Jo'burg & Pretoria Holidays

While Gauteng may geographically be South Africa's smallest province it is an urban playground of note with the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Johannesburg is South Africa's largest city as well as the financial and commercial heart of the country, while Pretoria is the administrative capital which is both a showpiece of South Africa's sad and controversial past, and of its vibrant new life.

The largest city in South Africa, Johannesburg is a booming, happening city with an infectious energy and vibrancy. Jo’burg has grown rapidly since the discovery of gold in 1886 and is today Africa’s richest metropolis. Along with a diverse cultural life, some fantastic shopping, restaurants and nightlife, Johannesburg has many notable landmarks and attractions.

An absolute must-see is the fascinating Apartheid Museum, which graphically charts the chilling era of segregation and oppression. Overlooking the city, Constitution Hill is home of the architectural marvel, Constitutional Court, as well as important heritage buildings such as the Old Fort museum and Women’s Gaol museum.

The precinct of Newtown is the heart of Johannesburg’s cultural landscape and brims with trendy coffee shops, restaurants, galleries, craft workshops, nightclubs, threatres and museums.For a journey into the soul of the fight for freedom, be sure to visit the famous township of Soweto. More of a city than a township, Soweto is a sprawling area where you can see the many milestones of South Africa’s turbulent history, including the former homes of Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu.

For a change of scene head to the smaller and more relaxed city of Pretoria, which is the country’s administrative capital. Whilst not as dynamic as Jo’burg, it has a rich heritage with stately buildings, good museums and pretty jacaranda-lined streets.

Be sure to visit the imposing Union Buildings, a crescent-shaped complex where thousands gathered in 1994 to see Nelson Mandela inaugurated as South African president.

High on a hilltop south of the city centre is the Voortrekker Monument, which commemorates the epic exodus of Boers from the Cape into the interior. Nearby Freedom Park traces the story of South Africa’s liberation and encompasses a series of poignant memorials and an impressive museum.

    Why visit Jo'burg & Pretoria?
  • Fascinating museums
  • History and heritage
  • Great shopping
  • UNESCO World Heritage Sites nearby


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Wide choice of tours and hotels in South Africa. Also includes Namibia, Botswana, Victoria Falls, Tanzania, Zanzibar, Uganda, Mozambique and Madagascar.

Where to stay in Jo'burg & Pretoria

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Essential facts about Jo'burg & Pretoria
Local Time

GMT +2 hours

Currency

South African Rand

Travel information

Johannesburg is approximately 11 hours (non-stop flights) from the UK. Pretoria is an hour’s drive from Johannesburg.

Best time to go

Johannesburg enjoys a mild climate with approximately six weeks of chilly weather in mid-winter (July-August) and summers with warm sunshine (October-March). The rainy season occurs in summer rather than winter and tends to be short sharp storms rather than prolonged rain. Pretoria’s climate is similar to Johannesburg, but as it lies at a somewhat lower altitude temperatures can be very slightly higher.

Travelling with children

Parents travelling with children into or out of South Africa may be asked to show the child’s unabridged full birth certificate, and where only one parent is accompanying, parental or legal consent for the child to travel (eg an affidavit from the other parent, a court order or – if applicable – a death certificate). You should travel with these documents in case you’re asked to provide them. There are other requirements for children travelling unaccompanied or with adults who are not their parents. For more information, contact the South African High Commission www.southafricahouseuk.com or the South African Department of Home Affairs www.dha.gov.za.