South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg came into prominence towards the end of the 19th century due to the wealth of gold deposits nearby. Remaining a major hub in the precious metals industry due to the abundance of gold and diamonds, the city has flourished as one of the country’s major cultural and creative hubs over the years. Buzzing with energy, the city is often overlooked in favour of the more scenic Cape Town, but it is an upcoming world city not to be missed!
One of the city’s major cultural attractions, Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum shines a light on the country’s dark past. Charting the long, tragic history of Apartheid in South Africa, the museum is a sombre yet ultimately hopeful experience. Providing a unique, immersive insight into the tyrannical experience of Apartheid, the museum features an extensive permanent exhibition which draws upon a variety of different mediums. While it is a sometimes distressing experience, the museum is nonetheless an essential destination.
Nelson Mandela Square
The city’s main public square is named for the former Prime Minister of the same name, an iconic figure who famously dismantled the oppressive legacy of Apartheid. The square features a bronze statue of Mandela, a commemoration of his immeasurable influence on the country, amongst a number of restaurants and stores.
South Africa is well-known for its top-tier safaris, and visitors would have to venture further afield from the cities to experience these. However, the Lion Park in Johannesburg is one of the city’s great, essential experiences. A major eco-tourism hub, the Lion Park is home to a variety of endangered species such as the White Lion and the Cheetah. While there are a number of other animals in the park, the Lions are the main draw, and it is easy to see why. An absolutely essential destination for visitors to the city.
Lesedi Cultural Village
A stone’s throw away from the Cradle of Humankind, the Lesedi Cultural Village has become an increasingly popular tourist site in recent years. A celebration of the country’s indigenous populations, the village is an informative experience which provides insight into the sheer diversity of the country. Visitors can immerse themselves in the cultures of the country’s various peoples. It is possible to stay overnight at the village, which allows visitors to experience top-notch African cuisine as well. An authentic and enriching experience.
An extensive complex of limestone caves, the Cradle of Humankind is one of the city’s most significant sites. Known for the wealth of ancient fossils found within it, some of these date back to over 3.5 million years ago. A hugely insightful place, the Cradle of Humankind is one of the most important fossil sites in the world, while the adjacent museum is incredibly informative.