One of the world’s most cosmopolitan cities, Johannesburg is an interesting melting-pot of race and culture. Its lively streets reflect the diversity of people populating the city – Europeans, Americans and Australians flocked here to seek their fortunes during the gold rush of the late 19th century. As the city expanded from a fledgling town to a beating heart of prosperity, traders and entrepreneurs from India, China, lapan and Eastern Europe also laid down their roots, in recent years, West, East and Central Africans have made their home here, adding their own distinct stamp to the city’s profile. The result is a city that mirrors the fantastic cultural mix of its inhabitants, who have managed to retain their personal identities as well as merge into a unified and unique whole – AFROPOLITAN
Easily laying claim to the title of cultural capital of South Africa, the city that truly has it all boasts a variety of impressive options for the visitor – exciting nightclubs for ever taste, theatres – including the world- famous Market Theatre in Newtown; and music venues such as the legendary Kippies, where one can jive to the rhythms of jazz maestros. Brimming with quaint and delightful flea and craft markets from Rosebank Rooftop to vast Bruma Lake, the array of uniquely South African creations on offer in the city is endless.
Cradle of Humankind
A set of caves west of Johannesburg, where many experts believe mankind’s hominid ancestors first appeared. Meet the famous “Mrs Ples” and the amazing “Little Foot”.
Established in 1912, Alexandra is one of the earliest urban black settlements in Jo’burg, predating even Soweto. It is the site of a multimillion rand presidential development initiative. See also Alexandra Renewal Project
One of South Africa’s finest succulent collections, in addition to wide open green spaces, sparkling dams, roses, herbs, birds and trees galore.
Monte Casino Bird Gardens
A new attraction with some 200 species of birds and over 1 500 species of small animals. A feature being is the walk-in aviary containing 100 species of birds.
The township whose name became synonymous with anti-apartheid resistance. On one street, the Mandelas and the Tutus once lived
Moroka Dam, Thokoza Park and Klipspruit River
The upgrading of this water system, once a prime attraction of Rockville, Soweto, is a R20-million mayoral showcase project. The project has rekindled community spirit among local residents.
Brixton cemetery: host to history
Randlords, strike leaders, politicians, editors and more lie shoulder-to-shoulder (almost) in this early cemetery
Old Fort & Constitutional Hill
The jail that held leading activists from Nelson Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi is reborn as the constitutional court, and as a museum
The township where the famous Freedom Charter was signed half a century ago, is to have a huge heritage site at its centre
The farm where the ANC’s underground leaders, including Nelson Mandela, operated until their capture
Enoch Sontonga memorial
Resting place of the simple man who wrote what became the national anthem
Avalon’s thousands of graveside cots
There aren’t many places in the world where you end up in a cot when you’re dead and buried. But in Avalon Cemetery in Soweto there are thousands of cots demarcating graves.
Museum of apartheid
A visit to Johannesburg’s new Apartheid Museum is a moving experience — you almost feel you were there among the toyi-toying demonstrators facing down the police
Mai-Mai: visit a genuine African bazaar
The city’s oldest market, Mai-Mai, transports the visitor into a fascinating world of indigenous African clothing and curios. But the stars are the traditional healers with their “muti” or herbs
Mahatma Gandhi evolved his “satyagara” philosophy of non-violent protest during a long and colourful period when he lived in Johannesburg
A bus tour takes visitors to sites of intriguing murders in the city
Hector Pieterson memorial
The new Hector Pieterson Museum in Orlando West, Soweto, is being built in memory of the 566 people who died on June 16, 1976
A trip down a mine shaft
Take a trip down an old Johannesburg gold mine — which even boasts the world’s deepest pub
Step into unspoilt Melville Koppies, and you’ll forget that you’re in the middle of a bustling metropolis
Joburg, 250 000 years ago
In the hills of Klipriviersberg, in Jo’burg’s south, archeologists find evidence of human activities 250 000 years back
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