Gauteng is one of the Nine Provinces of South Africa. The name in Sothos – Tswana mean “Place of Gold”. Situated in the Highveld, Gauteng is the smallest Province in South Africa accounting for only 1.5 percent of the land area.
Pretoria (Tswane), in Gauteng Province, is the administrative capital of South Africa. Known as “Jacaranda City” for its thousands of Jacaranda trees, it’s also home to universities and government buildings. The semicircular Union Buildings encompass the President’s offices and hosted Nelson Mandela’s inauguration. Nearby is the Voortrekker Monument, honoring 19th Century Afrikaans settlers from the Cape Colony.
Church Square is flanked by historic buildings such as the Neo Renaissance Ou Readsaal and stately Palace of Justice both completed in the late 19th century. Close by, Kruger House is where Paul Kruger, the former President of the Transvaal, lived from 1883 to 1901. The expansive National Zoological Gardens is home to rare species such as Komodo dragons. Other animals, such as the blue Wildebeest, can be found at the Groekloof Nature Reserve which offers game safaris and many outdoor activities. Pretoria also hosts a number of local food and flea markets.
The Hector Peiterson Museum is a large museum located in Orlando West, Soweto, South Africa, and two blocks away from where Hector Peiterson was shot and killed on 16 June 1976. Hector Peiterson Museum also known as the Hector Peiterson Memorial and Museum, opened in Soweto in 2002, not far from the spot where the 12 year old Hector was shot. It commemorates the role of the country’ students in the struggle against Apartheid and in particular the role played by the school children who took part in the Soweto protests of 1976, many of whom were shot by the Apartheid police while protesting against sub-standard of education in black school in South Africa.
On June 16, 1976, Soweto high school students took to the street in a peaceful protest against the mandatory use of Afrikaans as a language of instruction in black Secondary schools. The students planned to meet at Orlando Stadium before marching to the regional offices of the Department of Bantu Education, where they intended to raise their grievances with the authorities.
They carried placards that read, “Away with Afrikaans”, (“Power to the People”) and “Free Azania” “South Africa”), and sang the hymn ‘Nkosi Sikeleli Africa’ (God Bless Africa), now the basis for the National Anthem of democratic South Africa.
On the way to the Stadium, they were met by the police, who ordered them to end the march and disperse. A violent confrontation ensued in which student threw stones and police fired shots. News of the events in Soweto soon spread, igniting an up rise around the country in which hundreds of people died. One of the first to be killed by the police was 12 year old Peiterson. Newspaper photographer Sam Nzima was in Soweto on June 16 covering the protests and the riots which followed. The iconic image of Peiterson’s body being carried by high school student Mbuyisa Makhubo, with sister, Antoinette Sithole, running alongside, is a graphic representation of the repression under the apartheid state.
The Voortrekkers Monument is located just south of Pretoria in South Africa. This massive granite structure is prominently located on a hilltop, and was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers who left Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854. It depicts the battles that took place along the way in limestone cravings.
The Union Building
The Union Building form the official seat of the African Government and also house the offices of the President of South Africa. The imposing buildings are located in Pretoria, atop Meintjieskop at the northern end of Arcadia, close to historical Church Square and Voortrekkers Monument.
The Pretoria Zoo
The Pretoria Zoo, more formerly known as the National Zoological Garden is a great spot for families, students, school groups and tourists alike. The 85 hectare Zoo is home to thousands of species including mammals, birds, invertebrates, reptiles and amphibians. If you hadn’t already guessed, it is the largest Zoo of its kind in South Africa. This is one of the reason it has been named the National Zoo of South Africa.
You need not drive for hours outside of the city for this super cool outing. The Pretoria Zoo is situated just 5 minutes outside Central Pretoria and 5.4 Km away from Pretoria University (commonly known as Tuks University).
In case you weren’t yet sold, Pretoria Zoo also houses South Africa’s largest inland Aquarium as well as a reptile shed. It really is fun for the whole family and offers a variety of additional activities. The ever growing Zoo was founded by J.W.B Gunning in 1899 and is internationally recognized and rated among the top 10 Zoos in the world. The highly accredited tourism site, World Atlas published an article rating the Pretoria Zoo as one of the 10 best Zoos in the World competing with the well-known Bronx Zoo in New York.
Pretoria Zoo Animal list
The Zoo prides itself on promoting the importance of animal conservation. It also plays a vital role I protecting endangered species. Some of the animals which you can find at the Pretoria Zoo are as follows: Elephants, Bears, White Tigers, Zebras, Giraffes, Lions, Pygmy Hippopotamus, Western Lowveld Gorillas and White Rhinoceros. There are different feeding times for different animals.
- Lions and Tigers are fed at 2:30 hours on alternate days
- Bears feeding times is from 09:30 to 10:00 hours
- Penguins are fed 3 times daily at 09:30. 12:30 and 15:30
- Red River Hawks are fed at 14:00 hours
- Elephants are fed at 10:30 hours
- Sharks are fed on Wednesday and Sunday at 12:00 hours
- Vultures are fed on Wednesday and Sunday at 14:00 hours
Rietvlvlei Nature Reserve
The Rietvlei Nature Reserve is located in Pretoria and is about 4000 hectares (40 Km2) in size. Located within the reserve is Rietvlei Dam.
