The financial, industrial and transport heart of South Africa is Johannesburg or, as the locals call it, Johanburg. Most of them are black South Africans, living mainly in Soweto and other suburbs of Johannesburg. Unlike other South African cities, none of the language groups dominates here, although English acts as the lingua franca – a common language for multilingual peoples.
According to ALLCITYCODES, Johannesburg is one of the greenest cities in the world, with about 6 million trees growing on its territory.
How to get there
- by car
Most of the roads in South Africa pass through Johannesburg: road No. 1 leads from Cape Town and Bloemfontein, No. 3 from Durban, No. 4 from Nelspruit, No. 12 from Kimberley and Potchefstroom, No. 14 from Upington.
- by plane
Most flights to Johannesburg from cities in Europe occur at night, planes arrive at the airport early in the morning. When traveling on one of these flights, you need to be prepared for long queues at passport control.
Johannesburg Airport consists of two parts: Terminal A for international flights and Terminal B for domestic flights. They are interconnected and located just 5 minutes walk from each other.
The OR Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg is the main and busiest on the entire continent. All passengers traveling to other cities in South Africa make a transfer here. The airport is located 24 km east of the center of Johannesburg.
Transport in Johannesburg
The metro is the cheapest form of transport here. It connects central Johannesburg with the suburbs of Soweto and Pretoria, as well as most of the satellite towns along the Witwatersrand.
Entertainment and attractions in Johannesburg
The capital of South Africa offers a variety of entertainment:
- sightseeing tours of Johannesburg and Pretoria;
- balloon flights;
- a visit to the Gold Reef City theme park, an open-air museum that recreates Johannesburg during the gold rush;
- descent into an underground mine;
- demonstration of the gold pouring process;
- a visit to the Premier diamond mine, where the world’s largest diamond weighing 3106 carats was found;
Animal lovers and local culture lovers do not miss the chance to visit:
- rhino sanctuary, lion nursery and caves;
- the ethnographic village of Lesedi;
- one of the largest zoos in Africa.
“Gold Reef City”
Built around Johannesburg’s largest mine, the Gold Reef City theme park offers guided tours of the mine itself, the world’s deepest gold mine. In addition, there are water rides and slides, a 4D cinema and restaurants. The park is open to visitors from Wednesday to Sunday from 09:30 to 17:00, and during school holidays – every day.
In the lion nursery, you can not only watch the cubs, but even play with them. This nursery, which is neither a nature reserve nor a zoo, is divided into two areas: an area for herbivores such as zebras, giraffes, antelopes, etc., and an area for carnivores.
Herbivores roam freely in their territory, and visitors can observe them in close proximity at any time. The “camp” of carnivores is represented by three prides of lions and a clan of hyenas. They are separated by barriers to prevent attacks on each other. The entrance ticket allows you to drive through the lion’s “camp” in your own car. Visitors without a car are offered a tour of the territory of the lions. More details on the kennel website (in English).
The ethnographic village of Lesedi, a kind of museum of the culture of African tribes, was established in 1993. The main goal of creating the village is to give an idea of the traditional way of life of some peoples of South Africa.
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Museums in Johannesburg
Johannesburg is home to many interesting museums, such as the National Museum of Military History, the Railway Museum, the Nelson Mandela National Museum and the Apartheid Museum.
The collection of the Museum of Military History is represented mainly by military equipment, among which one of the few surviving German jet fighters is the Messerschmitt Me.262 from the Second World War. In addition, the museum exhibits the so-called “rhinos” – South African 155-millimeter self-propelled artillery mounts of the self-propelled howitzer class. The museum is open to visitors daily from 09:00 to 16:30. The ticket costs 30-40 ZAR. More about it on the museum website (in English).
The Nelson Mandela National Museum is located in Soweto – in the house where in the 90s. lived with his family the first black president of South Africa and a leader in the struggle against apartheid. The museum is open every day from 09:00 to 17:00.
The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, opened in 2001 to show the world how South Africa fought against racial discrimination against blacks. Among the exhibits of the museum you can see provocative film frames, photographs and other artifacts that tell about the events and human stories of the apartheid period. The museum is open to visitors from 09:00 to 17:00.