Attractions Nearby Johannesburg, Day Trips and Excursions
(Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa)
After exploring all the attractions that Johannesburg has to offer, visitors may well feel tempted to venture out and about in the region. A wide selection of suitable day trip destinations can be found nearby and just a relatively short drive from Johannesburg itself.
These attractions range from spreading nature reserves and areas of great natural beauty, to pretty mining villages and the glittering sights and sounds of Sun City. Therefore, visitors to Johannesburg should be sure to leave at least a day or two to check out some of neighbouring attractions. Plan your itinerary carefully, so that you make the most of your time in this part of South Africa.
Nearby Pretoria is an ideal place to visit if you have a spare day or two. The city is rich in cultural and historic attractions, which include a number of museums. Pretoria's best-known landmark is the Voortrekker Monument, built to commemorate the Battle of Blood River in 1838 between the Zulu and Boer forces. For nature-lovers, Pretoria is also home to Burgers Park, a zoo, botanical gardens, and several animal sanctuaries.
Just an hour's drive from Johannesburg, the village of Magaliesburg comes alive at weekend with the arrival of hordes of day trippers. It's no surprise that the place has become so popular. Visitors can arrive in style on a steam train, known as the Magaliesburg Express, which runs from Park Station to the Magaliesburg Country Hotel. The village itself is a pleasant place to take a stroll and there are numerous activities and quality attractions available here, including hiking, rock climbing and mountain biking in the surrounding countryside.
A two-hour drive from Johannesburg brings visitors to the popular Sun City resort. Gaudy and glitzy it may be, but there's no doubting that this has become one of the top tourist attractions of the Gauteng region in recent years and a popular haunt of local Johannesburgers as well as tourists. Look out for the Lost City and the Valley of the Waves, as well as artificial beaches, volcanoes and, of course, the ubiquitous slot machines.
Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site
The Cradle of Humankind is actually a dozen or so limestone caves which started out life as coral reefs some 2.3 billion years ago. Excavations have revealed numerous hominid, animal and plant fossil remains. Two of the best known caves are the Sterkfontein and the Wonder Cave. It is advisable to check ahead as to which caves are currently open to the general public.
Open hours: daily - 09:00 to 17:00
Admission: charge, discount available for seniors, students and children, not recommended for children under four years old
A visit to nearby Dullstroom gives visitors a chance to escape big city life. The Dullstroom Dam Nature Reserve is home to a trout-filled lake, making Dullstroom a fly-fisher's paradise. Visitors can also relax in beautiful natural surroundings or try out one of the many hiking trails and similar recreational attractions. The town is also notable for having the highest railway station in South Africa. It's best visited during the summer months, though, as winter temperatures can fall to well below zero.
A 45-minute drive from Johannesburg, the beautiful village of Cullinan still retains some of its original mining character. Expect to see stone houses that once belonged to mine workers and well as churches and offices, all harking back to the turn of the 20th-century. The mine in question is where the famous Cullinan Diamond was discovered. The largest rough gem-quality diamond ever to be found, it was presented to King Edward VII and forms part of the British Crown Jewels. Cullinan is a 'must-see' on any visitor's itinerary.