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The treasures of Gauteng lie, both figuratively and literally, below the surface. While this is South Africa’s smallest province, it’s responsible for a hefty chunk of country’s economic wealth – thanks to the discovery of gold in 1886. Yet another secret still sleeps beneath Gauteng’s soils: a series of caves, underground passages and archeological sites that comprise the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. One of the best known digs is at Sterkfontein Caves, where scientists have unearthed pre-human primate fossils. Overwhelmingly urban, Gauteng might seem at first glance to lack the natural allure of South Africa’s other provinces. Locals, however, are proud to point out that Johannesburg boasts the world’s largest man-made forest (with 10 million or so trees). The Magaliesberg Mountains lie to the east and the gold-rich Witwatersrand to the south and west, providing ample trails for outdoor enthusiasts. Johannesburg has become one of the – if not the – richest metropolis in Africa, yet it is home to extreme contrasts of wealth and poverty. While many international travellers steer clear of South Africa’s most populous city, others have discovered its unsavoury reputation as a crime capital is more bark than bite, and its energy and diversity are reasons to stay a while. Fifty kilometres north and linked by the high-speed Gautrain rail network, South Africa’s dignified administrative capital of Pretoria is now closer than ever. While this city was once majority Afrikaner, it’s now a mix of students, diplomats and government workers seeking a slower pace of life than neighbouring Jozi. Best for: Arts + Culture Lovers; Backpackers/Budget Travel; Families; Foodies; History Buffs; LGBTQ-friendly; Luxury Travellers; Road Trippers; Voluntourists

From our blog

Visit Gauteng

The city of gold awaits


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