Gauteng TourThe name Gauteng comes from the Sesotho word meaning ‘Place of Gold’, the historical Sesotho name for Johannesburg and surrounding areas. This referred to the thriving gold industry in the province following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg. Today, Gauteng’s wealth lies in its people.

Gauteng

Gauteng is the smallest province in South Africa, accounting for only 1.5% of the land area. Nevertheless, it is highly urbanised, containing the country's largest city, Johannesburg, its administrative capital, Pretoria, and other large areas such as Midrand and Vanderbijlpark. According to estimates, as of 2018, Gauteng is the most populous province in South Africa with a population of approximately 14,700,000 people. Learners can learn so much of the the South African history by just visiting the cities such as Johannesburg and Pretoria. It is home to a World Heritage site, the Cradle of Human Kind which findings are renowned world wide. From precious metals and stones to wildlife and world class technology, Gauteng has so much to offer and touring in Gauteng will make a lasting impression.
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Johannesburg

Johannesburg, capital of Gauteng province, began as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement and gold was the main reason the city was founded. The Witwatersrand gold industry once produced forty percent of the planet's gold. Johannesburg may not be built close to a river or harbour, but its streams contribute to two of southern Africa's mightiest rivers – the Limpopo and the Orange. Many of these original streams are now covered in concrete and canalised, accounting for the fact that the names of early farms in the area often end with "fontein", meaning "spring" in Afrikaans for example Braamfontein, Rietfontein, Zevenfontein, Doornfontein, Zandfontein and Randjesfontein. Johannesburg is the economic and financial hub of South Africa. During the annual Mastercard Global Destination Cities Index released in December 2018, Johannesburg, the City of Gold has emerged as the most popular destination city in Africa for the fifth consecutive year.

THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND - STERKFONTEIN CAVES

Very popular visits for day excursions and as part of a Gauteng Tour, is The Cradle of Humankind. This  is a paleoanthropological site about 50 km (31 mi) northwest of Johannesburg, in the Gauteng province. Declared a World Heritage site by UNESCO in 1999, the site currently occupies 47,000 hectares and contains a complex of limestone caves. The registered name of the site in the list of World Heritage sites is Fossil Hominid Sites of South Africa. Numerous early hominin remains have been found at the Sterkfontein Caves, part of the Cradle of Humankind, over the last few decades. These have been attributed to Australopithecus, early Homo and Paranthropus.

The Sterkfontein Caves were the site of the discovery of a 2.3-million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus (nicknamed "Mrs. Ples"), found in 1947 by Robert Broom and John T. Robinson, scientists of the University of the Witwatersrand. The find helped corroborate the 1924 discovery of the juvenile Australopithecus africanus skull known as the "Taung Child", by Raymond Dart, at Taung in the North West Province of South Africa, where excavations still continue. Sterkfontein alone has produced more than a third of early hominid fossils ever found prior to 2010.

They are credited with many of the most notable discoveries in the caves, including the world-famous fossils of Mrs Ples and Little Foot, the latter being an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton dating back more than three million years.

The tours at the Sterkfontein Caves, start above ground and then take visitors deep into the caves and can be combined with a visit to Maropeng (see below)

THE CRADLE OF HUMANKIND - MAROPENG

The Maropeng Visitor Centre is an award-winning, world-class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans over the past few million years. Learners are guided through the Tumulus building which begins with an underground boat ride showcasing the four natural elements: earth, water, wind and fire. Taking a journey through time is next, starting with the formation of the planet and moving all the way through the evolutionary processes that culminated in the world as we know it today. Learners are guided through the museum by a site guide. There are several impressive interactive displays which keep learners learning through play and using all their senses and allows them to take some time to ponder humanity’s fascinating origin story.

