Johannesburg & Pretoria

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For most people, Johannesburg and Pretoria are places to transit through, either connecting to flights both domestic and international, or perhaps when boarding one of the luxury trains that travel across the country. However, for those with the time and inclination, they are amazing places to learn more about South Africa, past and present. For the very distant past, a short trip out of town to Sterkfontein is required, a World Heritage site and labelled “The Cradle of Mankind”, where the skeletons of over 500 early hominids, dating back as far as three million years, have been found. For the slightly more recent colonial history, a tour of Pretoria takes in the Union Buildings, designed by Herbert Baker in 1909, the Voortrekker Monument, built to honour the early Boer settlers in the region, and the museum located in the old house of the Boer leader, Paul Kruger. And for the most recent episodes of the South African story, Johannesburg is the place to go, from Soweto, with all the history the name implies, to Sandton Square, the boutique mecca for the modern middle class, to Soccer City, the latest phase in South Africa’s development and location for the final of the FIFA World Cup 2010.

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