While it might be the smallest of South Africa's provinces, Gauteng is the country's urban centre, home to the major cities Johannesburg and Pretoria. Famous for its gold rush during the 19th Century, the province has since evolved into South Africa's economic hub, packed with attractions and offering some natural wonders too.
Gauteng's twin cities are set only 50km apart and vary greatly in character. Johannesburg dominates the province with African charisma and the typical bustle of a cosmopolitan city, while Pretoria remains conservative as South Africa's administrative capital. The cities are a window into South African culture and entertainment, with restaurants, shops, museums and luxury city hotels to ease visitors into city life.
Johannesburg or Jo'burg as it's affectionately known, is a sprawling metropolis home to around ten million people and is often used as a stop-over destination before jetting off to other locations across Africa. One of the city's notable sights is the Apartheid Museum, a must visit for history buffs and a powerful reminder of the awful regime opposed by Nelson Mandela. A visit to the township of Soweto is also an important one. The only place on earth where two Nobel Peace Prize winners lived on the same street, embark on township tours which, while not visually spectacular, offer an absorbing glimpse into the contrasting stratums of Jo'burg's system of wealth. Other attractions include the fascinating Cradle of Humankind, Gold Reef City - a theme park with the chance to explore a disused gold mine - and the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens.
Pretoria meanwhile is dotted by elegant government buildings, distinctive purple jacarandas, which line pretty avenues, and is less of an urban sprawl than its sister city. Filled with stunning architecture, history and museums, a good place to start exploring the city is Church Square - Pretoria's central hub. If you head east from the Square you'll find the Union Buildings, South Africa's majestic seat of office. While you can't go in for a look around the weight of the architectural beauty alone is reason enough to visit. Streams of attractions are on offer, from Pretoria Art Museum to the Freedom Park and Pretoria National Botanical Gardens while accommodation is equally as comfortable and luxurious as hotels found in Johannesburg.
While the cities dominate holidays to Gauteng, there are also a number of natural attractions that are worthwhile to visit if you are planning to stay in the province for a while. The Magaliesberg Mountains are stunning and great to explore while Dinokeng Game Reserve offers the only chance in Gauteng to see the Big 5.
South Africa's cosmopolitan capital of commerce, this bustling city offers a number of exciting attractions.
South Africa's administrative capital, take-in jacaranda lined avenues, elegant government buildings and sophisticated bustle.
Our favourite itineraries, showcasing the best of Gauteng
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The DaVinci is a luxurious city hotel found on Nelson Mandela Square in the affluent suburb of Sandton. Offering a wide range of facilities you are guaranteed a comfortable stay.
This airport hotel is situated within walking distance from the terminals at OR Tambo International Airport. With it's unique positioning this is the ideal stop-over property.
Found within the complex of Oliver Tambo Johannesburg Airport, the City Lodge is ideal for commuting to and from Johannesburg and a good stopover hotel, within easy walking distance of the airport's international terminal.
Offering an incredible luxury rail service, climb aboard Rovos Rail for world class travel, a unique way to view South Africa and exclusive accommodation.
Found in the prestigious suburb of Sandton, The Saxon is a luxurious property offering a range of superb facilities and is an excellent choice of accommodation while staying in the city.
Holding pleasant city views the 131 Herbert Baker Boutique Hotel is close to Pretoria's CBD, affording guests easy access to a wide variety of shops and restaurants.
A luxurious and unique way to see South Africa, the Blue Train offers an exclusive rail journey in colonial class.
The Michelangelo is a comfortable and luxurious city hotel found on Nelson Mandela Square in Sandton. Expect well-appointed facilities and excellent service.
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