Come to Johannesburg
There are some stunning places to visit in Johannesburg while you wait for your IVF. We suggest the following places or activities, which may be arranged either to a schedule, or privately. Also, you may prefer to use the car and drive around at your convenience. There are many more attractions for you to enjoy: use these as a starting point and chat to us about anything else you may be interested in, or let us arrange a special trip on your behalf. Just mail us on firstname.lastname@example.org
GOLD REEF CITY
Johannesburg is synonymous with South Africa’s gold-mining industry: the city was founded in 1886 as a miner’s village on the Witwatersrand goldfields. Today, the Gold Reef City theme park and museum – built around the original No.14 shaft of Crown Mines – recreates the city of Johannesburg as it was during the early days of the gold rush.
The guided tour includes an underground visit 220 metres below the surface, a gold pour and tribal dancing, providing the visitor with an in-depth look at both the history and workings of the gold mining industry in South Africa.
JOHANNESBURG AND SOWETO ORIENTATION TOUR
Our tour is designed to give first-time visitors to Johannesburg an overall impression of “Egoli” – the City of Gold, South Africa’s commercial and financial capital. We first take a look around the northern suburbs, then continue to the hustle and bustle of Hillbrow and Braamfontein, home to the Constitutional Court of South Africa. We drive through the downtown area to the Carlton Centre, to view a “mini-Manhattan” from the viewing deck on the 50th floor.
Onward to Soweto (SOuth WEstern TOwnship), largest black residential area in South Africa, where we see a fascinating contrast to Rosebank and Sandton in the north. This sprawling “city within a city” is home to approximately 2-million people, many of whom work in various parts of the greater metropolitan area of the Witwatersrand. In many ways, the story of Soweto is the story of South Africa. Our tour includes all the major points of interest, such as Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Baragwanath taxi rank, Freedom Square, Hector Pieterson Memorial and Nelson Mandela’s former home.
APARTHEID MUSEUM AND CONSTITUTIONAL HILL
This tour provides the visitor with an opportunity to take an in-depth look at South Africa’s turbulent past. First, travel across Johannesburg to the south of the city to visit the Apartheid Museum (closed on Mondays), that opened its doors in 2002. Here visitors embark on a historical voyage of discovery, a personal exploration of the past that examines the story of apartheid right up to the first democratic elections held in 1994. The tour of the museum lasts approximately two hours.
We then continue to the Constitution Hill precinct, bordered by the inner-city neighbourhoods of Braamfontein and Hillbrow. It is here that South Africa’s new Constitutional Court opened in March 2004. The new court building is, most appropriately, established on the site of the Johannesburg Fort, built as a fortress in 1898 and later converted to one of the country’s most notorious prisons – popularly known as “Number Four”. The Fort closed its doors in 1983. Your visit here includes the museum that has been established in the old prison and will bring home the significance of this development and what it means for the future of Johannesburg and South Africa as a whole.
LESEDI CULTURAL VILLAGE – LUNCH OR DINNER
Experience our cultural diversity. Visit four villages – Zulu, Sotho, Xhosa and Pedi, watch traditional dancing and have a traditional lunch or dinner. This interesting visit takes about 3 hours.
CRADLE OF HUMANKIND
This fascinating trip is a half day orientation tour, which includes visits to both the Sterkfontein Caves and the Wonder Cave at Kromdraai. The Sterkfontein Caves were discovered in 1896 by an Italian gold prospector and are now regarded as one of the world’s most important archeological sites. The caves are in the Sterkfontein valley which, together with the nearby sites of Swartkrans, Drimolen and Kromdraai, make up the recently proclaimed World Heritage Site known as the “Cradle of Humankind”.
Dr Robert Broom of the Transvaal Museum (now the Museum of Natural History) began excavations at the cave in 1936 and in 1947 discovered a well-preserved complete skull of a species of early man known as Plesianthropus Transvaalensis. This later became known as the famous “Mrs Ples”.
PLEASE NOTE: These tours involve climbing up and down stairs, walking on smooth surfaces which may be slippery at times, and crawling through small spaces. Comfortable casual clothing and walking shoes are strongly recommended.
THE RHINO AND LION NATURE RESERVE
The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve is a privately owned, unsubsidised game reserve situated on the northwestern outskirts of the Johannesburg metropolitan area. Opened in 1990, the reserve covers some 1 400 hectares, which includes the Lion and Predator Camp where cheetah, lion and the endangered wild dog may be seen. Visitors may also view rhino, wildebeest, hippo and a variety of antelope, such as gemsbok, eland and springbok.
The reserve falls within the Sterkfontein Valley World Heritage Site, which is world-renowned in archeology as the so-called “cradle of humankind”.
The exhibition at Maropeng itself is a journey of discovery from the beginnings of the world, through the history of humankind, right into the future. As you emerge from the exhibition, you discover a spectacular view of the Magaliesburg. When you enter the Tumulus at Maropeng, it looks like a giant burial mound. As you finish browsing through the exhibition and emerge, turn and see it, it’s totally transformed – it is now silver, grey and glass, hi-tech and futuristic. You get this feeling that you’re not at the end of history, but at the start of the future.
At present one can also view fossils of a young hominid male, estimated to have been between 11 and 13 years old, and an older female, believed to have been in her late twenties or early thirties and are believed to be a new species Australopithecus sediba, the recently discovered ancestor of the Homo genus, to which humans, Homo sapiens, belong and are believed to be about 1.95 million years old.
PREMIER DIAMOND MINE
A visit to the active, producing Premier Diamond Mine where the magnificent Cullinan diamond (3106 carats) was found, in 1905. The tour includes a tour of the surface of the mine and viewing the big hole. It takes about 4 hours.
HALF DAY PRETORIA
We retrace the steps of Afrikaner history: from the Voortrekker Monument (which commemorates the Great Trek) and President Paul Kruger’s House (president when the South African War broke out in 1899), to Church Square and Melrose House where the peace treaty was signed in 1902.
Our last stop is the Union Buildings which houses the president’s office. Set aside roughly 4 hours.