As the largest city in South Africa and the vibrant heart of the country, Johannesburg boasts a vast range of attractions, which are sure to keep you busy, interested and always on the go.
For anyone wanting to understand and experience the full extent of what apartheid in South Africa was all about, a visit to the Apartheid Museum is absolutely crucial. The museum is a beacon of hope, and a 20th-century historic landmark showing the world what South Africa is doing to come to terms with its oppressive past and working towards a future that all South Africans can call their own.
Cradle of Humankind
This cultural monument offers the opportunity to learn about the birthplace of humanity, discover a range of wonderful wildlife and fully experience the immersive cultural significance of what this place means to us as human beings. The Cradle of Humankind is one of eight World Heritage Sites in the country. It’s home to around 40% of the world’s human ancestor fossils. The area is also home to a diversity of birds, animals and plants, some of which are rare or endangered.
Pilanesburg Natural Reserve Tour
If you decide to embark on one of their guided tours you’ll have a chance to explore the reserve in an open top Jeep. You’ll have a once in a lifetime opportunity to spot the Big 5 – lions, elephants, rhinos, buffalos and leopards. Not only will you be guaranteed to spot most, if not all of these animals, but you’re also sure to find others that make Pilanesburg their home, including giraffes, zebras, hippos and numerous antelopes.
Soweto Township Tour
This tour is a must-see for any first-time visitor to South Africa wanting to understand the country’s freedom struggle. In addition to gaining this perspective, you will also have the option of spending the night in Soweto and have an incredible time in the Township’s vibrant social scene, which is duly complemented by a vibrant nightlife.
This living Museum is a former prison and military fort that stands as a hallmark of South Africa’s tumultuous past, which culminated in today’s democratic regime, and is home to the country’s Constitutional Court, which endorses the rights of all citizens.
With a list of prisoners in the tens of thousands, its most notorious incarcerates are without a shadow of a doubt, Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi, and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela. In a unique manner, the history of every South African lives here through them.
Montecasino Bird Gardens
The Montecasino Bird Gardens is the only bird park of its kind in Africa. This popular attraction provides an unusual chance for visitors to walk along enchanting elevated wooden walkways within magnificent gardens and marvel at over 100 different species of colourful birds, mammals, reptiles and exotic animals from around the world.
These gardens cover 81ha of parkland and are amongst Jo’Burg’s loveliest, botanically diverse public spaces. The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens are an inspiring mix of open spaces that includes marshland, grassland, trees and cultivated gardens, which provide the perfect backdrop to many a joggers, dog-walkers and cyclists.
Hector Pieterson Museum
The Hector Pieterson Museum in Soweto was erected a short distance from where police opened fire on students on 16 June 1976 during a protest against the introduction of Afrikaans as a language in school. Visitors to this memorial of the student movement, which was a large part of South Africa’s road to democracy, will be taken on a journey that includes the build up to a youth rebellion, the events of that fateful day and its aftermath.
Johannesburg Art Gallery
With the largest art collection in Africa, Johannesburg Art Gallery’s 15 exhibition halls and sculpture gardens display only about 10% of its entire collection at any one time. With names like Rodin, Dante, Rossetti, Picasso and Monet, this site has the potential to keep any art-devourers busy for many days.
SAB World of Beer
After a busy few days soaking in all the culture, wildlife, art and history Jo’burg has to offer, a trip to SAB World of Beer is the best way to take in that last bit of history and relax with a beer (or five) while you learn all about one of Africa’s most famous alcoholic beverages with tours, 3D movies and floating holograms.
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