Johannesburg is the major international gateway into South Africa. It's a vibrant and dynamic place with a throbbing pulse and an awesome sense of rhythm.Everyone is on the move
- doing business, making money, jogging, going to gym, cycling, partying till late, eating out and attending shows, movies and exhibitions. It's the place to go for a real urban buzz.
The older part of the city is developing an interesting character - in some parts neglected and others humming with a new kind of vibrancy
. It is the de facto capital of Africa and people from all over the continent have made this their home.
There are interesting nightlife venues in the centre of Johannesburg, but not for the faint of heart. Also in the city centre, but a bit more inviting to the average tourist, is the Civic Theatre, and Newtown Cultural Project
. Part of an ambitious plan to revitalise the city centre, these venues offer restaurants, theatres, museums and much more.
But the head offices of major corporations
and the majority of businesses, have moved out to the northern suburbs and to Midrand - the growing industrial, commercial, semi-agricultural and residential area halfway between Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The northern suburbs radiate a sense of opulence and prosperity. The many shopping malls carry a vast range of high quality consumer goods
, including many luxuries and the hundreds of restaurants and coffee shops offer a wide range of fashionable cuisines.
There really is a lot to do in Johannesburg. One of the most obvious is an escorted tour of Soweto
, which is a mind-expanding experience, showing how this resilient community contributed to South Africa's liberation struggle.
A visit to Gold Reef City is a fun day out with amusement rides and a reconstructed mining village
, but it is a lot more authentic than most theme parks. The trip down a gold mine is a real eye-opener, but that's nothing compared to the paradigm shift many people may experience in visiting the Apartheid Museum, at Gold Reef City
For sheer poetry in motion, a performance by the Lipizzaner horses on a Sunday morning is hard to beat.There are many golf courses
and always something happening.