Johannesburg.
Although estimates vary, about 10% of sub-Saharan Africa's GDP is generated in Johannesburg. Yet the city is also one of the most unequal in the world and is an interesting contrast between the 1st. and 3rd. World. The contrast has led to one of the highest crime rates in the world, but it should not avoided  because of its crime, since it is possible to have a safe and enjoyable stay if precautions are taken. With around 6 million trees, Johannesburg is the world's largest man-made urban forest. The city is certainly one of the greenest in the world, considering that the natural landscape is savannah.

Soweto
The name Soweto was first used in 1963 to describe the groups of townships to the south west of Johannesburg, and it is an acronym for South Western Townships. Originally established in 1904,but under the apartheid government many black South Africans were forcefully relocated to Soweto and others.
Pretoria.

The city was named after Andries Pretorius, the boer leader at the Battle of Blood River where the Voortrekkers defeated the Zulus under King Dingane.

Pretoria is a tranquil floral city, well known for its purple flowered Jacaranda trees which line the streets. It is the administrative capital of South Africa and has the highest number of foreign consulates in the world, second only to Washington DC.
The Union Buildings, designed by the British architect, Sir Herbert Baker completed in 1913, for the newly constituted Union of South Africa was the original offices of the prime minister. Today these are the offices of the State President.

The city developed around the scenic Church square and was the original capital of the Zuid Afrikaansche Republiek, and the capital of the Transvaal province prior to union in 1910.
Since 2002 it is part of the greater municipality of Tshwane.Pretoria has much to offer in museums, history and several nature reserves and theatres.
A man pouring molten Gold
Gold Reef City: underground
Gauteng map: municipal districts.
Magaliesberg: Hot air balooning
Johannesburg attractions

Gold Reef City.Theme Park, Apartheid Museum and Casino. See how gold is poured and go down a mine shaft.
Museum Africa.The 'Transformations' exhibition details the evolution of Jo'burg and includes a simulated descent into one of the gold mines. The Sophiatown display is outstanding.
Constitution Hill.In addition to seeing the court, it's also possible to tour parts of the Old Fort, including the Awaiting Trial Block, which held the 156 treason trialists - led by Nelson Mandela - of 1956.
Lesedi Cultural Village.Located less than an hour's drive from Johannesburg on the R512 toward Hartbeespoort Dam, this mock-up of a cultural village represents four of South Africa's ethnic groups: Zulu, Pedi, Xhosa and Basotho.
Johannesburg History, climate and contact details.

Pretoria Attractions

The Union Buildings: Sir Herbert Baker's design presides over parklike surroundings. The administrative seat of government.
Air force Memorial Museum depicts the history of the South African Air Force and houses a collection of old aircraft,paintings and uniforms
.Melrose House a Victorian mansion requisitioned in 1900 by Lord Roberts as the headquarters of the British forces.
Kruger House Museum. Beautifully restored to the period when President Paul Kruger of the Boer republic resided there.
Voortrekker Monument. Visible from all sides as you approach the city. Built in memory of the pioneers who moved from the Cape in the 1830's to freedom.
African Window Museum is a popular tourist attraction. A centre for living culture.
Pretoria Information and contact details.
O.R. Tambo (Johannesburg Intnl.) Airport.

The biggest airport in Africa and the transport hub of South Africa. It has 18,000 employees, and is host to 53 airlines. Most first-stop entries to the country are likely to be here and International and national flight connections taken from here.

Airport Hotel Accommodation.

Magaliesberg

Within a short drive from the cities this small mountian range offers the ideal outdoor pursuits to get away from it all.
Apart from the setting of streams, cascades and natural woodland, enjoy, hiking, climbing, birding, horse trails, hot air ballooning and a treetop canopy tour.

Johannesburg Hiking Club.
Hartbeespoort Dam

Supplies irrigation water through a 544 kilometer network of canals to 159.76square kilometers  of farmland. It is a popular
holiday and weekend resort for the
inhabitants of Johannesburg and Pretoria and the principal water recreation area of northern Gauteng.

