Gauteng, Sesotho for ‘Place of Gold, was built on the wealth of gold found deep underground. The region became the single largest gold producer in the world and the city of Johannesburg was founded. The Cullinan diamond which is the largest diamond ever mined, was mined at Cullinan, near Pretoria.
Gauteng’s main attraction is big business, but there is so much more – museums, galleries, historical battlefields, world class restaurants, shopping malls, music venues, adventure sports and more. The Nelson Mandela National Museum, commonly referred to as Mandela House in Orlando West, Soweto, is one of the major tourist attractions due to it’s deep history and tie to Madiba’s pre-presidential life.
50kms north of Johannesburg is the The Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. Explore the Sterkfontein caves, Swartkrans and Kromdraai among other fossil sites. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens, a tranquil natural sanctuary, lies 30kms west of Johannesburg’s city centre.
Although Gauteng is a heavily urbanised province much of it’s area is extensively cultivated for agriculture, providing the cities and towns of the province with daily fresh produce. Groundnuts, sunflowers, cotton and sorghum are also grown.
The climate is mostly influenced by altitude. Even though the province is at subtropical latitude, the climate is comparatively cooler, especially in Johannesburg at 1700m above sea level. Most precipitation occurs as brief afternoon thunderstorms. Winters are crisp and dry with frost occurring often in the southern areas. The Vaal River is the Province’s main water source and is a water sports playground.