Johannesburg traditionally was a transit point for travellers. Although one of the largest urban agglomerates and the largest land locked city in the world, it was merely a pit stop to the more exciting Durban, Cape Town and Kruger National Park. To hold the interest of the international travellers and tourists many different attractions were developed to make Jo’burg as popular as its fellow cities.
History museums like the Apartheid Museum, Hector Pieterson Museum and the Mandela Museum (located in the home of Nelson Mandela) are some such attractions. The Carlton Centre in the CBD area has an observation deck on the 50th floor from where the entire city scape can be viewed. The city has several art museums and theatres like the Johannesburg Art Gallery, the Market Theatre complex and the Johannesburg Civic Theatre where visitors can satiate their artistic cravings. Gold Reef City, a theme park, depicting the mining life is a huge draw, as is the Cradle of Humankind which is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. There are plenty of options for shopping to suit all kinds of pockets, from high end shopping malls to flea markets. Also, be warned, if anybody wants to boil an egg in Jo’burg make sure you set the timer for a minute longer than you would normally as the city is 2000 m above sea level and the air is not very dense.
DurbanDurban is the busiest sea port in South Africa and is second only to Jo’burg as a manufacturing hub. It is known for its long expansive beaches and balmy weather. The Golden Mile with the promenade running around it, is popular with tourists. Fondly known as “The Mile” it is a haven for sunbathers and the waters are ideal for surfing. Durban is also the home to the sites of the Zulu Kingdom and the Drakensberg. Don’t forget to visit the Ushaka Marine World while in Durban, it is the 5th largest aquarium in the world.
If you are in South Africa from 7th to 27th September do visit Johannesburg and Durban to participate in the Shared History Festival. While in Johannesburg don’t forget to visit the Wits Theatre, Lyric Auditorium, Classic India Restaurant, Theatre on the Square, and Gibbs University. Durban will host events at Playhouse, Durban Beach and Supernova Suncoast Cinema.