Gauteng, South Africa's smallest province, packs a lot of punch. It is the country's commercial capital and perhaps as a result of this, it is also South Africa's most population-dense region. The name is a derivative of the Sesotho word meaning 'place of gold', a reference to Gauteng's gold-rush days in the 1880's. While gold was the original raison d'etre of cities like Johannesburg, today tourism is also a significant factor.
The two most significant cities in Gauteng are Johannesburg (Joburg) and Pretoria. Owing to its position on a high-altitude grassland area (known as the Highveld), Joburg in particular experiences summer thunderstorms and crisp, dry winters but neither of these conditions has much effect on one's ability to enjoy the area.
If you are planning on visiting Gauteng, it will become apparent that the majority of its tourist attractions revolve around its urban centres. Both Johannesburg and Pretoria offer numerous options for art lovers, foodies and those fascinated by contemporary culture and history respectively. Within Joburg for example, the Apartheid Museum brings the apartheid era to life through a series of multi-media displays, providing even the most jaded Apartheid student with an enlightened perspective.
A visit to the province would not be complete without a trip to Soweto, South Africa's largest township. This is a popular attraction not least because of its pivotal role during the Apartheid era. It provides visitors with a fascinating taste of South African culture and few things will compare to dining in a township restaurant.
Other attractions include the Vaal River, which supplies water to most of the province and acts as its Northern border. The wide, languid river is also one of the main tributaries to the great Orange River and is a haven for water sport enthusiasts. In addition one can also hire a houseboat and pass a few days swimming, tanning and fishing.
Close to both Pretoria and Johannesburg is the world renowned Cradle of Human Kind and the Sterkfontein Caves. This is an archaeological site of international importance where fossils of over 3 million years old were discovered. The unearthing of these remains altered the way in which we understand the development of the human species.
Close to both Pretoria and Johannesburg is the delightful little town of Cullinan, a throwback from the diamond mining days. This small town along with the other attractions are just some of the things on offer in Gauteng. Finding places to stay is also convenient as many of the country's best game lodges are an easy drive away. There are also numerous holiday resorts in Gauteng which will appeal to those looking for a family holiday as well as a romantic getaway.
If you are looking for a convenient, enjoyable base for your South African odyssey, look no further than Gauteng. Let Sleeping-OUT help you out even more with our easy to use, secure booking system.
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