Region Overview

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Johannesburg, also known locally as Jozi or Egoli, is one of the world's most diverse, fast-paced and vibrant cities; in many ways it lives up to its reputation as the New York of Africa and a World Class African City. Joburg (or Jozi, or Egoli) is the largest city in South Africa, and is the capital of Gauteng. It boasts 74% of the multinational headquarters in the country, is ranked among the top 50 worldwide centres of commerce, and is home to the top four conference facilities in South Africa. No wonder businesses are keen to send their representatives here.

Before the FIFA 2010 Soccer World Cup, many people would have frowned when you told them you're coming to Johannesburg on holiday. You would have been confronted with concerns about crime and traffic, and the very common question Joburg? What's there to actually do in Joburg? As with many large cities throughout the world, crime does remain a problem, and tourists are encouraged to always be aware of their surroundings and belongings. Measures to safeguard residents and tourists from crime have already been put into action. And yet despite its undeniable issues, this fascinating city, which originally served as a starting point for travels to the rest of South Africa and Africa, has fast become one of the region's most popular, and well-run, tourism and business centres.

The Johannesburg tourism board promotes the boast that "Joburg is ‘the city where work becomes play…" and in comparison to Cape Town, Johannesburg certainly is more business focused. Founded upon the backs of gold prospectors, this is one city that is not afraid to work hard. Johannesburg seems like any other western city, with sprawling motorways, skyscrapers, golf courses, Sky News, and English speaking locals. You’ll feel like you never left home.

Johannesburg has great inter-city transport links, including the new Gautrain Urban Railway System. This allows business travellers to easily get between the city and South Africa's busiest airport, the OR Tambo International Airport. OR Tambo is located in Johannesburg, and it services most centres in the country as well a host of sub-Saharan Africa countries. This is perfect if you are only making a quick stop in Johannesburg before moving on elsewhere.

Johannesburg is situated in what is known as the Highveld, a highland area of savannah grassland, which has a very cool and comfortable climate due to its high altitude. Most rain falls as short afternoon storms, with plenty of thunder and lightning, quite different from the type of rain that falls in Cape Town. For first-time visitors to the Highveld, the noise, lightning and heavy rain can be an exhilarating experience.

Joburg has a very cool and comfortable climate due to its high altitude. Most rain occurs in short afternoon storms with plenty of thunder and lightning, quite different from the type of rain that falls in Cape Town. For first time visitors to the Highveld, the noise, flashes and heavy rain can be an exhilarating experience. Winters are very dry with frost often occurring in the southern areas.

The average temperatures and rainfall for are:

  • Temperatures: Jan 15 - 26 °C, June 4 - 16 °C,
  • Annual rainfall: 713 mm.

Take a look at the current conditions by going to our weather page

There are different interpretations as to which suburbs and municipal areas make up the area referred to as "Johannesburg". In order to to avoid confusion, we use the following naming conventions: 

  • "Johannesburg Metropolitan Area" (comprising areas A, B, C, D, E, F and G in the map below) means the area which includes Sandton, Randburg, Midrand, Soweto, Roodepoort, Inner City and the other areas in the Joburg City map below.
  • "Johannesburg City(area F on the map below) means the city centre, comprising Newtown, Braamfontein, and other suburbs in the old business districts of Johannesburg, which are now being revitalized into a fascinating - and safe - tourism area.
  • "Johannesburg" is a loose term that simply means those tourism areas within about 2 hours comfortable drive from Johannesburg City. The actual official boundaries of Johannesburg are not important to tourists, simply because tourism attractions do not respect such artificial demarcations. The best example of this is the Pilanesberg area of the North West Province, which is around 1 1/2 hours from Johannesburg City, but which contains the magnificant Sun City Resort and the Pilanesberg Game Reserve.

Gauteng and Joburg City

Joburg's Tourist Destinations
Johannesburg comprises a wonderful mix of different attractions for the foreign or local tourist, or the holiday or the business traveller. These are either in and around Johannesburg, and suitable for a morning or a day trip, or further away where one can spend up to a few nights away totally immersed in a unique holiday experience. Follow the links below for a description of Joburg's fascinating tourist destinations.