Johannesburg and Pretoria, Gauteng
Johannesburg, also known as Jo’burg, is the largest city in South Africa by population and a gateway for many travelers on safari. Named the “City of Gold” for its rich deposits of the precious metal, it’s also the economic engine and vibrant heart of the country.
Top things to do in Johannesburg include visiting the Apartheid Museum, a poignant look at the oppression of apartheid to the birth of democracy; Constitution Hill; and Gold Reef City, which traces the region’s history through mining-themed attractions.
If Johannesburg is the heart of South Africa, the shanty towns of Soweto, are its soul. An abbreviation for “southwestern townships,” Soweto birthed the freedom movement, which created South Africa’s new democratic constitution. One of the popular things to do in Johannesburg is take a guided tour of the townships, which often includes a visit to the Mandela House, now a national monument.
Close in distance, but a world away in feel, Pretoria is the administrative capital of South Africa. It’s a city of parks and gardens, and home to popular attractions like the Voortrekker Monument and Heritage Site and the highly-lauded Freedom Park.