Explore your own backyard

Discover Gauteng's tourist gems for yourself

Mrs Ples, on display at Maropeng

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. So how well do you know your Gauteng?

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.

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. how well do you know your Gauteng?

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.

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.

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.

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.


“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.

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”.

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.

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.

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.

The city of Johannesburg is constantly changing to the pulse of its people.

Mary Alexander and Priya Pitamber

mediaclubsouthafrica.com

Images courtesy of SA Tourism