Johannesburg: Africa of the future
Discovering Johannesburg lets you look at today’s Africa… and tomorrow’s. With economic development in full swing, continued urbanisation and new neighbourhoods teeming with energy, the city is living now and shaping its future for later.
This tumultuous megalopolis fascinates many a traveller with its futuristic skyscrapers, its cosmopolitan population, and its effervescent cultural life. The city resembles Los Angeles, a mosaic of hundreds of neighbourhoods spread out over more than 100 square kilometres. The richest city of the African continent is also one of the most populated, with more than 5 million people in the city and 14-15 million in the greater metropolitan area, accounting for nearly one in four South Africans.
Previously divided by the apartheid regime, Johannesburg has known profound change since the end of this segregationist system, change that has not come without social conflict. But in recent years the city has evolved into an example for other African nations. Multiple and changing, sometimes chaotic, a 'rainbow' in terms of its population, Johannesburg 'Jozi' or 'Joburg' for short has much to offer.
Explore the ancient history of the area just an hour to the north at the Cradle of Humankind park, where palaeontological excavations started in the 1930s. Or head out to Kruger National Park to see the famous 'Big Five': lions, leopards, elephants, rhinos, and buffaloes. The colonial era can be seen in both the Apartheid Museum, or by following in the footsteps of Nelson Mandela, affectionately known by his clan name 'Madiba', at the Mandela House. Vestiges of the more recent past can be seen in the old Central Business District, with its hundreds of Art Deco buildings, or check out the converted industrial buildings in Maboneng, Braamfontein, and 44 Stanley, where you will now find design studios, hip stores, and trendy restaurants. Discover the quiet life in the 'villages' and animated streets of Parkhurst, or stroll about the colourful markets and explore the bars and restaurants of Market Street Theatre or Melville, where you can have a drink on the rooftop. The luxury hotels and restaurants of Sandton also welcome you for a taste of the best of Johannesburg. Practise your swing or soar up in the air in a hot air balloon over the Magalies River. Johannesburg is changing, and it’s just the beginning!
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