Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa with an area about the size of the Netherlands. It is also the most densely populated province and the economic heart of the country. The largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg, is located here as well as the famous Pretoria.
In 1886 gold was found in the area now known as Johannesburg, from that time many people moved to this area to work in the mines. In addition to gold, diamonds were also found in this province, the best known and largest being the Cullinan Diamont. Even today you can visit the village of Cullinan with its diamond mine and the museum. The small village is located near Pretoria and a charming place with old miners’ houses that now serve as shops and restaurants.
Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa. Almost all intercontinental flights land here at OR Tambo International Airport. Johannesburg is a bustling city and a lot of effort is being made to breathe new life into the old city center. Pleasant terraces, shopping centers, bars and restaurants can be found here in abundance. Children can indulge themselves at the Gold Reef City amusement park where you will find everything from a whirligig to super-fast rides. Opposite the amusement park is the Apartheid Museum that is definitely recommended for visitors to the city. You can book various excursions in and around Johannesburg with a guide that will take you to the sights of the city. You can also opt for the Hop on Hop off sightseeing buses that travel through the city (ask us about the possibilities for excursions).
The black township Soweto is the largest in Johannesburg and originated during Apartheid. The inhabitants fought fiercely against Apartheid. Two winners of the Nobel Peace Prize lived in Vilakazi Street: Archbishop Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela. Kliptown is also worth a visit, where Nelson Mandela, among others, signed the official declaration of human rights, the Freedom Charter. This was the foundation of the current constitution of South Africa.
Pretoria is named after the leader of Voortrekkers Andries Pretorius. Today the city is also called Tshwane, but the locals affectionately call it Jakaranda City. The Jakaranda trees that wear beautiful purple blooms in October provide a special street scene. Because Jakarandas are not native trees but ‘invaders’, they can no longer be planted.
In Pretoria you will find many monuments that remind you of the Voortrekkers who made the long journey from The Cape to the north-east in search of more freedom and land. The Voortrekker Monument is of course the best known and is fun to visit. Inside the large square monument you will find a museum and beautiful carved walls that tell the story of the Great Trek. You can take the stairs or the elevator to the top of the building, from here you have a beautiful view of the city. At the monument is a souvenir shop and a restaurant. When you are in Pretoria, also visit the old city center around Kerkplein, the Paul Kruger House (museum) and the famous Union Buildings. The government sits in the Union buildings and there is a beautiful terrace garden where you can walk or have a picnic. Here you will also find a huge statue of former President Nelson Mandela.Add to my travel plans