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Johannesburg Sightseeing

 
 

There are some great sightseeing places in Johannesburg for all ages.

The vast metropolis of more than 7 million people is notable for many reasons. Firstly it is the dominant city economy in South Africa and by extension, Sub-Saharan Africa. Secondly this fact is important, if not unusual - as the most populous city in the world not on the shores of a major body of water.

Built on the strength of mineral wealth, this "world class African city", as Johannesburg's motto proclaims, is indeed special. Here, I have listed some popular places to see in Johannesburg.

Top of Africa

From the Top of Africa you'll get stunning panoramic views of Johannesburg and beyond. The spacious wraparound viewing deck is on the top floor of the 50-storey, 223m-high Carlton Centre, Africa's highest building.

James Hall Museum of Transport

If vintage cars and land transport vehicles of all types are your thing, then you'll be fascinated by the James Hall Museum of Transport, showcasing historic vehicles from ox-wagons, horse-drawn carriages, trams, trolleys and steam trains to Johannesburg's very first car - a sexy green 1900 Clement-Panhard.

Apartheid Museum

You'll be poignantly reminded of South Africa's oppressive and turbulent past at the Apartheid Museum, where you'll be taken on an emotional roller coaster ride through the oppressive state-sanctioned system, and the bitter struggle to overthrow it.

Origins Centre

If you want to delve into the beginnings of the human race, then the Origins Centre, at the University of the Witwatersrand, is the place to spend time. It's also child-friendly and explains our origins in a user-friendly and comprehensive way. Check out the bookshop and great little café.

A word to the wise: be vigilant when you travel around Johannesburg and avoid ostentatious "tourist" displays of wealth. Certain areas do indeed require a guide to fully enjoy. Some reports on Jo'burg's crime and safety problems however, are overblown. Just be careful, as you would in any huge metropolis with huge racial and class divides.

The Lion Park

The Lion Park is situated in Gauteng Province near Lanseria Airport and Fourways within easy reach of Johannesburg and Pretoria. The park offers terrific up close views and other exciting interactions with a large variety of predators and large herbivores indigenous to Africa.

The Lion Park is home to over 80 lions including the rare white lions and many other carnivores such as cheetah, wild dog, brown and spotted hyena and black backed jackal and a wide variety of antelope which roam freely in the antelope area.

Guests have an opportunity to interact with some of the animals in the Cub World area which has a giraffe feeding platform that puts you at eye level with our tame resident giraffe creating a fun experience for all ages. Then there is the popular cub interaction which allows guests to touch the cubs and take photographs. The Lion Park is open every day of the year.

Zoo Lake

Zoo Lake is the venue for the annual Jazz on the Lake and Carols by Candlelight events. It is also the monthly venue for the Artists under the Sun open air art exhibition. It also boasts the Coronation Fountain, a Johannesburg heritage symbol. Zoo Lake is a popular spot for picnicking, walking your dog or taking a leisurely boat ride. It has its own information centre and has one of the popular African themed restaurants, Moyo. The Zoo Lake Sports Club is another favourite with residents, offering a variety of sports amenities, a restaurant and pub.

The Pillars of the Constitution

Between 1994 and 1996 South Africa's first fully democratic parliament, sitting as the Constitutional Assembly, drew up South Africa's new constitution. It contains guarantees of equality more extensive than anywhere else in the world. At its heart are seven fundamental values which are represented by the pillars in the first courtyard visitors encounter on arrival at the museum: democracy, equality, reconciliation, diversity, responsibility, respect and freedom.

Museum Africa

Not only is Museum Africa one of the most beautiful buildings where it lies right next door to the Market Theatre complex in Bree Street, Newtown, but it is also a museum with a difference - people who have visited museums throughout the world remark at the interesting and unique approach to the main displays.

Museum Africa's collection and research focuses on indigenous African cultures, history and archaeology, and linguistics, and the collection of rock art is more than impressive. The collected works of art contain many local artists as well as Pre-Raphaelite and Impressionist paintings.

 
 
 
 
 
   
 
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