Johannesburg and Pretoria, two of South Africa’s most famous cities, fall within the borders of the Gauteng province – the smallest of the nine provinces that make up South Africa. Such scale is misleading, however, especially when you consider the sheer amount of wonder tucked away both in these bustling metropolises and in the wider Gauteng area. This is a province that will bombard your senses; Kwaito music echoes throughout the streets, trinkets and treasures are tucked away in craft markets and the soil of Soweto is rich in culture and history. Here are the top four ways to experience all that Gauteng has to offer.
Cultural and historical immersion in Soweto
The most discerning of travellers tend to want to immerse themselves in every aspect of the country they choose to visit; for this reason, a tour of Soweto, an important cultural and historical town, is a must. Your expert guide will take you through Soweto as you pass Nelson Mandela and Winnie Mandela’s former residence, learning about the chequered, significant history of apartheid and the social politics of South Africa. Visiting Soweto promises to be an assault on the senses as well as an important educational experience.
Find treasures in the African Craft Market at Rosebank
Known for being host to a plethora of African trinkets and treasures, as well as craftwork, jewellery and fabrics, the Rosebank market is a bustling centre for South African traders. Open seven days a week, the vibrant market is home to crafters from across the African continent. If you’re perusing all those stalls on a Sunday and you’ve worked up an appetite, be sure to visit the Rosebank Rooftop Market where you can gorge on authentic African cuisine whilst browsing amongst a bric a brac of books, collectibles and delicacies.
Dine at Cube in Johannesburg
Johannesburg’s Cube restaurant is definitely one of the most unique restaurants we’ve ever come across. Committed to bringing back the social aspect of dinners, making them long and leisurely, Cube offers diners the chance to sample ’10 courses of something different’. Their taste size portions aim to take the palates of guests on a tasting journey; ‘from sea breeze’, to a ‘berry cleanser’, to sweet ‘spilt milk’. Pick up a bottle of South African sauvignon on the way here (Cube don’t charge for corkage) and rediscover the joys of an unhurried meal.
Wander in Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens
When your senses have reached a peak from wandering the bustling Johannesburg streets or exploring the vibrant markets, there’s always the option of escaping for an amble around one of South Africa’s most beautiful botanical gardens. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens are nestled in a hidden corner (though a rather large corner it must be said) in otherwise urban Johannesburg. Find respite as you stroll across luscious green lawns, have a picnic next to a trickling waterfall, or simply uncover a hidden corner and soak up the South African sun.