Johannesburg, South Africa
Johannesburg is the capital city of South Africa. He owes his appearance to the Australian gold digger George Harrison, who in 1886 discovered the largest gold mine in South Africa and founded the village, which was named Johannesburg. Thousands of gold miners flocked here. Three years later, the village became the main city of South Africa.
Modern Johannesburg is one of the largest metropolises on the continent, the business, industrial and financial capital of South Africa. The head office of the world’s largest diamond mining and processing company De Beers is located here.
The panorama of the city is amazing – the mirrored glass windows of the skyscrapers of the business center sparkling in the sun, among which Carlton, the largest commercial center on the African continent, stands out.
A distinctive feature of Johannesburg is waste heaps – original historical monuments of the gold mining industry. The city center has a special charm, where old buildings that have preserved the appearance of a century ago are combined with modern ones built of glass, steel and concrete. Here you will see, for example, the old post office, which is still in operation and located in one of the most beautiful buildings in Johannesburg, built in 1897, and the clock placed on it was made in the same workshop as London’s Big Ben.
And nearby, at the corner of Simmonds and Market streets, is the majestic building of the Central Library, opened in 1935. Museums of the country’s history and geological history are also located here. The Museum of Fine Arts is also very interesting, where many works by Picasso, Van Gogh, Rodin are collected.
But, perhaps, Johannesburg itself is not as interesting as its suburbs. For example, in one of them – in Soweto – a magnificent amusement park – Gold Reef City was created, where the atmosphere of the gold rush era of the late 19th century is reproduced. The park was created on the site of the richest gold mines of that time. You will be able to descend into the mines to a depth of 220 meters and here you will see how molten gold turns into ingots. There is also a helipad here: if you wish, you can fly over Johannesburg and Soweto.
According to eHangzhou Countries, Soweto is also home to the best zoo on the African continent, occupying 55 hectares, which house more than 600 mammals, many birds and other animals. On weekends, visitors are transported around the territory by a small train.
From Johannesburg you can also visit the Sterkfontein caves. These are six underground halls at a depth of more than 40 meters, in one of the caves a skull of a primitive woman who lived more than two million years ago was found. In the depths of one of the grottoes, a lake is hidden, the water of which is considered miraculous by local tribes and used for medicinal purposes.
Not far from Johannesburg is the Magalesberg mountain range. It stretches over 120 km from Pretoria to Rustenburg. Here, in the mountains, the most ancient traces of human presence were discovered. Many paved hiking trails attract hikers both from the Transvaal, on the territory of which the mountain range is located, and from abroad.
PRETORIA AND THE DIAMOND MINE
Sixty kilometers north of Johannesburg is the capital of South Africa – the city of Pretoria. A trip to the capital of South Africa will begin with a visit to a grandiose monument built in honor of the Great Trek – the resettlement of the white African population from the Cape Province to the north in the middle of the last century. You will see the house of the first president of the country, Paul Kruger, the famous church square, the opera house, the cozy museum mansion Melrose House, the magnificent government ensemble of the Union Buildings
One of the oldest operating diamond mines in South Africa, the Kalinan Mine, is located in Pretoria. In 1905, the largest diamond in the world weighing 3106 carats was found here, which, as a result of processing, was sawn into 105 parts, two of which, weighing 530 and 317 carats, adorn the crown and scepter of the Queen of England. By visiting the museum, you will see duplicates of all the famous diamonds found in South Africa, get acquainted with the specifics and process of diamond mining.
GOLD REEF CITY
Gold Reef City is a very popular open-air museum among foreign tourists, recreating Johannesburg during the Gold Rush. You can wander through the “old” streets, see the reconstructed houses of ordinary miners and wealthy citizens with all the furnishings of the end of the last century. You can go down to the 220-meter mine “N 14”, which until 1978 occupied the 1st place in the world in gold mining; see the process of pouring gold, watch African dances and buy souvenirs.
RHINO AND LION RESERVE
Only 60 km. from Johannesburg there is a “rhinoceros and lion reserve”, where you will meet with rhinos, buffaloes, zebras, giraffes, wildebeest, springbok, blesbuck, impala and other exotic animals. You will also see several lion families, the total number of which in the reserve is more than 20. Every Sunday from 10 to 11 am you can watch a stunning picture – the “kings of beasts” pounce and tear apart the carcass of a cow, and vultures are already circling nearby and waiting for their turn hyenas. Then you will have to go down to a nearby cave, famous for its multi-colored stalactites and stalagmites of enormous size, fantastic underground halls and bizarre limestone figures, reminiscent of characters from biblical legends, or heroes of children’s fairy tales.
ETHNOGRAPHIC VILLAGE OF LESEDI
The Lesedi ethnographic complex, located near Johannesburg, provides a unique opportunity to see with your own eyes the true life of the four main peoples of South Africa. After visiting each of the villages accompanied by a local leader, you will then be taken to a boma – a spacious, thatched hut, where you will first see, and then you yourself will take part in colorful traditional dances by the light of a night fire. At the end of the evening, you will have to taste a magnificent dinner, the menu of which consists of local dishes.