Formerly known as Sandton Square, this hub of city life in Johannesburg was renamed Nelson Mandela Square in 2004 to commemorate the 10th anniversary of the birth of South Africa's democracy. Also the home of the Nelson Mandela statue, which was unveiled when the square was renamed, the square serves not only as a tribute to the famed president's historic efforts to bring peace to the nation but also a focal point where visitors and locals alike can contemplate the country's turbulent past. An Italian-style piazza full of shops, restaurants, and galleries, located near world-class hotels and the city's financial district, this is a must-see for any visitor to Johannesburg.
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 Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve is the largest official nature reserve in Johannesburg, and it's well worth the short drive from the center of the city. The area contains diverse wildlife, including zebra and black wildebeest. There are also six hiking trails that range in difficulty.
Built around the No. 14 shaft of Crown Mines, this city is an authentic reproduction of Johannesburg at the beginning of the 1900s. There are fully furnished miner's houses with original furniture and fittings, including pressed ceilings. The museum exhibits include antique clothing and children's toys, which take the visitor back 100 years to the city that was. A train encircles the park and many shops offer interesting curios. You can also visit the original gold mine in a lift that goes down to 220 meters below the surface. An on site casino is open 24 hours daily.
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.
An, as yet, unexplained phenomenon occurs in one of the windows in this stately church each day as the sun is setting. The image resembling the crucifixion of Christ appears in only one of the windows, although it is of the same hue, consistency and construction as all the others. To date, no chemical or physical explanation has been found, and the occurrence is widely accepted as a form of stigmata. The window is of hammered, amber glass and grants an amazingly clear picture of the scenes at Golgotha. For visits, phone and arrange details.
Testament to the remarkable dinosaur digs of South Africa's Karoo region, Bernard Price Institute of Palaeontology is a treasure trove of prehistoric artifacts. A world-renowned collection of fossils is on show and some specimens are available for handling in order to get a literal feel for things as they were. Tours can be arranged and wheelchairs can be accommodated by phoning beforehand. Moving replicas of various dinosaurs are also on offer, complete with color and sounds. There is no entrance fee.
Completed in 2003 at a cost of R38 million, the Nelson Mandela Bridge is one of the newest and most impressive architectural achievements in Johannesburg. 284 meters/932 feet long, it connects the Central Business District of Newton with Braamfontein, and was built in part to help revitalize the struggling inner-city area. In addition to two lanes for car traffic, the bridge also has a pedestrian walkway, a great outing for visitors looking to explore central Johannesburg.
Located at the Newtown Cultural Precinct, Museum Africa carries a variety of exhibits, most of which pertain to the rich history of Africa. Of special interest is the display of historic works of art, which will give you an insight into artists' impressions of the Anglo-Boer War. Geological specimens, paintings, prints, photographs and numerous objects from all corners of southern Africa are also on display. In order to fully appreciate the collection, it is best to allow at least a couple of hours for the visit.
Incorporating interactive learning methods to promote science and technology education, Sci-Bono Discovery Centre is a popular destination in the city. The large number of exhibits aim at improving public awareness to technological advancements and inventions. The center constitutes state-of-the-art classrooms, an auditorium and well-equipped laboratories. Sci-Bono Discovery Centre also regularly features a range of entertaining parties and events.
The Gauteng Tourism Authority was set up in 1997 by the Gauteng Province's Department of Finance and Economic Affairs (DFEA). It was set up in order to facilitate and sustain the growth of Gauteng's tourism industry. Apart from the main office, they also have three information centers set up at Johannesburg International Airport, the Sandton Shopping Mall and at Craft Market of Rosebank. Before planning your trip, visit the website for all the information you could ever need!