visit the Robert Broom Museum.
Smocking Market - Hand smocked clothes and supplies
The Courtyard Market
Objects d’art, collectables and antiques in a Victorian warehouse.
Transvaal Snake Park
Home to the largest collection of predominantly African snakes. Curio shop.
Tumbletown is an indoor adventure park for young children, complete with jumping castles, ball ponds, tunnels and obstacle courses. Disabled children are welcome. Tearooms are available for parents. These venues may be hired for birthday parties. Ages: Toddlers to 10 years.
Only 30 min drive from Johannesburg. Visit a 2,2 billion year old cave with spectacular formations. Guided tours offered every day of the week by well trained and competent guides. No crawling or bending. Kiosk and curio shop.
A large, sunny park with a restaurant, picnic area, and arena for various forms of entertainment.
Randburg Waterfront compare favourably with other waterfront complexes around the world, offer a relaxed harbour like setting fringing a man made lake fed by the Jukskei River. It has over 30 restaurants and pubs catering for every need. Water sports are well provided for by the free flowing water of the lake where one can paddle boat among the ducks, scuba dive and waterski. Experience the thrill of a go kart or bungee rocket catapult rides. Children are well catered for at the Waterfront with 10 Nu Metro cinemas and a very large entertainment area boasting a carousel, laser quest, ferriswheel, the continent’s most advanced Ten Pin Bowling centre and a 36 hole Adventure Golf Course. One also has the opportunity to visit the Harbour Flea Market – with over 360 stalls offering a variety of items from clothing to ethnic crafts. The Liquid Fireworks Musical Spectacular provides nightly performances at 19:30 and 20:30.
GOLD REEF CITY
Africa’s Greatest Theme Park
Built around No 14 Shaft of Crown Mines, Gold Reef City is an authentic reproduction of Johannesburg at the turn of the century. This is apparent by the number of fully furnished miners houses, the museum exhibits, and various gold mining artifacts. For example, the fireplace in the Schwartz jewellery store comes from the home of Barney Barnato, and the door from the home of Solly Joel. A train circles the park with free rides for everyone, enabling a quick perusal of the facilities. Buskers amble along the streets joined by the merry sounds of the penny whistle. There are many shops, all of which are decorated with the old style, ‘broekie lace’, and pressed ceilings. There is a turn of the century hotel where the style of the era is reproduced and the same ‘old’ feel extends to the costumes of the staff, as well as the style of restaurant and bars.
Discover Gold in an authentic Gold Mine
The complex is built around Crown Mines No 14 Shaft. This is a real gold mine that at one stage held the world record for the amount of gold recovered and also in 1916 held the World Shaft Sinking record. Visitors can travel underground and view the gold reef that gave birth to Johannesburg. On the surface there is gold pouring every hour and a chance to visit the massive winder house, as well as a fascinating geological exhibit No 14 Shaft was once part of the richest gold mine in the world, having produced some 1,4 million kilograms of gold from the Kimberley Reef. This record was held until as recently as 1978, when the record was overtaken by West Driefontein. Walking through the now peaceful underground passages it is difficult to imagine that in it’s heyday the Crown Mine complex was the work place of some 30 000 people who mined a massive total of 360 000 tons of ore a month. The preservation of the historic No 14 Shaft was the beginning of Gold Reef City. It is a worthy memorial to all those who worked so hard to provide the prosperity that the Reef shows today.
Food and Entertainment
Just over a hundred years ago, Johannesburg, built on the discovery of gold, was a boisterous rollicking mining town and today Gold Reef City brings back to life that exciting era. Inns, taverns, hostelries and music halls all add to the fun and the wide range of restaurants ensure that all tastes are catered for. For transport there is either the train with it’s three stations or horse drawn carriages to move you from attraction to attraction.
Gold Reef City International Dancers
The team consists of some 16 professional dancers. They appear twice daily during the week, and three times daily at weekends. In addition, certain members perform the popular Gumboot Dance and give a Marimba Show.
With increasing urbanization some of the traditional arts and crafts and the dancers of ‘old’ Africa are in danger of disappearing. Gold Reef City has a troupe of traditional dancers who perform every day and show the traditional song and dance in authentic costumes. The group has made many appearances internationally, and their performances are a photographer’s dream come true – they should not be missed.
Guided Tours and Helicopter Trips
Gold Reef City Guides offers a comprehensive tour of Gold Reef City with all of it’s attractions, including the historical exhibits, the mine, entertainment and shops. Nearly all world languages are catered for and the guides, in their attractive period costumes, provide a fascinating insight, not only to what is on view at Gold Reef City but to South Africa’s history and development. The Gold Reef City helicopter offers the opportunity to view the complex from the air, or flips to Soweto and Johannesburg or even further afield if required.
