JOHANNESBURG IN SOUTH AFRICA
Johannesburg (City Of Gold) – Jozi, Jo’burg or Egoli to its friends – the city is a vibrant melting pot of humanity that ensures you won’t walk alone when exploring the city’s many cultural and leisure attractions. The area where Johannesburg stands was once grassland, but is now one of the biggest man-made forests in the world. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden at Kloofendal conserves a piece of the original grassland as well as succulents and ferns. It is home to over 120 bird species, including the only pair of nesting black eagles in Johannesburg. The Johannesburg Botanical Gardens off Thomas Bowler Avenue in Emmarentia is famed for its Rose Garden and numerous waterfowl found in the reed beds of Emmarentia Dam. Cutting through the northern suburbs from the Westdene Dam is the 25 km Braamfontein Spruit, the longest parkland stretch in SA. There are numerous sporting activities like walking trails along the river and adjoining areas, such as Melville Koppies, where an Iron Age village and smelting works are to be found. Johannesburg, founded in 1886 with the discovery of gold, has had a somewhat turbulent past. Of most interest to the history buff are Newtown, Constitution Hill and Soweto. Mary Fitzgerald Square is also worth a visit in the CBD which includes Museum Africa, the Bensusan Museum of Photography and the Market Theatre in the restored Fresh Produce Market building, as well as the Workers Museum in the revamped Electricity Department Compound and art galleries, craft shops and restaurants. For contemporary African sounds, try the Bassline in Newtown or head out to one of the funky jazz joints in Soweto. The thriving local music scene caters for all musical tastes. Africa’s most cosmopolitan city, Johannesburg is also the wealthiest and most entertaining city in South Africa’ Gauteng province.
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