Johannesburg is the largest, wealthiest and liveliest city in South Africa; it is considered the economic powerhouse of Africa. Also referred to as Jo’burg or Jozi, Johannesburg is an amalgamation of smells, tastes, sites and atmospheres; where cosmopolitan is redefined in a unique and multi-cultural way.
Although not one of the three capital cities, it is the place where the Constitutional Court is situated and where all matters regarding South Africa’s constitution takes place. Since the 1880’s when gold and diamonds were discovered in this region, Johannesburg’s emphasis has been on making money both on the streets and in business. Once the Johannesburg bug has caught you, there’s no escape; once you’ve experienced all there is on offer, you won’t want to leave.
Johannesburg can be a little daunting, especially because of its misinterpretation as a criminal war zone. Even though there is crime, it’s nothing new to any large city in South Africa or the world. The key is to have your wits about you and to just reciprocate and appreciate the friendly, buzzing, high-energy atmosphere. It is after all, known for its nightlife with clubs, pubs, jazz lounges and live music on every corner where you can find from rock to pop to kwaito and house, to name a few.
Activities and places to visit include the Apartheid Museum, the Constitutional Hall, Westcliff Hotel where you can drink sundowners overlooking the green belt of Johannesburg and the Newton Cultural Precinct. Benoni is the birth place of actress Charlize Theron, which proves to be quite an attraction.
With shopping malls galore and health and beauty spas of plenty, you will be sure to indulge and spoil yourself while you stay in Johannesburg. Regardless of not being commended as an outdoor city, there are parks and nature reserves that are definitely worth a visit such as the Emmarentia Dam and the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. The Kruger National Park and Magaliesberg are also not too far of a drive to take day trips.