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Powerful Commercial Centre on the African Continent

Aug 17, 2007
The closest major city to Johannesburg is South Africas capital Pretoria, 58 kilometres to the north. The countries other major city, Cape Town, is 1 400 kilometres south west of Johannesburg. It is in the north of the country. The city is inland from the coast.

The city is a cosmopolitan melting pot with all the conveniences the foreign visitor could want coupled with the unique charms of Africa. It is where the money is and the action. Its the most powerful commercial centre on the African continent. It is a city that works, literally, the phones dial, the lights switch on, you can drink the water, there are multi lane freeways, skyscrapers, conference centres and golf courses.

There are no mountains to block growth therefore the city is a shapeless sprawl. Johannesburg is 115 years old. It started life as a gold rush shanty town. It was barely in its teens when it sparked an Anglo Boer war that changed southern African history, over a dispute about who controlled Johannesburg.

In less than 30 years the city had outpaced every rival to become southern Africas major commercial centre. For a foreign visitor, it is cheap. In fact an international survey of 22 leading cities found that Johannesburg was the cheapest to live in less than half the price of London and a quarter the price of Tokyo.

Highlights to be seen include some of the following.

Cradle of Humankind is set of caves west of Johannesburg where many experts believe mankinds hominid ancestors first appeared.

Established in 1912, Alexandra is one of the earliest urban black settlements. It is the site of a multi million presidential development initiative.

Botanic Gardens are one of the finest succulent collections, in addition to wide open green spaces, sparkling dams, roses, herbs, birds and trees galore.

Monte Casino Bird Gardens is a new attraction with some 200 species of birds and over 1500 species of small animals. A feature being is the walk in aviary containing 100 species of birds.

The township whose name became synonymous with anti apartheid resistance. On one street, the Tutus once lived.

The jail that held leading activists from Nelson Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi is reborn as the constitutional court and as a museum graves.

A visit to Johannesburgs new Apartheid Museum is a moving experience, you almost feel you were there among the demonstrators facing down the police.

A bus tour takes visitors to sites of intriguing murders in the city.

Take a trip down an old gold mine which even boasts the worlds deepest pub

Tired of the usual movies, nightclubs, and restaurants then Johannesburg has lots of different activities to do in the evenings, which will give you another, unusual take on the city.
About the Author
Douglas Scott works for The Rental Car Hire Specialist. and is a free lance writer for The Villa Rental Site
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