HOLIDAYS IN SOUTH AFRICA
WEEK 4 – JOHANNESBURG AND SURROUNDS
The Apartheid Museum IllustrateS life under South Africa’s Apartheid regime from 1948 until 1990. Within the Apartheid Museum there are photographs, film footage, text panels and 22 individual exhibitions which include visuals of life as it was then in the townships, including the forced removal of local residents. Many of the exhibitions are quite explicit and therefore children under 11 are not allowed to attend. This is well worth a visit for all those who wish to learn more about this challenging time in South African history.
Website: <http://www.apartheidmuseum.org/> apartheidmuseum.org
Gold Reef City – This large amusement park, located around an old Johannesburg gold mine and themed on the famous Gold Rush of the 19th Century, consists of a museum exhibiting many gold mining techniques, including the chance to see how real gold is poured into casts by staff wearing period costumes. There is also a casino and, best of all for the kids, an exciting theme park with thrilling attractions, including roller coasters, water slides and the raging river rapids thrill ride! A perfect family day out.
Newtown Cultural Precinct – Centred on Mary Fitzgerald Square in downtown Johannesburg, Newtown is at the heart of the city’s rejuvenated centre. There is so much to enjoy here:
- listen to live jazz in nearby restaurants
- attend a performing arts play in the Market Square Theatre
- shop for samosas in the colourful Oriental Plaza
- walk around the centre’s two art galleries or have fun searching for bargains around its weekly Saturday morning flea market.
Website: <http://www.newtown.co.za/> newtown.co.za
Satyagraha House – Between 1908 and 1909 Satyagraha House was the South African base of Mahatma Gandhi. Built and designed by his friend Hermann Kallenbach, it was named The Kraal, with its two rondavel-style rooms. The house, situated in Orchards, Johannesburg, has been restored and provides the option to appreciate its tranquillity either through a day visit (free) or an overnight stay in one of its seven rooms.
Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary – Situated west of Hartbeesport Dam, in the Magaliesberg mountain range, a guided walking tour on elevated wooden walkways through natural forest will captivate you through encounters with a range of exotic monkeys. It provides the perfect environment for monkeys and is one of several sanctuaries that specialise in providing rehabilitation for abused and orphaned animals, enabling them to remain in their natural environment. Learn all about the sanctuary and its work while enjoying the incredible bushveld views.
Website: <http://www.monkeysanctuary.co.za/> monkeysanctuary.co.za
Lion Park – Focusing on the wellbeing and understanding of various endangered species, including rare white lions, cheetahs and wild dogs, this is a wonderful opportunity for kids to learn all about the different African species and to see lions, zebras, giraffes and various antelopes close up as they freely roam the area.
Website: <http://www.lion-park.com/> lion-park.com
Nelson Mandela Square – Within Nelson Mandela Square, at the core of Africa’s most influential economic district, stands a six metre tall statue of the beloved grandfather of South Africa. The square is situated in Sandton, Gauteng Province. It is home to a variety of chic boutiques, upmarket shops, fashionable African, Italian, Greek and French restaurants and water fountains for the kids’ amusement, with the statue standing centre of it all.
Montecasino – Montecasino offers an attractive option if you’re looking for entertainment in Johannesburg’s northern suburbs. Located in Fourways, this exciting recreational complex is a destination for the whole family to enjoy. From clothing, jewellery and shoe shops to 40 dining restaurants (including the opportunity to dine in the sky) to choose from, as well as the ten pin bowling, casino, amazing nightlife, theatre, movies, a comedy club, and a musical fountain it makes for an exciting visit.
The Voortrekker Monument stands in Pretoria, the nation’s capital, as homage to the Voortrekker Pioneers and their 1835 to 1854 journey of discovery from the Cape into South Africa, then named the Interior. Situated in a beautiful nature reserve area in the Tshwane area, it is a very popular heritage site; the museum within offers the opportunity to learn about the often treacherous journey the Voortrekkers undertook and how they survived. There is also a restaurant and a picnic area.
The Union Buildings – situated in Pretoria this is the official seat of the South African Government and is a National Heritage Site. The Buildings are an iconic South African landmark, having born witness to its democratic change as well as its challenging past. In fact, this is where, in 1994, Nelson Mandela was sworn in as South Africa’s first black president. Though the buildings themselves are not open to the public, the attractively landscaped gardens that surround the building are popular for picnics, with a new statue of Mandela to oversee it all.
All of the above tours can be booked through The Traveller!