Johannesburg, Soweto, Pretoria
Why visit Johannesburg and Pretoria?
Johannesburg is the financial capital of South Africa but is also home to many museums, art galleries, parks, restaurants and a good nightlife. Pretoria is the country’s capital city, and a great place to wander round and find out more about South Africa’s history and culture.
Reasons to visit Johannesburg and Pretoria include:
- Visit Johannesburg’s Constitution Hill or the city’s Apartheid Museum to understand more about life under apartheid.
- Take a tour round the famous former township Soweto, visit Nelson Mandela’s home (now a museum) or visit the Hector Pieterson Museum, to learn about the Soweto uprising of 1976.
- Explore the magnificent exhibits in the biggest art gallery in the sub-continent, the Johannesburg Art Gallery, or take in a show at the Joburg Theatre.
- Walk around one of the many parks (Delta Park contains the Florence Bloom Bird Sanctuary) or meet the animals at Johannesburg Zoo.
- Enjoy a drink in the world’s deepest pub – 226m down in Johannesburg’s Shaft 14 gold mine!
- Take one of the Heritage Trails, learning more about Johannesburg’s history and architecture.
- Elevate your heartbeat by taking part in some extreme sports: rock climbing, mountain biking or even ramp jump off a 24-storey building or sandboard down a mine dump!
- Explore Church Square, the heart of Pretoria and full of impressive public buildings such as the Union Buildings.
- Visit one of Pretoria’s many museums, such as Paul Kruger House, the Transvaal Museum of Natural History or the Pretoria Art Museum.
- Shop at the flea market or farmer’s market in Pretoria’s Sunnypark Shopping Centre.
- Take to the tracks in considerable style: the legendary and luxurious Blue Train and the historic Rovos Rail each begin their scenic rail journeys in Pretoria.
When to visit?
The weather in this region is generally sunny, though afternoon storms are not uncommon in the hot summer months, with rainfall at its peak in December and January. Winter evenings (June – August) can be chilly, but the daytime temperatures will be mild.
Johannesburg, Soweto, Pretoria accommodation
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facts and information
Time: GMT +2 hours
Flight time: There are daily flights from Europe to Johannesburg (about 10 ½ hours direct) and Cape Town (about 11 hours). There is also a good network of domestic flights connecting all main towns.
Language: English is South Africa's main administrative language and is widely spoken. There are also 11 official tribal languages.
Visas: Visas are not required for British passport holders.
Health: No vaccinations are compulsory. Malaria is found in certain areas (mainly Kruger and the east coast towards Mozambique), but not throughout the country.