Johannesburg Metro is found in the Central Western part of the Gauteng province on a elevated ridge called the Witwatersrand, an Afrikaans word meaning “White Water’s Ridge.” This ridge and range of hills is rich in Gold and other precious metals and has its origins in the Gold boom of yesteryear. The area is also known as the “Highveld” due to the high elevation of 1,753 metres (5,751 feet). The Metro enjoys a relatively dry climate with a summer rainfall, showers occurring in the late afternoon.
The Johannesburg Metro lies just west of the Ekurhuleni Metro. Johannesburg is the economic hub of South Africa and not normally scene as a tourist destination. Due to the volume of visitors passing through the Johannesburg Metro, tourist attractions have been developed to expose the interesting history and culture of this area. These include a number of museums, amusement park, zoo, galleries, sports stadiums and other attractions.
Some of the more popular attractions:
Gold Reef City
This former gold mine and restored mining town, transports visitors back in time to the days of the early gold rush. The mine offers underground tours, highlighting what it is like being a miner. At the mining museum, one can observe how real gold is poured into bars. In an around this mining town are an assortment of restaurants and shops
This historic theme park is a wonderful place to bring the whole family. The amusement park offers rides for young and old. For those less inclined to have their adrenaline glands working overtime, one can enjoy a steam-train or coach ride and enjoy the beautiful sights through the town.
The Johannesburg Zoo is just over 100 years old and contains over 2000 animals. The zoo has partnered with local and provincial conservation authorities and proactively looks at contributing to our conservation and research in various ways. It also plays a primary roll in educating children in conservation. Children respond well to the touch, feel, smell and hear programme held throughout the year and the night tours are also quite popular. This is another wonderful place to bring the whole family.
Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
These gardens have created a beautiful retreat from the urban jungle of Johannesburg as it lies 6 km from the city centre. There are some popular areas inside the garden. The Herb Garden, highlights traditional African herbs as well as those for commonly used in our kitchens. The rose garden is a remarkable sight during flower season as over 4500 rose bushes display there colourful roses. For those in a contemplative mood can wonder through the Shakespeare Garden.
Although the area is known as a urban jungle, there are over ten million trees in and around the Johannesburg Metro. It is the 2nd biggest man-made forest in the world. Tree planting started as a supply for the mining industry and expanded over the years. The Metro council actively encourages tree planting and conservation awareness programmes focusing on the value of trees in the environment.
Next time you are flying into Johannesburg, think about spending a few days here enjoying these attractions.
Copyright © 2008 Mark Thomas
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