Somehow, the hectic gold rush days of 1886 still resonate in ‘egoli’, Johannesburg, the vibrant metropolis, the CITY OF GOLD.

This is the largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg, the financial and commercial heart of the country, home of the imposing Stock Exchange building.

Business is business, but pleasure is pleasure – in the affluent suburbs of Sandton, Hyde Park, Rosebank, Melrose Arch and Fourways, are vast, opulent shopping centres to appeal to the most avid of shoppers. There’s something for everyone – exclusive boutiques, outstanding eateries, vibrant pavement cafes and theme complexes for entertainment.

To gain a perspective on the history of South Africa, see the Apartheid Museum, a fascinating if not disturbing record of not-so-long-ago South Africa. At the other end of the spectrum is the impressive Constitutional Court, the protector of our basic human rights and freedom. Both recapture the darker aspects of our history, but conclude with a positive affirmation of new beginnings.

See a different kind of lifestyle: venture into the vast, world-renowned township of Soweto for an eye-opening tour of the laid back drinking dens, the ‘shebeens’. Tuck into a midday feast of modern local cuisine, share experiences with the people of Soweto, and you may be lucky enough to be treated with impromptu live music.

In the suburbs of Randburg and Bruma, you’ll find unique waterfronts with shops and waterside restaurants. An hour’s drive from Johannesburg is a delightful arts and crafts meander in the tranquillity of the Magaliesburg Mountain area.

Gauteng is understandably proud of its World Heritage Site, the Sterkfontein Caves, where the earth’s earliest hominid has been discovered. The Cradle of Humankind includes important archaeological findings from 15 sites, and ultimately the discovery at Sterkfontein. Just a few kilometres away, at Maropeng, is a world-class exhibition centre to complement the Sterkfontein discovery.

Egoli, City of Gold. They came from far and wide to strike it rich in Johannesburg when gold was discovered in 1886. Our multicultural ‘City of Gold’ still pulsates with entrepreneurial energy, power and the jingle of money, so it’s little wonder the pace is fast and furious. Let Thompsons Africa guide you through this intoxicating maze.