The diversity in South Africa’s Gauteng province belies its small size. Known for its work-hard mentality, it also offers a wealth of things to do and see for fun. Local and international travellers will be more than spoilt for choice.
Compiled by Mary Alexander and Priya Pitamber
It’s September. It’s spring in South Africa – and Tourism Month, celebrated this year with the theme “Tourism for All”. To inspire your next road trip we bring you nine galleries, one for each province, showcasing our country’s remarkable beauty and diversity.
A thriving tourism industry means South Africa is closer to achieving its National Development Plan goals of skills development and creating decent employment through inclusive economic growth.
Travel is also about exploring your own back yard. Through its Sho’t Left initiative, South African Tourism encourages local holiday travel. It helps to make planning a holiday easier with choosing, budgeting for, booking and paying for a trip, and more.
Gauteng confirms that dynamite comes in small packages. The tiniest province of the country, taking up only 1.4% of land area, it is home to the country’s eclectic economic hub, Johannesburg, and the capital city, Pretoria. But it also offers a range of unforgettable leisure experiences for any traveller.
Between Johannesburg and Pretoria in Midrand, the Nizamiye Turkish Masjid is a majestic structure. It is the first Ottoman-styled mosque in the southern hemisphere. Its large dome rises 32 metres and it is flanked on each corner by 55-metre minarets. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
The Cradle of Humankind near Johannesburg is one of the richest hominid fossil sites in the world. Maropeng, meaning “returning to the place of origin” in Setswana, is the fun visitor centre in the Cradle of Humankind. It’ll change the way you see the world. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
Vilakazi Street in Soweto is one of the most famous streets in South Africa. It housed two Nobel Peace Prize winners: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
Huge, colourfully painted cooling towers dominate Orlando in Soweto. Once part of a power station, they now add another tourist attraction to the township: adventure. Thrill-seekers are able to bungee jump off the two 100-metre-high towers. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
“It was the opposite of grand, but it was my first true home of my own and I was mightily proud. A man is not a man until he has a house of his own.” This was how Nelson Mandela described his first home, on Vilakazi Street, in his autobiography Long Walk to Freedom. Today the humble Soweto abode, Mandela House, has become a must-see for travellers. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
Maropeng, the visitor centre in the Cradle of Humankind, is housed in the Tumulus Building. It is shaped to be “evocative of a giant burial mound”. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
The Food Market Shed, popularly referred to as The Sheds at the Fox Precinct in downtown Johannesburg, has become a popular place to sample arts, crafts and artisan foods. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
Located in the heart of Braamfontein on Juta Street, the Neighbourgoods Market offers a range of lovingly hand-crafted food and beverages. People can enjoy their meals outdoors, watching the hustle and bustle of city life. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)
South Africa’s Union Buildings is the official seat of the government. The classic building was designed by Sir Herbert Baker in 1908 and completed in 1913. The gardens around it hold monuments of historical figures, including a 9-metre-tall bronze statue of Nelson Mandela. (Image: South African Tourism, CC BY-2.0, via Flickr)