Johannesburg Hotels and Guest Houses
Interactive Map of Johannesburg, Gauteng Province, South Africa
Some call it Jo-burg, while the local Nguni people
call it e'Goli,
or "City of Gold." The name refers to Johannesburg's beginnings
as a 19th century gold rush town. Today Johannesburg is the heart of
Africa's industrial and commercial life. Economic strength, energy, a
beautiful climate and commercial vitality all make Jo-burg a superb holiday
or business destination. With more than 6 million residents, it is the
largest African city south of the Sahara. Visitors to the city will enjoy
superb hotels, excellent restaurants, and plenty of culture and nightlife.
Johannesburg is usually the "stop-over" city
for visitors en route to safari destinations in southern Africa. However,
is actually a destination in itself and worth a visit for the shopping
alone. The exchange rates are extremely favorable for visitors from
the USA and Europe and the city and its suburbs (especially Sandton
and Rosebank) offer excellent values for African textiles, furniture,
art, and souvenirs at the
various shopping malls, flea markets, and informal roadside vendors.
One of the world's most cosmopolitan cities, Johannesburg is
an interesting melting-pot of race and culture. Its lively streets reflect the
diversity of people populating the city - Europeans, Americans and Australians
flocked here to seek their fortunes during the gold rush of the late 19th century.
As the city expanded from a fledgling town to a beating heart of prosperity,
traders and entrepreneurs from India, China, Japan and Eastern Europe also laid
down their roots. In recent years, West, East and Central Africans have made
their home here, adding their own distinct
stamp to the city's profile. The result is a city that mirrors the fantastic
cultural mix of its inhabitants, who have managed to retain their personal identities
as well as merge into a unified and unique whole.
Easily laying claim to the title of cultural
capital of South Africa, the city that truly has it all boasts a variety
of impressive options
for the visitor - exciting nightclubs for every taste, theaters - including
the world-famous Market Theatre in Newtown; and music venues such as
the legendary Kippies, where one can jive to the rhythms of jazz maestros.
Brimming with quaint and delightful flea and craft markets from Rosebank
Rooftop to vast Bruma Lake, the array of uniquely South African creations
on offer in the city is endless.
Recent additions have centred around history museums, such as the Apartheid Museum (with related visits to Constitution Hill). There is also a large industry around visiting former townships, such as Soweto and Alexandra. Most visitors to Soweto see the Mandela Museum, which is located in the former home of Nelson Mandela. Also a large draw for tourists is Gold Reef City, a theme park which offers a depiction of mining life at the turn of the nineteenth century, including an underground mine tour; other attractions include a large amusement park and a popular Tribal Dancing show.
Shopping is often popular with tourists, as the city offers a range of venues and experiences, from numerous upmarket shopping malls such as Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square, to various markets and flea markets, such as the Rosebank Flea Market and Bruma, which are popular for reasonably-priced souvenirs and African Art. The Cradle of Humankind, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, is 25 kilometers to the northwest of the city. The Sterkfontein fossil site is famous for being the world's richest hominid site and produced the first adult Australopithecus africanus and the first near-complete skeleton of an early Australopithecine.
The De Wildt Cheetah Centre in the Magaliesberg runs a successful breeding program for cheetah, wild dog and other endangered species. The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, situated in the "Cradle of Humankind" on 1200 Ha of "the typical highveld of Gauteng" also runs a breeding program for endangered species.
Hotels and Guest Houses
Visitors to Johannesburg essentially have two choices with regards to accommodation - stay at one of the OR Tambo Airport hotels or stay in "town".
OR Tambo Airport / Emperors Palace Hotels
For those with just an overnight in Johannesburg before heading onwards on a flight out of OR Tambo, the recommended option is to stay at one of the hotels at the airport or at the very nearby Emperors Palace.
For detailed maps of these hotels click one of the links below:-
• OR Tambo Area Map
• OR Tambo Airport Terminals and Airport Hotels Map
• Emperors Palace Map
For visitors with more than a day or two in Johannesburg, we recommend one of the hotels or guests houses in Sandton or elsewhere away from the airport. There are numerous choices as seen on the map above.
Sandton Area Hotels
Many of Johannesburg's best hotels, as well as up-scale shopping are found in Sandton, including the Sandton City Shopping Centre, which ranks among the largest shopping centres in Africa.
For a detailed map of the Sandton Area and its various hotels and attractions, click the following link:-
• Sandton Area / Sandton City Map
Johannesburg's recently constructed rapid-rail transport system - The Gautrain - is the first of its kind in Africa.
In June 2010 the R24 billion Gautrain took to the rails for the first time, offering safe, reliable and comfortable public transport. This state-of-the-art rapid rail network comprises of two links: a link between Pretoria and Johannesburg and a link between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton.
The Gautrain system operates with two train services:
1. Airport Service - Links Sandton to the OR Tambo International Airport at a cost of R100 per single trip. All airport trains go via the Sandton station.
2. Commuter Service - Links all the stations with the exception of the airport at various different costs.
Travelling at speeds of 160 to 180 kilometers per hour, you can reach Pretoria from Johannesburg in just 40 minutes and from Sandton to the airport in only 15 minutes.
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of Gauteng Province
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