Johannesburg is one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas in the world. It is located in the province of Gauteng in South Africa near the capital of the country called Pretoria. The financial and business core of Africa is located in this city and people from all over the world are drawn to Johannesburg because of its many economic opportunities available and it is known as one of the most cosmopolitan cities in the world. The mild climate is also another thing that draws people to this city as there are many sunny days, but during the summer you can expect thundershowers and some rain.
History of Johannesburg
The amazing growth of the city of Johannesburg became inevitable after prospector George Harrison from Australia discovered the Witwatersrand gold mines in 1886. He sold his claim for 10 pounds, unaware of the magnitude of what he had found. Hordes of treasure seekers were about to inundate what would become the famed “City Of Gold”.
Things to see in Johannesburg
When you go to the Apartheid Museum, you will be completely immersed in the alternate reality of black experience under Apartheid in South Africa. The evidence of repression and violence will be all around you, including a collection of the weapons police used to enforce “justice” in the townships, and an example of the intimidating “Kaspar”, the armored vehicle used by security forces. The reality that these items hint at is reinforced by huge photographs on all the walls, upsetting movies taken inside the townships, and metal cages where black prisoners were held, all of which illustrate the evils that the blacks endured under apartheid.
The Soweto food festival exhibits both international cuisine and local foods side by side. Cultural cafes display the preparations involved in the making of meals from Venda, Tswana and other cultures. There is an interactive Chef’s kitchen, which shows a variety of tastes and different techniques from around the world. There is also a taste zone that features the most popular food trends. This gives the locals on Soweto the opportunity to taste different foods from around the world without the inconvenience of having to travel to different countries. The overall concept is to have people to experience different cultures with food being the platform of it all.
Guests can compare beer from South Africa with those from other countries at the Beer Garden. A drive through South Africa’s wine route will introduce and educate visitors about the most common and best wines around. While adults taste and learn about the beer, children enjoy many other activities designed for their safety and pleasure.
Word’s deepest pub
Visitors can now visit what was once the location of one of the world’s deepest and richest gold mines. There is a lift that will take you 226 meters underground to the site of a donkey stable. This is where the donkeys stayed when they used to pull coco pans up from the mine that were filled with gold-laden rock. These rocks were taken above ground so that the gold could be removed. There is now a bar located at this gold mine site.
Travel 6 kilometers south of the city to Gold Reef City where you can find historical information on mining and how the mines was operated in the past. There are more things to do than visit an old mine though. The city offers the Gold Reef City Hotel, eateries and cheap jewelry stores such as the SA Mint that’s offering silver and gold items. Also, there are daily performances of live music in the town square.
Any tourist who wants to engage in the “South African Vibe” will not want to miss the science center. A visitor can experience plenty of cultural diversity by visiting the hands-on science center and performing scientific experiments, or by braving the 28 amusements rides which includes the Tower of Terror and the River Rapids.
Johannesburg has grown from a very small town of mining to a major, vibrant, capitalist city with a very broad range of cultural diversity. It is definitely a must see for any tourist that would like to learn more about and experience the South African vibe.
Author: Dawie Bester
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The has a website where you can get the best Johannesburg car rental deals. To learn more visit Car Rentals South Africa
(photos: Lars Haefner, Zakysant)
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