If it’s history you love, Gauteng will certainly not disappoint. Wherever you live, whether it is in Randburg, Highlands North, Sandton, Kew, Germiston or one of the interesting little towns on the East or West of Jozi or Pretoria, you will find it is easy to get out and about to explore and unpack some of our wonderful spots overflowing with stories of old.
Jozi is also referred to as the City of Gold or Egoli – a city intricately linked to mining and especially gold mining. The entire Witwatersrand region has some of the biggest gold deposits in the world, which is the reasons why South Africa is one of the world’s gold mining leaders.
During the 1800s South Africa experienced a gold rush which changed the course of the country’s history and heritage for all time.
A visit to the mansions of the Randlords in Parktown will take you down memory lane– a worthwhile outing for those interested in finding out more about Gauteng’s history. Despite the busy, modern metropolis of a modern African city, Jozi of Jozi, is home to numerous historic residences. The Sammy Marks Museum and Melrose House in Pretoria are hugely popular locations, too, as is The Smuts Museum in Irene a stone’s throw from Pretoria.
The Apartheid Museum portrays the apartheid story through photographs, artefacts, clippings from newspapers and a rather chilling and graphic account of a history that South Africans are not proud of. The museum presents thought-provoking permanent exhibits which take visitors on a rather emotional journey through South Africa’s history.
About an hour from Johannesburg the Cradle of Humankind is a fascinating UNESCO World Heritage Site which is one of the world’s most important paleo-anthropological spots. Perhaps the top attraction here is the Sterkfontein caves, which consist of six inter-linked underground chambers complete with lake of about 40 meters deep.
Archaeological excavations here have unearthed a skull of a humanoid known as Australopithecus Africanus which is about two million years old, and been dubbed “Mrs Ples,”. In 1998 scientists unearthed a skeleton that dates the early presence of humans at 3.5 million years.
History buffs residing in and around Pretoria, Johannesburg and the surrounding areas will not be disappointed with so much to see and so much to do. From Gandhi to the Gold Rush, Nelson Mandela to Lilies Leaf Farm; your appetite for all things history will be satiated on all levels