Sandton suburb of Johannesburg

Travel to Johannesburg – City of Gold

Located on the Highveld, the highest part of South Africa’s great interior plateau, Johannesburg is the largest city in the country and is known as the Gateway to Africa. As well as being the bustling financial capital of Gauteng it is also a city that most travellers will pass through at some stage of their journey.

With Soweto, largest of the country’s former ‘African townships’, to the southwest of the centre, and affluent garden suburbs to the north, Johannesburg offers a wide variety of experiences to anyone spending a night or two there.

Johannesburg was first established in 1886 when gold was found in the area and President Paul Kruger declared the area open for public digging. From its origins as a tent town it progressed into a tin-shack settlement, then a more elegant Edwardian town, before becoming the modern cosmopolitan city of skyscrapers that it is today. It was declared a city in 1928 and its nickname – Egoli – means “place of gold”.

The City has been subjected to a grand inner-city renewal program and offers many heritage sites to visit together with the cultural precincts of Newtown and Constitution Hill. The city houses the tallest building in Africa – the Carlton Centre – 50 stories high, and the tallest tower – the Hillbrow Tower – 270 metres high.

Shop in Sandton City, Hyde Park, Rosebank or North, East, South and Westgate, or at the weekend markets at Rosebank and Michael Mount. Watch the Lippizaner horses, visit the planetarium, zoo and Soweto – there is a wide choice of things to do for anyone planning to spend some time in the city.

Several exciting day trips can be made from Jo’burg included a visit to Pilanesburg National Park and Sun City, Pretoria, Gold Reef City or the nearby ‘Cradle of Humankind’ – a World Heritage Site.

Experience a wide choice of restaurants, entertainment venues and impressive shopping malls in Sandton City.

Transport from the airport to hotels is best either by car hire, taxi or some hotels organize their own shuttle service. Metered taxis can be identified by the yellow sign on the car roof. Taxis in Johannesburg should be pre-booked as they do not tour the streets looking for fares.

  • Johannesburg international airport provides an important gateway to South Africa
  • Discover a rich heritage at some of Johannesburg’s many museums
  • Take a guided township tour of Soweto for a revealing cultural insight


Africa Travel Information