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This area of Johannesburg is filled with mixed themes and is rife with history. A symbol of South Africa's journey to freedom, the Constitutional Court sits where the Old Fort Prison Complex used to house both political and common criminals. Figures such as Robert Sobukwe, Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela were once imprisoned in these walls until its closure in 1983. This site has been transformed into a monument of justice. Guided and interactive tours are scheduled regularly.
The Apartheid Museum best reflects the history of South Africa's apartheid days. Under the able guidance of Nelson Mandela, the country strongly fought racial discrimination, and this museum stands as a reminder of those stories and experiences. Photographs, film footage and artifacts displayed in the 22 exhibition areas will take one through the journey of the nation's struggle. If you're in Johannesburg, do not miss an opportunity to gain insight into this integral part of South Africa's history.
Wits Art Museum had humble beginnings, as a collection that was meant to be a teaching aid at the university. Generous patronage from Norman Herber allowed the faculty to acquire newer works. A major donation of classical African art in 1978 started things, and today, the museum has one of the finest collections of African art in the country. From modern works to historical art from all over Africa, the collection is extensive. The Standard Bank African Art Collection is the focal point of the museum. Other prominent exhibits include the Wits Museum of Ethnology Collection, The Sekoto Collection and The Robert Hodgins Print Archive. The modern museum building has state-of-the-art facilities to preserve the works. The on-site cafe offers a selection of snacks and light bites.
Commonly referred to as Mandela House, Nelson Mandela National Museum is an important national monument in Johannesburg. This museum is housed at the prior residence of the legendary Nelson Mandela himself and takes one through the history of Africa. Operating since 1997, this museum showcases several artifacts of the former President. The museum chronicles the life story of Nelson Mandela and his family and his struggle for the betterment of Africa. The museum was renovated in 2009 and has been listed as one of the most popular tourist destinations in South Africa.
As its name suggests, the Market Theatre, also known as the John Kani Theatre was once a fresh fruit and vegetable market. Dating back to the early 1900s, most of the original architecture still exists as well as a lot of the original signs. Within the huge complex, other than the Market Theatre stages, there are several galleries and restaurants. The three theaters at the Market are Main, Laager and Barney Simon. The venue stages all forms of production from drama, comedy, musical, community and South African to experimental theater.
Lion & Safari Park in Broederstroom is the place where you can encounter lions, antelopes, wild dogs, hyenas and many more. The major feature of this park is that it serves as home to both herbivores and carnivores indigenous to Africa. The lions are enclosed in a high-security area while the greater park area is home to other animals. Take a safari tour to interact with the rare white lions, spotted hyena, Cape wild dog, South African cheetah and black-backed jackal.
The Cradle of Humankind is a pre-historic site like no other on Earth. Spread across over 18210.85 hectares (45,000 acres), the site is listed as a World Heritage Site because of the findings. The land is a maze of limestone caves where scientists have found many fossils and remains dating back to prehistoric times. The site has an abundance of dolomite, a type of rock formation, that helps with the formation of caves and fossils. Here excavations have found proof of human evolution and life. Among the 200 and more caves, there are around 13 sites where significant fossils have been found. Among the findings are tools made and used by humans at that time and remains of extinct animals. Some of the fossils are approximately 3 million years old and this site is said to have some of the oldest fossils ever found. The Mrs. Ples and Taung remains were found here at this site. Both the remains are significant findings and nothing like it has ever been found before.
This is one of the most popular gardens in the province, situated west of Johannesburg, with a magnificent waterfall and resident Black Eagles. The gardens are well known among botanists, birdwatchers, the general public who come to enjoy the tea garden and the Sunday Picnic Concerts. A ring road runs through the lush area and is an easy walk of about an hour. A telescope is set up to grant a glimpse of the eagles. The nursery sells a variety of indigenous plants, and children enjoy the vast lawn areas where people can enjoy a picnic or simply relax.
The South African National Museum of Military History comprises one of the most comprehensive collections related to South Africa's role in warfare. Aircraft, armored carriers, artillery, small arms, uniforms and war art are on display, documenting the country's military involvement throughout the world. The museum's shop sells refreshments and an impressive range of books. Free video shows for visitors are offered on weekends and public holidays, while the action playground is sure to keep children entertained. A reference library, conference and function facilities are also available.
Meaning a place of light, Maboneng is an urban neighborhood that has been privately developed in eastern Johannesburg CBD. With several independent retail, restaurants and entertainment venues as well as loft apartments, offices, hotel, a museum and creative factory spaces, the place is a thriving cultural hub.