Tourist Attractions of Gauteng
Tourist Attractions of South Africa
South Africa is a vast and extremely fascinating country that packs a powerful tourist punch. Few countries can match it for variety and diversity in attractions, activities and cultural groups. From art and history to food and wine, wildlife and nature, nightlife, shopping and even places of worship – there is so much on offer to attract, entice and entertain.
The Western Cape with its mountains and oceans offers scenery that has inspired thousands of descriptions. It has great beaches, World Heritage sites, romantic winelands and museums that celebrate a rich cultural heritage. You can’t talk about a trip to Cape Town without discussing the fabulous cuisine and shopping options that draw tourists time and time again.
Gauteng’s brash exterior belies its depth, uncovered at numerous cultural and historical attractions. Places like Constitution Hill, the Apartheid Museum and Soweto feature alongside chi-chi restaurants, funky galleries, shopping malls and fascinating visits to the Cradle of Humankind, where all our stories began.
In Mpumalanga you’ll find a host of nature-related attractions, arts and crafts outlets, country towns, cultural villages and stupendous scenery along the well-known Panorama route. Of course one of the major attractions is the world-famous Kruger National Park.
Limpopo shares this wildlife sanctuary - the size of a small country - and has many of its own nature reserves. It also boasts the fascinating Mapungubwe, where once an ancient kingdom developed a field of influence that spread beyond the continent. Intriguing groups such as the Venda and the Balobedu still practise culturally-rich traditions in the far north of this region.
The North West is all about Sun City, and the Pilanesberg and Madikwe Game Reserves, but don’t forget the mampoer farms and the idiosyncrasies of the Marico, the cultural mélange at Lesedi on the shores of the Hartebeespoort Dam or the little town of Taung where the famous skull of the same name was discovered. From the Margaret Roberts Herbal Farm (De Wildt) to Sol Plaaitje’s house in Mafikeng, there’s much to explore.
Immense skies and enormous spaces characterise the Northern Cape, along with attractions such as the Big Hole in Kimberley, the Loeriesfontein Windmill Museum and the myths and legends as taught by the ancient San. The Augrabies Falls National Park, the Ais/Ais Richtersveld National Park and the Riemvasmaak community all offer interesting experiences and insights.
KwaZulu-Natal has its own brand of uniqueness when it comes to tourist attractions. Here you can visit a Hare Krishna temple in Durban, pay your respects at the Battlefields in the Midlands, come face to face with Zulu culture and celebrate some of the finest beaches along the Indian Ocean coastline. Sunny year-round, the province has great places to shop, eat, and discover.
The Eastern Cape is a place of rich heritage and struggle sites. Here historic monuments find their place alongside fun aquariums and beachside establishments. Malaria-free game sanctuaries and numerous nature reserves thrill adventure-seekers and nature-lovers.
Small towns and homegrown hospitality are the distinctive attributes of the Free State. Visit the Basotho Cultural Village on the way to the spectacular Golden Gate National Park, visit the Choet Visser Rugby Museum in Bloemfontein or the Fertility Caves (outside Clarens). Make your way to the fun galleries of Clarens, feast visually on the sandstone sights of Ficksburg and drink in the fascinating history of the provincial capital, Bloemfontein.
Wherever you go around the country, you’re bound to find a fun attraction, a moving museum, a great place to enjoy the local vibes. Enjoy surfing the Nightjar site for the best attractions on offer in each of the provinces.
Articles & Blogs
Fossils, Stars & Skinny Scientists…7:12pm 31 Jul
Words: Sue Adams, Pics: Sue Adams, Wits University and National Geographic
When an advertisement reads, ‘Skinny people needed’ who would imagine that it’s to do with exploring one of the most exciting fossil finds in the world? But that’s who palaeoanthropologist Lee Berger – on this year’s Time magazine list of The 100 Most Influential People – was looking for to get at fossils hidden in a deep cave in the Cradle of Humankind.
These skinny cavers had to be able to enter Rising Star Cave, in the Bloubank River valley near Krugersdorp, go through a tunnel called Superman’s...
Markets in JHB11:05am 2 Nov
The weekend morning sun wakes you up with its rays peeking through your window and before you know it, kids, dogs, cats and anything with an AA battery come soaring towards your bed. Questions like, “so what are we going to do today” start disrupting the once still and silent atmosphere.
There are many markets that are open on weekends that provide an opportunity to get out and inhale fresh air whilst enjoying delicious food and vibrant surroundings.
Here are a few recommendations in Johannesburg:
Nan Hua5:55am 11 Sep
This little dove had been moving around the statue for at least 10 minutes before its stepped into the palm of the bodhisattva that stands in the garden at the Nan Hua Temple in Bronkhorstspruit (http://www.nightjartravel.com/cultural/nan-hua-buddhist-centre).
The fact that the dove chose this bodhisattva, Kuan Yin, was appropriate. She stands pouring the essence of compassion from the vessel in her hands. The belief is that any living being that 'contemplates and whole-heartedly invokes the name of...
Nightjar Travelled11:05pm 26 Nov
You can’t visit a city without paying respect to its soul. For me, the soul of Jozi is reflected in its wondrous mix of food, culture and creativity – and the people who generate and consume it. This particular visit to the city left me little time for indulgence, but a quick visit to 44 Stanley on Sunday morning ensured I was able to appreciate at least some of the city’s character.
Here, industrial buildings have been transformed into a stimulating social hub of restaurants, speciality shops and design studios. I was able to pick up some beautiful books at the charming and...
Homage to the Horse8:27pm 12 Nov
By Hippo Communications on behalf of Graham’s Fine Art Gallery
Paying homage to the horse is something that Panamanian artist Eduardo Navarro does with aplomb. His exhibition 'Caballos' (Horses) will be showing at Graham’s Fine Art Gallery, in Broadacres Lifestyle Centre at Fourways, Johannesburg from 18 October. This will be the inaugural 2012 cultural exchange between South Africa and Panama, and these magnificent works will be...
5 400KM ON A RAY OF SUNLIGHT6:33pm 17 Sep
In July, we followed Fiona McIntosh as she ran 800km in 20 days, and we were impressed. But now, students from the University of Johannesburg plan on driving over five thousand kilometres around South Africa on nothing more than a ray of sunlight! It looks as if we are going to be impressed again!
There are several solar car rallies around the world, and the competition is intense. Having recently driven across the country, I can attest that...
CRADLE TO THE GRAVE – STERKFONTEIN, MAROPENG AND MORE12:10pm 30 May
Words and pictures by: Richard Holmes
Driving along the N14 through the rather unattractive outskirts of Johannesburg, it’s hard to imagine Australopithecus africanus and their prehuman buddies hightailing it across this dusty piece of Highveld - pursued by sabre-toothed cats and long-legged hunting hyenas.
Keep with the dreary N14; take a right at the Krugersdorp four-way stop and you’ll soon discover the incredible history of this corner of...