Hiking & Birding: Vergenoeg Nature Reserve
Open vehicle guided game viewing
The Cradle of Humankind

Early hominid remains have been found at the site over the last few decades.Sterkfontein was declared a World Heritage Site in 2000 and named the Cradle of Humankind.
Modern excavation of the caves began in the late 1890s by limestone miners who noticed the fossils and brought them to the attention of scientists.

More information:
Madikwe Game Reserve.

One of the newer parks of South Africa in the north of the province on the border of Botswana..It is the fourth largest game reserve in the country. With all the mammal species including the 'big five' and excellent birding with over 350 recorded species, this park is a must. There are a number of luxury safari lodges for your stay. It is a wedding venue and honeymoon destination.
Madikwe Game Lodges
Crdale of humankind:Skull
Gold Reef City
Pouring Gold
Union Buildings
Gauteng Municipal Districts
Sun City.

North West's most famous attraction is the Sun City complex, next to the Pilanesburg National Park.It is one of the world's biggest entertainment centres, with a casino, an 18-hole golf course, theatres and concert halls, beaches and a wave pool at the Valley of the Waves, a meticulously reconstructed tropical rainforest, and a number of world-class hotels that include the remarkable Palace of the Lost City.Sun City Hotels
North West Province
North West lies in the north of South Africa on the Botswana border, fringed by the Kalahari desert in the west, Gauteng province to the east, and the Free State to the south.The main sources of income for the province are agriculture, mining and tourism.The province is the largest platinum production area in the world, and its Stelland area is the Texas of South Africa with some of the biggest cattle herds in the world. The province was created in 1994 by the merger of Bophuthatswana, one of the apartheid-era bantustans or homelands, and the western part of province of Transvaal.The landscape is largely flat with regions of scattered trees and grassland. The Magaliesberg mountain range in the northeast extends about 130 kilometres from Pretoria to Rustenburg, while the Vaal River forms the province's southern border.North West has a number of major tourist attractions, including the internationally famous Sun City, the Pilanesberg National Park, the Madikwe Game Reserve and the Rustenburg Nature Reserve
North West Province Map N3 N1 N14 N12 N14 Eastern Province Madikwe Game Reserve Hartbeestpoort Dam Pilansberg Potchefstroom Free State Map Northern Cape Map Limpopo Province Map Gauteng Map Rustenberg N1 Johannesburg Botswana Map Pretoria (Tshwane) N12 N4
Union Buildings, Pretoria.
Hatebeespoort Dam
Sun City: Palace of the Lost City.
Madikwe Game Resrve:Elephant outside lodge accommodation
Pilanesberg National Park
Pilanesberg Hotels
Set in the bowl of an extinct volcano, which erupted violently 1.3-billion years ago, leaving three concentric rings of hills at its boundary. Rising from the surrounding plains like a bubble, the ancient - even in geological terms - formation is the most perfect example of an alkaline ring complex in the world. The park is an excellent game viewing experience, with the 'big five' and most mammals established.
Gauteng, in the Sotho language translates as the place of gold. It is the smallest province of South Africa, but the most densely populated. It stretches from towns and cities around the city of Johannesburg including Soweto, to Pretoria in the north.
The province is the industrial and financial heartland of South Africa. Johannesburg is where life is rushed, traffic jams are frequent on the spaghetti of concrete and tarmac motorways.It is a cosmopolitan city, from its origins in 1886, when gold was discovered, precipitating the world's biggest gold rush.
Many nationalities, from abroad and African cultures were drawn there, some seeking their fortune and some for employment opportunities. The gold rush turned out different to what had been expected or previously been known. The real wealth lay deeper and special mining techniques and chemical processes had to be developed to extract the gold, resulting in some of the world's deepest mines. The unmistakable mine dumps from the past form the landscape of Johannesburg.According to the 2001 South African National Census, the population of Johannesburg is 3,225,812 people, though including the East Rand and other suburban areas it is around 7 million. To the west of Gauteng is its neighbour, the North West province, established in 1994, from the former Western Transvaal and part of the Cape province.
Copyright: African-Experiences 2007.
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