Many international visitors are fascinated by the socio-political history of Johannesburg and Soweto. The Westcliff’s Concierge will recommend a tour operator to create the perfect tour for you, taking in some of the most culturally rich and significant places of interest.
Johannesburg is a rich and vibrant place with a thriving culture, from spaces that explore the city’s turbulent recent past such as the Apartheid Museum and the beautiful Nelson Mandela Bridge, to the Johannesburg Art Gallery that houses sub-Saharan Africa’s largest collection of art.
The Apartheid Museum at Gold Reef City, Ormonde
(Tel: 011-496 1822)
Open 10h00 – 17h00 (closed on Mondays)
This important and extremely powerful museum explores the effects of apartheid, investigating the extraordinary depth and pettiness of its reach, and the drama of the low level civil war it unleashed in African townships during the 1980s and 90s.
Gold Reef City, Ormonde
(Tel: 011-248 6800)
Open 09h00 – 17h00 (closed on Mondays)
Situated on what was for many years the world’s richest gold mine, this detailed reconstruction of the town gives visitors real insight into the lives of people who were part of the gold rush era. One shaft of the old mine is kept open, allowing visitors to experience a fascinating underground tour. The park also has a funfair, restaurants and activities for children.
Johannesburg Art Gallery, Joubert Park, CBD
(Tel 011-725 3130).
(Open 10h00 – 17h00, closed on Mondays)
Housed in a grand colonial building (designed by Sir Edwin Lutyens), Johannesburg’s principal art collection is acknowledged as the most representative in sub-Saharan Africa and includes major pieces from many genres – from 19th century traditional African objects, anti-apartheid art and works by several European masters including Picasso and Rodin.
The Nelson Mandela Bridge
(Tel: 011-274 9300)
Opened in 2003, the 284m long bridge linking the Newtown Cultural Precinct with the Constitution Hill development, this state-of-the-art cable-stayed bridge was named after Nelson Mandela, South Africa’s most revered “bridge builder” and the man who led the county to democratic reconciliation. In addition to acquiring instant iconic status and redefining the Johannesburg skyline, the bridge also forms the heart of a R300-million inner city renewal project.