Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa by population and it is the provincial capital of Gauteng province, the centre of South Africa´s commerce and industry. Founded in the late 1800’s, Johannesburg owes its existence to the rich Witwatersrand gold reef that was discovered when George Harrison and George Walker stumbled onto the richest gold fields in the world. By 1896 Johannesburg had become a city of over 100,000 inhabitants and is now one of the 50 largest urban areas in the world.
On our tour you will experience some of this great city’s history. See the historical Commissioner Street, the original commercial hub of Johannesburg and also home to its first Chinatown. We will have a photo stop at the Old Post Office and the original City Hall completed in 1914 which now houses the Gauteng provincial government. Visit the Standard Bank Museum, one of the country’s largest financial institutions and finally take in all of “Jozzi” by a breath-taking 360 degree view from the “Top of Africa”. See today’s Johannesburg with all the hustle and bustle of a modern city, infused with an African flavour.
Johannesburg’s early prosperity attracted large numbers of Africans to work in the areas mines and they settled in communities on the outskirts of the city which grew into the townships. The large township of SOWETO, which stands for South Western Townships is world renowned for its political history and is a must see when visiting the Johannesburg area. From a boiling pot in the 1970’s and 80s, SOWETO has transformed into one of the biggest tourist attractions in South Africa. SOWETO, the cradle of student uprisings in the 1970s is now known for its museums, historical sites, a rising middle class and its famous Gospel Choir.
Our tour takes us past the Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital, originally built to service the British Military in 1941, and is now reputably the third largest hospital in the world. We will visit the Hector Pieterson Museum, named after the young student killed in the 1976 student protests. The museum will guide you through the difficult political period that South Africa came through in the late 1900’s. Then see, and if we have time, visit the modest homes of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu on Vilikazi Street. Stand among Mandela family furniture, read Nelson Mandela’s letters and be humbled by the simple life of this larger than life historical figure.
Commissioner street (Drive through)
New Town - (Drive through)
Old Post Office and City Hall photo stop
Top of Africa
Standard Bank Museum
Chris Hani-Baragwanath Hospital (Drive through)
Hector Pieterson Museum
Top of Africa - Entrance
Hector Pieterson Museum - Entrance