Fun rides ranges from the thrilling ‘Shuttle Loop’, the ‘Ranging Rapids’ and ‘The Vintage Cars’ to ‘The Swinging Coco Pan’ and many more. There is no additional charge for any of these rides.
Gold Reef City Hotel
The hotel is actually three hotels in one, as was the style at the turn of the century when guests were often directed to a hotel Annex. The hotel comprises of the main hotel, the Balmoral and Market Heights. All accommodation is of a high standard and the rooms are decorated in the turn of the century style. The hotel also caters for functions and wedding receptions, and is well equipped to cater for the guest’s every need. An overnight stay at the hotel is highly recommended.
Conference Meetings – Parties
With fully equipped rooms catering for groups from 30 to 500 the City is fast becoming established as a fully fledged conference centre. Add to this the ability to organize a street party for 200 to 2000 people with entertainment – stages, barbeques and bars, there is very little that Gold Reef City cannot do to make that conference or party a very special occasion.
Gold Reef City Chapel
For the biggest day in your life plan a wedding in the non-denominational Gold Reef City Chapel, with the bride arriving in a horse drawn carriage. One of the City’s many restaurants or the Gold Reef City Hotel can provide full reception services.
Authentic turn of the century mine houses and buildings complete with genuine antiques, costumes and artifacts of that era are one of the major features of Gold Reef City. The tranquility and the grace of living at those times becomes apparent immediately when you step into these dwellings with their cool interiors and Victorian furnishings and fittings.
The City has a splendid array of shops all decorated in the period style and selling a wide range of goods that appeal to all, be they homemade goodies, African prints, hand blown glass, carvings, leather goods and even your name as a headline on the front page of an old Johannesburg newspaper. Have your photograph taken dressed in a Victorian outfit and printed in sepia. Things to suit most tastes are available at the City, and very few visitors go home without a souvenir of their visit.
Every day on the hour a gold bar is smelted in a ‘arc’ furnace and then cast into a bullion bar.
How to get there
Located just 8 km south of the centre of Johannesburg, Gold Reef City is easily accessible by road. Coaches leave the Central City hotels daily and information on these departures can be obtained from hotel reception desks.
Footloose Trout Farm
The sound of running water, the thatch umbrellas with braai facilities providing a cool respite from the hot Highveld sun, all complement the feeling of being out in the country, away from the hustle and bustle of the city. The thirteen dams on the farm are well stocked with trout, carp, barbell and bass, providing a great source of excitement to those testing the waters for the very first time and the ‘old timber’ who enjoys a quiet hour or two at the water’s edge.
Braamfontein Spruit Trail
The trail follows the Braamfontein Spruit from the Emmarentia Dam in Johannesburg, through Randburg into Sandton, where it joins the Sand Spruit. Detailed map and information available from the Sandton Parks. Recreation and Conservation Division.
Sand Spruit Trail
The trail follows the Sand Spruit which arises in The Wilds. Detailed map and information available from the Sandton Parks, Recreation and Conservation Divisions.
Kareebosrand Conservancy - Hikes on a Sunday
Only day hike – only guided hikes offered. Thirty minutes from Johannesburg.
4 Wheel Adventures
No experience is necessary. Challenging rides through all types of terrain on quad motorcycles. All equipment and guides are provided.
One, two and four hour rides. Just north of Johannesburg you encounter mud, sand paths, hill climbs and river crossings.
Full and half day packages. The adventure packages include mountain biking, fly fishing, hiking, bird watching, game viewing, microlight, river rafting / canoeing and horse trails.
African Game Walk And Braai
Join an experienced ranger on a 6 km walk in a large nature reserve. Enjoy the unspoilt highveld scenery, with it’s excellent game viewing and photographic opportunities and savour a traditional braai. Booking essential.
Bill Harrop’s Balloon Safaris
The exhilaration of drifting over the impressive Magaliesberg just north of Johannesburg in a hot air balloon is an unforgettable experience. The early morning flight lasts about one hour with champagne served in flight and a superb freshly prepared breakfast when you land.
Conserv Tours – (Game Drives)
30 min from Johannesburg. Day and night game drives and horse trails available on a game reserve boasting three of the Big Five. Team building, special functions, catering, hikes for the family and school programmes.
Team building, incentives, conference and fun. Tailor made programmes to suit any company’s specific needs and objectives. Paintball, rope courses, abseiling, skeet shooting, mountain biking, orienteering, 4 x 4 driving, ballooning, quad biking, river rafting, sailing, safari’s and more.
