Johannesburg originally was farm land in an area known as The Witwatersrand, named after the white water springs in the area. When George Harrison, an Australian prospector, came pioneering, the mineral wealth of the Witwatersrand wasn’t known and in 1886, after George had sold his gold claim for just £10, Johannesburg was born. And while the gold mines are now on the outskirts of the city itself, it is money that drives this vibrant city, which is widely accepted to be the economic powerhouse of Africa.
Johannesburg has always attracted diverse people and celebrated its centenary in 1996, twenty years after the students’ uprising in Soweto (1976) which marked the turning point in South African history. After the youth uprising 1976, the socio-political scenario changed completely.
Johannesburg is on the brink of becoming a truly cosmopolitan African city. While most business moved to the northern suburbs from the Central Business District in the 80s and 90s, the inner city is slowly reviving and within a few years it\'s likely to be a thriving urban environment being regenerated. The Newtown District, with the Market Theatre, Museum Afrika and the newly constructed Nelson Mandela Bridge are all at the forefront of the regeneration.
Johannesburg cannot be mentioned without reference to Soweto, the site of violent riots in 1976, which started the path to democracy. Soweto today is a lively and metropolitan township.
To get you started with planning your holiday to Johannesburg, we have showcased below some popular itineraries requested by our clients which we hope will inspire your visit to Africa