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Johannesburg Travel Guide


Johannesburg Introduction


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Johannesburg, South Africa, is often affectionately called Jo'burg, Joeys or Jozi. The city was founded in 1886 on one of the richest gold reefs in the world and started life as a simple wagon camp for early prospectors on the bare, open Highveld. Johannesburg quickly grew into the economic powerhouse of southern Africa and the largest urban space in sub-Saharan Africa.  Click here to see the full Johannesburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Johannesburg Geography


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Johannesburg is built on an eastern plateau of South Africa known as the Highveld at an altitude of 5,751 ft/1,783 m above sea level. It was founded as a gold-mining city, and mine dumps—piles of yellow sand that were excavated from mines over the decades—are its prominent feature. These are now gradually disappearing as a result of development and as mines extract the remaining gold. Although the region was once a bare, grassy plain, trees were planted and streets laid out to dramatically change the landscape. Johannesburg now has an estimated 6 million-plus trees, which in turn attract abundant birdlife.  Click here to see the full Johannesburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Johannesburg History


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From 1835, the Boer inhabitants of the Cape (descendants from the early Dutch settlers of the 1600s) felt increasingly intimidated by the arrival of the British. Many thousands loaded up their ox wagons and either headed east from the Cape over the Drakensberg Mountains or northeast to the relatively untouched Highveld, an empty area of grassy, uncultivated plains. The hardy journey over mountains and across rivers still populated by wild animals became known as the Great Trek, and the Boers became known as Voortrekkers. There they set up simple farms and administered the region as the Transvaal Republic and Orange Free State. In 1886, their rural existence was shattered almost overnight by the discovery of gold, which drew prospectors, investors and fortune hunters from across the globe.  Click here to see the full Johannesburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Johannesburg Sightseeing & Things to Do


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Johannesburg has a diverse number of attractions for visitors. It is the best destination in the country for museums, which cover a range of topics from culture, apartheid, gold mining, archaeology, transport and the military—even beer.   Click here to see the full Johannesburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Johannesburg Nightlife


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Johannesburg's nightlife is typical of any modern city. There are trendy cocktail bars, large-scale dance clubs, fashionable hotel bars, grunge hangouts and lively shebeens in the townships. Many of the restaurants and cafes get more alcoholic and crank up the tunes as the evening wears on.   Click here to see the full Johannesburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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Johannesburg Restaurants & Dining


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Johannesburg has a wealth of excellent restaurants, and just about every world cuisine is offered. Because of South Africa's love of shopping malls, a number of restaurants, bars and coffee shops are located there, but many have outside seating and extended hours after the shops have closed.  Click here to see the full Johannesburg travel guide on Travel42 »

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