Danielsrust Horse Trails
Thirty minutes from Johannesburg. Horse rides for novice and expert riders on well trained and groomed horses. Rides offered on both a farm and game reserve with an experienced guide. Many horse trail options available. Overnight hut available.
Heia Safari Ranch
Experience untamed Africa 45 km from Johannesburg. View game in their natural surroundings. Spend an evening in a Zulu kraal. On Sundays watch the Mzumba Dancers performing age old legends accompanied by throbbing drums and chanting women. Also a traditional South African braai around the pool. Booking is essential.
Lion Safari Park
This magnificent park is located park is located just 30 km north of Johannesburg and comprises 200 ha of grassland and forests. Many species of game are visible from the game trails, which meander through the park and are suitable for all vehicles. The actual lion area consists of six fenced camps in which various prides live and breed. The park is home to more than 50 lions and there are nearly always lion cubs to be seen. In addition to the wildlife there is a restaurant and curio shop plus braai facilities. A children’s petting area for the more domesticated animals is a new feature.
Rainbow Trout Farm
Trout fishing and fun for the family. Only 30 min drive from Johannesburg. Fish in abundance. Use your own tackle or hire tackle. Kiosk, picnic and braai area.
River Tours and Wine Tasting
A one day wine route combing the best of the Vaal and the best of South African wines to give a unique blend of fun and entertainment. This rafting experience will take you through a secluded, scenic bush environment along the river, with grade one and two rapids. No experience is required.
Experience the thrill of sailing on a 26 foot catamaran on the Vaal Dam. Relax on the spacious deck or suntan on the trampoline. Included is a light lunch and BBQ dinner. Free beer and wine on board.
DISCOVER YOUR ANCESTORS
While visiting Johannesburg, why not spend half a day with Palaeo Tours on an exciting and unique adventure into our own distant past? Palaeo Tours offer you the rare opportunity to tour some of the world’s most important and richest human fossil sites. During this century some of the rarest and most exciting fossils of our human ancestors have been found, only 45 minutes from Johannesburg at sites in the Sterkfontein Valley. The tours to these sites are conducted by a team of trained Palaeo Anthropologists, and offers an exciting glimpse into the world of our ancestors. This tour will provide you with an experience completely different from any you have ever had, an experience that very few countries in the world are able to offer you.
What it is all about
South Africa is famous for being home to 40 % of the worlds hominid fossils (which means they belong to our human family tree). These fossils are as old as 3,5 million years and come from a time when our earliest human ancestors were roaming the African savannah. During the guided tour you will be given the privilege of seeing some of the caves where, for decades, fossils hunters have extracted human fossilised bone, some of it so unique that it has changed the way the world thinks about human evolution. You will be given the chance to see some of these fossils, to learn how bone turns into fossil against substantial odds, and to listen to some of the theories about how these ape people lived and died. The Sterkfontein Valley contains a number of fossil sites. Palaeo Tours will take you to the most important and prolific of these, namely, to Sterkfontein, Kromdraai and Swartkrans.
Day Tour Description
Your tour starts with a visit to the breathtaking underground caves at Sterkfontein where excavations have been in progress for the past 30 years. The Sterkfontein museum at the site will enable you to view some of the fossil specimens that have been unearthed there. A kilometer down the road from Sterkfontein lies the famous fossil site of Kromdraai. Although excavations continue here on a much smaller scale, this site is remarkable in that it has yielded one of the three hominid fossil types found in South Africa (Australopithecus robustus). This was the first example of this species that the world had ever seen! From Kromdraai a five minute drive brings you to Swartkrans, where numerous fossils of two types of fossil ancestors have been found, Australopithecus robustus and Homo erectus. This was the first evidence of the co-existence of these two species in Africa. In addition, Swartkrans has yielded a wide range of animal bones and tools, and it is also world renowned for having produced the earliest evidence for the controlled use of fire in the world. The tour takes approximately five hours, including travel in an air conditioned bus. Casual clothing, comfortable shoes, sun tan lotion and hats are recommended. Refreshments in the form of non alcoholic beverages will be provided.
Palaeo Tours will collect your party from your hotel at the arranged time and proceed to the fossil sites. There you will be given a guided tour by a PHD student in Palaeo Anthropology (the study of human ancestry with many years of experience in the field.
WHERE TO STAY
The Grace In Rosebank (Rosebank / Johannesburg)
Elegance, personalized hospitality and devotion to service characterize this intimate, 5 star hotel, which is part of The Grace Collection, and a member of the Small Luxury Hotels of the World. The Grace is the perfect choice for guests who expect not only
The Melville Turret (Melville / Johan
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