CONSTITUTIONAL COURT

The Constitutional Court of South Africa is a supreme constitutional court established by the Constitution of South Africa. It was originally the final appellate court for constitutional matters. Since the enactment of the Superior Courts Act in 2013, the Constitutional Court has jurisdiction to hear any matter if it is in the interests of justice for it to do so. The Court was first established by the Interim Constitution of 1993, and its first session began in February 1995. It has continued in existence under the Constitution of 1996. The Court sits in the city of Johannesburg. After initially occupying commercial offices in Braamfontein, it now sits in a purpose-built complex on Constitution Hill.

The court building was constructed using bricks from the demolished awaiting-trial wing of the former prison. Most of the prison was demolished to make way for the new court, but the stairwells were kept and incorporated into the new building as a reminder of the Constitution's transformative aspirations. Inside the main room, a row of horizontal windows has been set up behind the seats of the judges. While the windows are at head-height on the inside, they are on ground level on the outside. Those sitting in the court consequently have a view of the feet of passersby moving along, above the heads of the judges, to remind them that in a constitutional democracy the role of judges is to act in the interests of the people of the nation, rather than in their own self-interest. The first court session in the new building at this location was held in February 2004. The doors to the Court have the 27 rights of the Bill of Rights carved into them, written in all 11 official languages of South Africa. One of the stairwells from the old awaiting-trial block with the Portuguese words A luta continua (the struggle continues) written in lights, has been retained.

Learners can view and learn about the Constitutional Court, see the remains of the Number Four Prison , the Old Fort and the Women's Jail.

THE VOORTREKKER MONUMENT

The Voortrekker Monument is located just south of Pretoria. This massive granite structure is prominently located on a hilltop, and was raised to commemorate the Voortrekkers who left the Cape Colony between 1835 and 1854. On 8 July 2011 the Voortrekker Monument, designed by the architect Gerard Moerdijk, was declared a National Heritage Site by the South African Heritage Resource Agency.

GOLD REEF CITY

Johannesburg was formed as a result of the gold rush. At Gold Reef City we get a glimpse of the lifestyle of people living in those days. We get to see how they melt and pour gold. A. 220meters under the ground tour is sometimes included in the Gold Reef City experience.

Gold Reef City Theme Park can be included in your visit and can get your adrenaline pumping on rides like the Run Away Train, Anaconda and if you dare the Tower of Terror.

LESEDI CULTURAL VILLAGE

Lesedi Cultural Village is a tourist village where learners can learn about the cultural traditions of several different peoples of Southern Africa, the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele. After a video presentation and a guided tour through the homesteads, learners are entertained with energetic dancing.

THE CULLINAN DIAMOND MINE

Learners go on a surface tour and learn about the Cullinan Diamond, the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever found, at 3,106.75 carats (621.350 g). It was because of this famous diamond that the Cullinan Mine rose to prominence in 1905. The stone was found by Frederick Wells, surface manager of the Premier Diamond Mining Company in Cullinan on 25 January 1905. The stone was named after Sir Thomas Cullinan, the owner of the diamond mine. The Premier Mine is an underground diamond mine owned by Petra Diamonds. Established in 1902, it was renamed the Cullinan Diamond Mine in November 2003 in celebration of its centenary. The mine has produced over 750 stones that are greater than 100 carats (20 g) and more than a quarter of all the world's diamonds that are greater than 400 carats (80 g). It is also the only significant source of blue diamonds in the world.

Pretoria

Edutours has taken learners on tour through Pretoria, our administrative capital, home of the Union Buildings and a large portion of the Public Service. There are many important landmarks that reflect the history of our country, for instance: presidential homes, monuments, statues, a cemetery, Melrose House where a peace agreement became official, places of worship and the first university in the world to provide a degree through correspondence. We see among others the oldest hotel in Pretoria, the headquarters of the Army and Air Force, a prison, a synagogue that became a court, a school where a prime minister jumped over the fence, embassies and many more.

