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.
Top itineraries in Johannesburg
Let a trip aboard the luxurious Blue Train suffix driving dips into the Garden Route's rural beauty. You'll pair Cape Town’s urban delights with the postcard-perfect Winelands and a charming valley retreat, with direct access to the Cape Peninsula's penguins, whales and beaches.
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Top places to stay in Johannesburg
Spread over ten landscaped acres in Johannesburg’s neighbourhood of Sandhurst, The Saxon Hotel, Villas & Spa is an exclusive retreat
Conveniently situated in Sandton, Fairlawns is an award-winning boutique hotel providing the perfect balance of tranquility and proximity
Known as a retreat within the square’s bustle, the Renaissance-style hotel is recognised for its excellent location
When to go to Johannesburg
Cool, dry winters and hot summers, which come with short and sometimes spectacular storms, characterise Johannesburg’s climate. In Madikwe, the best time for game viewing is from May to the end of September, when rainfall is low and the resident wildlife congregate around the remaining waterholes, a pattern similar to that of Tswalu Kalahari. Throughout spring the heat builds slowly before summer arrives, which in turn brings high temperatures and occasional thunderstorms.
The South African Rand has experienced continual weakening over the past few years and it currently at an all-time low against the Pound Sterling, making South Africa a high-value destination for 2016. Our typical holidays are up to £1,000 cheaper per couple, such is the relative power of the UK's …
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