A Tale of Two Cities!
The contrast between the affluent suburbs of Johannesburg and the township of Soweto has lessened in recent years. Both are now parts of the same city of Johannesburg Prior to 1994 Soweto was administered seperately under an apartheid government department and not recognised as part of the city of Johannesburg and living standards were in great contrast to it's wealthy neighbour. Living standards in Soweto have greatly improved with most houses having running water and electricity and many families have cars. Some areas however still consist of "informal housing", basically just shacks where new arrivals to the city await hopefully for better. But there are other much larger areas to the south of Johannesburg that consist entirely "informal housing".
Nevertheless great disparities in people's living standards and incomes still exist and South Africa has a long way to go to address it's economic inequalities.
But you will see written on the landscapes the fascinating history of this "City of Gold", now home to 6 million people and how it came to be, built because of one immense resource discovered here just over 125 years ago when there was nothing in this part of the "Highveld" except the vast open grassland the occasional farmhouse and wandering herd of antelope. Unlike other great cities built on a river or sheltered harbour " Jo'burg" was built because of the great gold deposits found beneath its surface.
The gold still exists kilometres beneath Jo'burgs streets but now it has been pursued to depths beyond its marketable value and the mining activity has removed itself and its environmentally destructive practises to more accessible deposits further away along the "Golden Crescent" , the strip of gold bearing rock that was laid down on the bed of an ancient shallow sea and buried many hundreds of millions of years ago. This level seabed then laymany kilometres deep under the earth and was then tipped upwards to the surface by a cataclysmic asteroid strike over 1000 million years ago. ( the centre of this strike, the world's biggest visible meteorite impact is now a UN World Heritage site about 150kms south of the city). If it was not for this gigantic meteorite strike gold would have never been discovered in Johannesburg.
Since gold's discovery migration both internal and from all corners of the globe created Johannesburgs population and has given it a rich and diverse cultural heritage. Explore this rich and sometimes sad history at Gold Reef City, Museum Africa and the world famous Apartheid Museum. Take a trip to some of the glittering shopping malls of Sandton, their exclusive upmarket shops, restaurants, theatres, cinemas and casinos and to the dusty streets of Soweto from whence Nelson Mandela and countless other heroes emerged to do battle against the unjust apartheid system and with the ruling elite made hugely wealthy by the gold and diamonds bonanza. Some of the stately mansions of the 19th and early 20th century mining magnates can be included in your tour.
Another illustrious inhabitant of Johannesburg was Mahatma Ghandi who came to South Africa to practise law in 1893 and left 21 years later having developed his policy of Satyagraha or 'Passive Resistance' which he went on to India to successfully practice in his campaign for Indian independence. Visiting Satyagraha house one of his homes while here will tell you a lot about this great early human rights activist. It is now a museum (and guest house) with a peaceful garden setting.
Below is a list of prices and places to see on your sightseeing tour of Johannesburg and the Soweto township.
Jo’burg Morning and Afternoon Soweto with Shebeen Lunch (c.8 hours) Price above under banner. No extra charges unless mentioned below.
Johannesburg:(we can discuss your preferences as we proceed)
Selection of following ( we will discuss your preferences as we proceed) Drive past Nelson Mandela’s home in the elite suburb of Houghton, Apartheid Museum,
Centre City Business Area ( Head offices of large mining houses, banks etc), Newtown precinct with Museum Africa, Top of Africa 50 storeys up in Johannesburg’s highest building, Visit to local orphanage, Witwatersrand University and the Origins Centre, Old Fort Prison and the Constitutional Court, Sandton and Lilliesleaf secret hideout of The ANC and Nelson Mandela during apartheid ( entrance fees of ZAR150.00 per person).
Soweto: (we can discuss your preferences as we proceed)
Enter Soweto and drive past Baragwanath Hospital, Kliptown walkabout at Freedom Square, Regina Mundi, Walkabout Vilikazi St to Hector Pietersen Memorial and visit the Museum, drive out past Soccer City World Cup Stadium (we can arrange a tour of the inside of the Stadium at cost of ZAR100.00 per person). Also a visit to the Mandela Family House Museum - The former residence of Nelson Mandela and family - Now a museum and national heritage site.
Johannesburg c. 6 hour Tour. ( ZAR2,600.00 for 1, ZAR2,900.00 for 2 and ZAR900.00 for each additional person more than 2) Selection of following (please mention your preferences in the enquiry form or in an email to us)
Drive past Nelson Mandela’s home in the elite suburb of Houghton, Centre City Business Area ( Head offices of large mining houses, banks etc.), Satyagraha House home of Mahatma Gandhi, Stately Mansions of 19th century Mining Millionaires, " Top of Africa" 50 storeys up in Johannesburg’s highest building, Visit to local orphanage, Witwatersrand University and the Origins Centre, Old Fort Prison and the Constitutional Court, Sandton and Mandela Square and Lilliesleaf secret hideout of The ANC and Nelson Mandela during apartheid ( add entrance fees of ZAR250.00 per person). Or anything else you might like to include.
Soweto and Apartheid Museum (ZAR3,050.00 for 1, ZAR3,390.00 for 2 and ZAR1,090.00 for each additional person more than 2) With Lunch at Shebeen c.6 hrs Itinerary for Soweto as above in full day tour starting with Apartheid Museum.
All tours Include: Transport in a/c modern vehicles with tourism permits with qualified Tour Guide and applicable entrances fees.
Enjoy Jo’burg and its environs with the services of a fully informed and communicative tour guide who can inform you and answer questions about all aspects and areas of South Africa present and past.
Pick up anywhere Jo'burg/Pretoria/OR Tambo.
Please feel free to contact us if you want to “tailormake” your tour or to adapt what you see below.
Groups of 7 or larger please contact us for a quotation.
Extended day, combine with one or more of the many regions attractions
Not far away are many other attractions.So why not use the opportunity and combine with any of the following: Gold Reef City, The Lion Park, Cradle of Humankind, Lesedi African Village. Applicable extra entrance fees per person plus extra time charges above 8 hours ( length of standard day tour) can apply. Please click on Book/Enquire on this page and let us know what you would like to do.
(Gold Reef City closed on Mondays and Tuesdays).
Applicable extra entrance fees per person plus extra time charges above 8 hours ( length of standard day tour) can apply. Please click on Book/Enquire on this page and let us know what you would like to do.
Free Mineral water included in vehicle