Transport and travel

Johannesburg is a young and sprawling city, with its public transportation still in its infancy. The Gautrain, however, is one of the first steps towards changing public transport in the province and Edutours make use of this system as part of an educational day excursion or tour. The Gautrain is an 80-kilometre commuter rail system in Gauteng, South Africa, which links Johannesburg, Pretoria, Ekurhuleni and O. R. Tambo International Airport. It was built to relieve the traffic congestion in the Johannesburg–Pretoria traffic corridor and offers commuters a viable alternative to road transport, as Johannesburg has limited public transport infrastructure. The project was completed with the opening on 7 June 2012 of the final section between Rosebank and Johannesburg Park Station.

Johannesburg is served principally by OR Tambo International Airport for both domestic and international flights. Lanseria Airport, located to the north-west of the city and closer to the business hub of Sandton, is used for commercial flights to Cape Town, Durban, Port Elizabeth, Botswana, and Sun City. Other airports include Rand Airport and Grand Central Airport. Rand Airport, located in Germiston, is a small airfield used mostly for private aircraft and the home of South African Airways’ first Boeing 747 Classic, the Lebombo, which is now an aviation museum. Grand Central is located in Midrand and also caters to small, private aircraft.

Soweto

Edutours regularly takes learners to Soweto as part of a Gauteng Tour or as a day excursion. Johannesburg’s sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former residence is now the Mandela House Museum. We drive past various places of interest such as Kliptown, the birthplace of our Constitution, the Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Morrison Isaacs High School and the Oppenheimer Tower and the Twin Towers. We visit the Regina Mundi Church, Hector Pieterson Museum, which is named after a young boy who was killed during an upraising, in Soweto during the Apartheid era.

Wildlife in Johannesburg

There are no lions in the streets of Johannesburg but within a 80 minute drive you will be able to see lions and even play with a lion cub. There are an abundance of destinations, in Gauteng, close to cities, where learners can learn about our South Africa’s wildlife heritage You can go on a game drive at Mogales Gate and see first hand, animals living in a Grassland Biome. There, learning about conservation and using our natural resources wisely, takes place. Continue with game viewing while learning at the Lion Park and the Rhino and Lion Park. Zip line over the croc enclosures and get up, close and personal with snakes and reptiles at Croc City and Reptile Centre.

North West Province

Located to the west of the major population centre of Gauteng is the North West Province. This province is home to Sun City and the Valley of Waves, a waterpark with a massive wave pool. This attraction and various places in and around the Hartbeespoort Dam area can be combined with visits in Gauteng.

Our Gauteng Tour may include:

  • Sterkfontein Caves
  • Maropeng
  • Rhino and Lion Park
  • Wonder Caves
  • Lion Park
  • Mogale’s Gate Environmental Centre
  • Lesedi Cultural Village
  • Candle Dipping
  • Blaauwberg Gold Mine
  • Croc City and Reptile Centre
  • Sci-Enza - University Pretoria Discovery Centre
  • Cullinan Diamond Mine
  • Dairy Farm
  • Willem Prinsloo Agricultural Museum
  • Pioneer House and Open-Air Museum
  • National Museum of Natural History formerly known as the Transvaal Museum
  • Sammy Marks Museum
  • ‘Voortrekker Monument’ , Heritage Museum and Schanskop
  • Fort Klapperkop
  • Kruger House
  • Melrose House
  • Smuts House
  • Historical City Tour
  • Air Force Museum
  • Prison Museum
  • Union Buildings (Outside only)
  • Freedom Park
  • Tswaing Meteorite Crater
  • Rietvlei Reserve
  • Gautrain
  • Sci-Bono Science Centre
  • Rand Airport - on show is the Rugby World Cup Boeing
  • Planetarium
  • SABC (when available)
  • James Hall Transport Museum
  • Johannesburg Zoo
  • South African Military Museum
  • Monte Casino Bird Gardens
  • Constitutional Court
  • Apartheids Museum
  • Kliptown Freedom Square and Freedom Charter Memorial
  • Regina Mundi Church
  • Hector Pieterson Museum
  • Mandela House Museum
  • Chaf Pozi Restaurant–Twin Towers
  • Visit an informal settlement
  • Drive past
  • Emeritus Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela Gold Reef City for an educational programme into the mine and riding of the Big Six
  • Planetarium

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