The Reitvlei Nature Reserve surrounds and include the Reitvlei dam and is situated south east of Pretoria, in the Gauteng Province of South Africa, between the R21 highway (OR Tambo Airport Highway) on the western side and the R50 (Delmas/Babsfotein) road on the north east. The site lies in the quarter degrees grid square.
Johannesburg, South Africa’s biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, began as a 19th Century Gold mining settlement. The Sprawling Soweto Township was once home of Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former residence is now the Nelson Mandela Museum. Other Soweto Museums that recount the struggle to end segregation include the Oscar Pretorius, Apartheid Museum and Constitutional Hill, a former prison complex.
To the northeast, Herman Eckstein encompasses a boating lake and Johannesburg Zoo. The Gold Reef City theme park combines thrill rides with mining history and underground tour. The Johannesburg Art Gallery features contemporary local work and 17th Century Dutch paintings. Arts on Main is a trend studio development in a converted industrial precinct, part of the up and coming Maboneng district. Upmarket stores at the Sandton City Mall, and Sunday’s Rosebank rooftop Market showcase African crafts, food and entertainment.
Soweto is a township of the city of Johannesburg Metropolitan municipality in Gauteng, South Africa, bordering the city’s mining belt in the South. Its name is an English Syllabic for South Western Townships. Formerly a separate municipality, it is now incorporated in the City of Johannesburg Metropolitan Municipality, suburbs of Johannesburg
The Craddle of Mankind – Humans
The cradle of humankind, is one of the eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa, and the only one in hominid, Australopithecus and was found in 1924 at Taung in the North West Province by Professor Raymond Dart of the University of the Witwatersrand. It is one major tourist attractions in South Africa.
The cradle of humankind area boasts of 13 excavation sites that are recognized as National Heritage sites, both internationally and by the South African Heritage Resource Agency, For those wanting to experience the birth place of humankind first hand, the official visitor centre for the cradle of Humankind, Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves, are within as easy hours’ drive from Johannesburg.
Maropeng ia a world class exhibition centre that focuses on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years. On arrival, visitors are met by what appears to be a massive burial mound, the entry point into the secrets of humankind’s beginnings.
The Sterkfontein Caves, the site of the most longstanding, continuous palaeaoanthropological dig in the world, are world- renowned for their fossil finds. These Caves have produced the pre-human skull popularly known as “Mrs Ples”, and an almost complete hominid skeleton affectionately known as, “Little Foot.”
Recently, the cradle of Humankind unveiled the partial skeletons of the Australopithecus Sediba fossils. These fossils are suspected to be candidates for the transitional species between the Southern Africa Ape-Man, Australopithecus Africanus (of which, “the Taung Child” and Mrs Plies” are examples) and Homo Habilis; or even a direct ancestor of Home Erectus. The two skeleton are of an adult female and a young male, recently name “Karabo”, which means “Answer” in Setswana
Experts suggest there are more discoveries to be made in Sterkfontein Caves and similar sites in the cradle of Humankind. Having world Heritage Site status will ensure that the treasures of this area will be protected for many years to come.
The cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site has become a key International tourism destination with a total of 387 tourist attractions, including 91 graded establishments. There are 175 places to stay and 113 restaurants in and around the area from which to choose, offering plenty of accommodation in Gauteng for whatever type of trip you’re planning.
The Aparthied Museum
The Apartheid Museum opened in 2001 and is acknowledged as the pre-eminent museum in the World dealing with 20th Century South Africa, at the heart of which is the Apartheid story.
The Apartheid Museum, the first of its kind, illustrates the rise and fall of Apartheid. An architectural consortium, comprising several leading architectural firms, conceptualized the design of the building on a seven-hectare stand. The museum is a superb example of design, space and landscape offering the international community a unique South African experience’
The exhibits have been assembled and organized by a multi-disciplinary team of curators, film makers, historians and designers. They include provocative film footage, photographs, text panels and artefacts illustrating the events and human stories that are part of the horrific period in South African history, known as Apartheid.
In 1995 the South Africa government set up a process for the granting of Casino licenses, establishing an agency to do the called the Gambling Board. The bid documents stipulated that the bidders should demonstrate how they would attract tourism and thereby grow the economy and stimulate job creation.
A consortium, called Akani Egoli, (Gold Reef City), put in a bid that included the commitment to building a museum. Their bid was successful, the Gold Reef City Casino was built and an adjacent piece of land was given to the consortium for the construction of a museum.
The cost of the construction of what became the Apartheid Museum- approximately 80 million rand – was paid for by Gold Reef City.
The museum is registered as a Public Benefit Company (incorporated not for gain) with an independent board of trustees, the chairman of which is Dr. Kohn Kani. The Company is independent of Gold Reef City, which has leased the museum to the Public Benefit Company for the duration of the Casino License. The museum therefore relies on donations, contributions and sponsorship to sustain its growth.