Rapidly changing and utterly optimistic, South Africa is at the very heart of South Africa's renaissance – a city with with flourishing arts, culture and culinary scenes and several smart neighbourhoods home to thriving businesses and boutique shops. Urban renewal aside, there's also plenty of chances to explore South Africa's chequered past, not least in the township of Soweto, home to the excellent Apartheid Museum.
Having been at the forefront of South Africa's fight against apartheid, Soweto is South Africa's best-known township. Vibrant and bustling, it's home to a rich culture and arts scene as well as an emerging middle class and an abundance of national heritage sites. A Soweto township tour is the best way to experience the new South Africa.
This wealthy suburb is home to some of the city's best hotels, restaurants and shops. Within ‘Africa's richest square mile' you'll discover Sandton City, Rosebank Mall and Nelson Mandela Square, the site of a much-photographed statue of the great man himself.
The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden is a 300-hectare parkland of landscaped gardens and natural ‘veld', popular as an escape for Jo'burgers and visitors from the wider Gauteng Province. The reserve is home to the Witpoortjie waterfall, more than 220 bird species – including a breeding pair of black eagles – and many reptiles and mammals.
Sterkfontein, located outside Johannesburg, is a world heritage ‘Cradle of Humankind' palaeontological site, where some of the world's most important prehistoric finds have been unearthed. The Sterkfontain Caves and country village of Magaliesburg are also popular attractions.