Johannesburg Mini Guide
A Little History and Background
Johannesburg is the capital of the Gauteng province and the largest city in South Africa, which has a population of about 3,888,150 people according to the community survey conducted in 2007.
In the Zulu language, Johannesburg is called “Egoli”, meaning “place of gold”, but this name no longer fits since the city ran out of gold some decades ago. It is the economic power house of Africa and at the brink of becoming a true cosmopolitan city in Africa. When visiting Johannesburg don't forget to see and experience the museums, galleries, bars, lounges and vibrant cafe society of this area!
Make a trip to one of the highly recommended attractions from fantastic sightseeing towers to unimaginable museums and why not get bush wise by visiting Africa’s most pleasant nature spots like the parks and safari ranches.
Museums and Parks
Popular museums like the Apartheid Museum, Museum Africa, Museum of Rock and Art, Museum of Man and Science and the many others are found in the city. Entry fees are usually very cheap and affordable. If you are interested in visiting some parks then the Herman Einstein Park is located north of the city centre and attached to it are the Johannesburg city zoo and two wonderful museums. There is also the Lion Park where you can observe nature's numerous species of animals including zebras, lions, ostriches and other species such as antelopes and gazelles.
This provides a display of thousands of diverse plant species. The small reservoir in the garden allows for wind surfing and sailing activities.
Heia Sarari Ranch
You can choose to spend the night either in a luxurious equipped rondavel or go the native way by choosing the Zulu huts. Watching the performances of Zulu dance is the most interesting part as well as taking a tour around for animal watching.
Festivals and Events
Arts Alive International Festival is a four day annual festival usually in early September. It offers a ready mix of dance, visual art, poetry and music at different locations in town and brings together over 600 artists to perform with the jazz closing the festival at the final day.
Woodstock Festival takes place annually at the end of September, bringing together over 50 top South African bands, dance DJs and extreme sports and weekend camping.
mushroom festival runs annually from the 24th to 26th of October. Some selected villages actually participate in a live mushroom cooking demonstration. It becomes very interesting when the cultural cuisine is portrayed live.
The Windy Brow Theatre Festival is a fantastic drama festival that runs annually from the 6th to the 8th of March. It showcases intellectually stimulating dramatic works by local and international playwrights.
Johannesburg is just the right city for night owls. The city offers a range of night clubs and cocktail bars with live music and DJs spinning beats. Visit some of the most interesting nightclubs like @115, Back O’ the Moon, Bck2Basic, the Blues room, Night Fever and many others, or choose from the range of cafés like Horrow café and Tanz cafe.
Johannesburg is home to many great places to visit. The city was built on gold and diamonds which were discovered in the area. Your hire car will get you to Old Kromdraai where you can visit a former gold mine and find out about the appalling conditions endured by the workers in its early days.
Alternatively you can visit the Lion Park on the outskirts of the city and feed and cuddle baby lions, a must for younger family members. Finally, visit the Apartheid Museum but be warned, there are some very harrowing exhibits.