At first glance Johannesburg or Pretoria may seem like ‘just another city’ but once you scratch the surface a pleasant surprise awaits - the hidden gems and welcoming ambiance of Gauteng, South Africa’s pulsating heart. Gauteng, the smallest of South Africa’s nine provinces, is the financial hub of South Africa and the economic powerhouse of the Southern African region. Johannesburg and Pretoria are only 60 kilometres (37 miles) apart and a quick trip on the Gautrain will connect you between the two cities and also to OR Tambo International Airport, the Southern African hub for most of the world’s leading airlines. Johannesburg, nicknamed ‘Jo’burg’ and ‘Jozi’, is a city with a true ‘African’ vibe and an infrastructure that makes tourists feel comfortable. Pretoria, the Jacaranda City, is an elegant haze of purple in spring with its streets, parks and gardens full of blossoming Jacaranda trees. A few days can easily be swallowed up with a host of great things to see and do…boutique shopping, craft markets, art galleries, Soweto and the Apartheid Museum, cafés and restaurants, theatre, sports events, nature reserves, adrenalin adventures and some excellent child-friendly activities. A wide variety of accommodation options are available to suit all tastes and budgets.
Destinations in South Africa
Cradle of Humankind, Johannesburg
There is a room in the bowels of the Ditsong Natural History museum in Pretoria. A secret room filled with treasure. It has a fairly innocuous name. In fact, to the casual passer by…it might be mistaken for a storage closet containing a janitor’s cleaning supplies.
Tropic of Capricorn
An interesting comparison exists at three notable crossings of the twenty third parallel within this phenomenal portion of Africa. They call it The Tropic of Capricorn…a line of latitude passing through Mozambique, South Africa, Botswana and Namibia from Indian to Atlantic Ocean and defining the southern edge of Africa’s tropics.