Gauteng, South Africa
Gauteng is the smallest Province in South Africa, and by far the wealthiest. The major part of the Province is developed, with the sprawling metropolis of Johannesburg and the suburbs of Tshwane (Pretoria) growing ever closer. Nevertheless there are enormous tracts of open space and many nature and outdoor attractions – from nature reserves, many with great hiking trails, 4×4 routes and other outdoor activities, to the Cradle of Humankind Heritage Site in the north-west section of the province near Krugersdorp.
Gauteng’s wealth comes from below the ground – the name Gauteng means ‘Place of Gold’. Take a Gold Mine Tour at Gold Reef City (where you can also enjoy gambling, screaming in terror-inducing theme park rides and world-class theatre productions), or a Diamond Mine Tour at Cullinan – where the biggest diamond ever discovered was found.
Several excellent Museums in Gauteng focus on an entirely different treasure hidden for eons beneath the rolling grasslands of the Highveld, our human ancestors – including Maropeng and the Origins Centre at Wits University.
Gauteng is very cosmopolitan. You can shop till you drop in huge malls with all the latest labels, or in sub-urban streets lined with independent deli’s coffee shops and all manner of ‘chic shops’. There are ice rinks, art galleries, huge cinemas, theatres large and small, an amazing variety of high quality eateries.
Soweto, the township near Johannesburg is a vault of local culture, heritage and history and a must visit to anyone who has not yet experienced it. Other cultural experiences are on display at The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg, the African Window Cultural History Museum in Pretoria, and a ‘Chisa Nyama’ meal served at a shebeen in Soweto.
If you are looking for a weekend break in local fashion, the Hartbeespoort Dam and Magaliesberg areas beckon to the north, and the Vaal Triangle and Suikerbosrand to the west and south respectively. Gauteng is also a golfer’s paradise, with a great many world-class country clubs and champion designed golf courses on offer.
As you can see from our list of things to do, there is plenty to keep you occupied across this multicultural province.