Johannesburg: Heart of South Africa
Johannesburg, the largest city of South Africa, is often called by different names like Jo’burg, Jozi, eGoli or “City of Gold”. It is the city where you can feel the pulse of real South Africa. Very dynamic and energetic, this city surprises you with contrasts; opulent wealth and utter poverty go side by side here. Johannesburg is the capital of Gauteng, the wealthiest province of South Africa. It is the largest urban forest of the world, having beautiful dense foliage within the city limits. A city with beautiful climate, large open spaces, a number of tourist attractions and modern western culture, Johannesburg attracts lots of tourists year around.
Location and Climate of Johannesburg
Located on the eastern plateau region of South Africa, Johannesburg is placed at fairly high altitude of 1753 meters. There are captivating hills on the northern and the western part of the city and the eastern part is a plain area. Millions of trees decorate the landscape of the city and maintain its cool temperature even in summers.
Due to its location in the southern hemisphere, Johannesburg has a dry and sunny climate. There may be occasional rains in the summer months from October to April. Temperature is of medium range with maximum day temperature being at 26 °C in the hottest month of January and the lowest dropping to 16 °C in June. You can only see frost there, but no snowfall. Showers are infrequent in winter months.
Society and Culture in Johannesburg
Johannesburg is a city with its own persona, rich history and progressive culture. Art and sports are in the veins of this city. Its love for art can be identified by the presence of many art galleries, museums, theaters and opera houses. There are lots of cultural activities, like dance and music performances, festival celebrations which keep taking place here and there. People of Johannesburg love to be a part of various cultural events of the city. Large–scale operas, hilarious comedy acts, intense theater performances, art exhibitions can keep you busy and interested in the city. Cultural ambiance of Johannesburg makes this city a highly traveled area of the South Africa. There is something for everyone traveling in the city.
Tourist Attractions of Johannesburg
Johannesburg serves as a major transit point for connecting flights to Durban, Cape Town and Kruger National Park. International travelers land at Johannesburg at least once. This fact led to development of Johannesburg as the tourist destination.
Now Johannesburg has become a popular tourist destination of South Africa because of its large range of tourist spots, various activities and pleasant weather. Johannesburg has a quite good range of places for accommodation. Hotels in Johannesburg offer a great luxury accommodation experience.
For people who are interested in the history of places and their origin, Johannesburg has many history museums which carry a great collection in them; Apartheid Museum and Hector Pieterson Museum, Railway Museum, Bensusan Museum to name a few. You can spend the whole day there and another interesting thing is that you can collect amazing souvenirs from gift shops there.
Art lovers can explore fascinating art museums like Johannesburg Art Gallery featuring a mix of figurative and landscape paintings of Europe and Africa. Museum Africa is another place to get interesting information about the history of the city. There are good numbers of theaters in the Johannesburg, staging plays covering various subjects; Market Theater, the Dance
Factory and the Civic Theater Complex are some popular theaters
Carlton Panorama is the tallest building of Johannesburg; you can get heart throbbing views of the city from its topmost floor. A must visit place in Johannesburg is the Gold Reef City which is a theme park which features city of Johannesburg in1900’s. Enjoy the theme-rides; museum ride on a vintage steam engine, gold smelting and also you can witness the performances by the African tribal dancers.
You can spend a day in the company of lions and can learn how they eat, sleep or play. Another treat for animal lovers is a day at the Johannesburg Zoo, which is the home to a great variety of animals and the largest in South Africa. Bunny Park is another home to animals where you can spend a peaceful and entertaining afternoon, feeding animals. Other game reserves and breeding stations near Johannesburg are the Lion and Rhino Park, the De Wildt Cheetah Research and Breeding Station and the Crocodile Farm.
Do not miss to visit the Lesedi Cultural Village where you can witness the traditional African village life. To enjoy natural vistas of Johannesburg, make sure to visit the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve.
Shopping Experience in Johannesburg
You can have a great shopping experience in Johannesburg, which has many modern Americanized malls. There are some specialized malls like Hyde Park and make sure to visit the Sandton City which is the largest mall in the Southern Hemisphere. Monte Casino is based on an Italian Village, which is a very nice shop. Johannesburg is a chic and happening city where you can find all kinds of activities and hangout zones like clubs, nightclubs, restaurants, luxurious hotels, malls, cinema complexes and other places.
Airport in Johannesburg
The Johannesburg International Airport (JIA) is a hub of South Africa travel. It is the busiest airport of south Africa and serves international and as well as domestic flights. Johannesburg is also the financial center of South Africa; this is the reason that airports in Johannesburg are fully equipped to handle high numbers of passengers. Other smaller airports in Johannesburg are Rand Airport, Grand Central Airport, and Lanseria. Lanseria airport works for commercial flights to cities of Cape Town, Port Elizabeth, Botswana, Durban and Sun City. Taxis or rental cars can be used to travel to and from the airports.
Within the City Transport
Public transportation system in the city is not much developed as residents prefer to ride their private vehicles. There are informal minibus taxis available in Johannesburg as a public facility. Metro railways connect the old areas around the city.
There are buses too called the Metro buses plying on different routes. Persons traveling for the first time in the city can rent a taxi from any car rental agency. You can avail the services of chartered buses, arranged for group tours which run on a specific route.