Johannesburg – city information, weather, tourism and more.

Johannesburg skyline

Photo credit: lotushead

Johannesburg, unlike most other major cities, was not founded near water. Inland, and perched on the 80km long rocky outcrop of the Witwatersrand, Johannesburg’s existence and growth came from the financial waters left behind – gold.

The discovery of this enchanting mineral hidden below the plains of the highveld sparked off one of the fastest urban developments of the modern era.

Johannesburg building

Photo credit: lotushead

Gauteng is said to offer one of the world’s best climates: summer days (from November through March) are warm with low to no humidity and wind free. Winter days (June through August) are crisp and clear, with light frost to be seen on most mornings, bright blue and sunny skies and very very dry air. The rainy season is in summer with virtually no rainfall during the winter months. Rainstorms usually occur during mid-afternoon and are often harsh accompanied by much thunder and lightning and occasional hail, but they are brief and are followed by warm sunshine again.

In just over a century, the ramshackle congregation of prospectors’ tents and crude digging devices near the farm of Langlaagte has spread for more than 30 kilometres in each direction into a metropolis of skyscrapers.

The Johannesburg of today is a modern version of its inauspicious but frantic beginnings. It is the technological and financial forerunner of Africa, South Africa’s premier business destination and home, including Soweto, to more than five million people.

Built on and maintained by the ancient ground it covers, Johannesburg is the prince of the subcontinent.

Johannesburg offers a host of attractions and activities, of which the following are a few examples:

Famous or notorious, Soweto is a former township from the times of Apartheid. Starting about 15 km away from the centre of Johannesburg, it comprises some 63 sq. km, where an estimated two million people live – and a must for the visitor to Johannesburg.

Apartheid museum

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The Adler Museum of Medicine; the Apartheid Museum, the Dynamite Museum chronicling the history of explosives and chemicals; the Madiba Freedom Museum charting South Africa’s journey to demoscracy; the Museum Afrika where you step into the typical 1950s shebeen are a few of the many to be visited in Johannesburg.

Johannesburg has a host of parks, gardens and reserves – from Bokkie Park giving children the opportunity to experience farm life to the Botanical Gardens, home to some of the finest plant collections in the world.

Johannesburg is a shopper’s paradise. The shopping malls offer superior quality merchandise, entertainment and are unique lifestyle destinations whilst the craft markets feature African masks, carvings, dolls, baskets – whatever you`re looking for you’ll find at bargain prices.

Gold Reef City

Photo credit: Africa Travel 101

Gold Reef City theme park will raise your adrenalin on one of the roller coaster rides and an underground visit to the gold mine is an interesting option.

You can also visit Lesedi, a multi cultural village set amongst the pristine bushveld and rocky hills less than an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg. Live the experience – experience the vibrant and colourful traditions of the Basotho, Ndebele, Pedi, Xhosa and Zulu peoples on a short tour or even stay overnight. Be part of traditional Africa for just a short while. You will never forget it!

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