South Africa’s largest city, Johannesburg is Africa’s economic powerhouse and pulses to a sophisticated urban beat with a vibrant African edge
The largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg is also the wealthiest and the economic powerhouse of Africa. 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 superb restaurants and hotels, elegant designer boutiques and bustling, world-class shopping malls.
Located in Gauteng, South Africa’s smallest province, Johannesburg is also a major transportation hub. With a cosmopolitan mix of people from all walks of life, the region is a multicultural melting pot, evidenced in many excellent museums, theatres, galleries, cultural precincts and craft markets. Yet despite being highly urbanised, it is also fresh and breezy with golf courses, botanical gardens and well-manicured parks dotted among its modern amenities.
Johannesburg’s inner city is undergoing a complete regeneration. The area close to City Hall and Newtown Cultural Precinct forms the heart of the urban revival program and 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 and Norwood with their restaurant-lined avenues, fashionable Melville and the sprawling malls of Sandton all combine to 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.