South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg is Africa’s economic powerhouse. Pulsing to a sophisticated urban beat and with a vibrant African soul, it is the perfect springboard to your South African safari.

Multiple local nicknames – Egoli or City of Gold, Joburg, Jozi – point to the vibrancy of this booming, happening city. In Joburg, the emphasis is on making money, as it has been since the world’s richest goldfields were discovered here in the 1880s. To the first-time visitor Johannesburg can be a little daunting, but the city is lively, affluent and cosmopolitan, offering you a tempting array of restaurants and hotels, elegant designer boutiques and bustling, world-class shopping malls – as well as museums, theatres, galleries, cultural precincts and craft markets.

Johannesburg’s inner city is worth a visit, either on a private tour or aboard the city’s new ‘topless’ sightseeing bus. But it’s the sprawl of the leafy Northern Suburbs – there are over six million trees in Johannesburg – that draws the visitor: buzzing suburbs like Parktown, Melville and Sandton make the city a great place to be. Though not touted as an outdoor city, there are plenty of parks, nature reserves and natural attractions like the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden and the scenic Magaliesberg mountains nearby.

Highlights In Johannesburg

  • Visit Gold Reef City, Joburg’s theme park that replicates an authentic turn-of-the-century mining town (and take in the 2-hour ‘Story of Gold’ tour)
  • Learn more about South Africa’s past at the extraordinarily powerful Apartheid Museum
  • Enjoy a tour to South Africa’s oldest and most historically significant township, Soweto
  • Explore the Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, where 40 per cent of all human ancestor fossil finds have been, among them “Little Foot”, an almost complete ape-man skeleton aged over 4-million years old