by Club KLM
The best attractions in Gauteng, the Gateway to Africa
Not always the first choice of visitors to South Africa as the ultimate tourist attraction, Gauteng nevertheless has loads of fantastic activities and attractions to see and do. Its largest city, Johannesburg, is not only the largest city in South Africa, but also the business centre for all African commerce and a metropolis in the true sense of the word. Spending time in this city will let you tap into the true pulse of Africa in its most modern form. It has attracted many diverse cultural groups from all over the world seeking their fortune, from the original gold miners to the more recent rural African people moving to the city. Here you will find all sorts of people and cultures in a melting pot of diversity.
When seeking retail therapy in Gauteng, the best place to go is without a doubt Sandton City Shopping mall. It is absolute world-class and top of the trends and attracts both tourists and locals. A 6m high statue of Nelson Mandela adorns the square which is constantly bustling with a very cosmopolitan crowd. The statue was erected to celebrate South African democracy and he draws loads of tourists all wanting their picture taken with the country’s most iconic son.
A very unique and historic part of Johannesburg’s CBD is Diagonal Street with its street lined skyscrapers. This street is home to some or Africa’s tallest buildings and gives the city its easily recognized and iconic skyline. Another historic and great attraction to visit is the Johannesburg Planetarium. It was built to celebrate the city’s 56th birthday and it was the first full sized planetarium to be built in Africa and fund raising for this project turned out to be very easy.
Just east of Pretoria, the Cullinan diamond mine also draws its fair share of tourists. The small town of Cullinan was the location for the discovery of the largest rough diamond to be found in history in 1905. The stone, with its remarkably odd black centre, is now a part of the British crown jewels as it was presented as a gift to King Edward the VII on his succession to the throne.
For those who are more charmed by modern amusement parks than by history, a visit to the Gold Reef City amusement park, 10 minutes from Joburg centre, is a must. Plenty of entertainment is available for old and young and you are bound to leave feeling like a child again!