Having travelled extensively in my teens and early 20s, I never thought I would find a place as extraordinary as Gauteng. The people, the lifestyle, the fashion… we have it all in our 18,000km² corner of the world. Here are 9 reasons why I love Gauteng.
Gauteng is a diverse province. The migration of different nationalities to the province has created an eclectic culture that accommodates everyone. If you want to experience how diverse the cultures in Gauteng are, visit Maboneng on a Sunday – the market is a microcosm of global ethnicities. Or get a taste of the African street vibe with Dlala Nje Tours or the Forsdsburg Market.
If you enjoy clubbing, then Gauteng is where you need to be – entertainment is plenty and running over. Experience the buzz at Hatfield Square, or opt for Moloko Night Club in Tshwane. As the stars come out to play, visit Sandton and Rosebank where you will find an abundance of night spots. Explore Soweto and its growing urban night culture from Vilakazi Street to Maponya Mall.
Gauteng is blessed with a diverse mixture of people, and each culture brings something to the province. This is best seen at all the markets that are in GP. Spend a lazy morning sipping craft beer at the Neighbourgoods Market in Braamfontein , or taking in artful creations at the Rosebank Craft Market. The Locrate Market in Soweto gives you a shopping, browsing, eating, drinking and lifestyle experience right in the heart of the biggest black urban settlement in Africa, surrounded by rich political history.
Without a doubt, Gauteng is the entertainment capital of Africa! The province’s growing music and television production industries make waves throughout Africa and the vibrations are even stronger here at ground zero. There have been an increased number of international entertainers coming to Gauteng – Thirty Seconds to Mars, Kenny G, Gregory Porter, John Legend, Dianne Reeves, Anthony Hamilton to name a few. Whether it’s hosted at The Coca Cola Dome, Ellis Park, FNB Stadium or another large-scale venue, Gauteng knows how to throw a good party.
I firmly believe that we have the best year-round weather in SA. This means that you can go abseiling, bungee jumping, hiking or bird watching in winter, then spend the summer months picnicking at one of our parks, or sipping sunset cocktails overlooking Tshwane or Joburg at one of our rooftop bars.
Shop till you drop at one of Gauteng’s malls. From Sandton City, Menlyn Mall Maponya Mall, Eastgate Shopping Centre, Southgate, Small Street to the boutique shops in Greenside, Rosebank, Hyde Park, Parkhurst and Soweto – whether you’re looking for contemporary or traditional, budget-friendly or splurge-worthy, designer or vintage shopping experiences, there is something for everyone.
Gauteng has one of the most advanced freeway/highway systems in the world, connecting every part of the province. Take a shot left using our reliable public transport; and the addition of the Gautrain has further improved travelling from the OR Tambo International Airport to Sandton, Rosebank and Tshwane.
Although a Gauteng is a buzzing, business-centred and success-driven metropolis, Gauteng still has the beauty of nature all around. The Dinokeng Game Reserve, less than an hour’s drive away from Johannesburg, is Gauteng’s first big 5 free roaming game reserve. Or if you’re more historically-inclined, take a trip to the Cradle of Humankind just 30 minutes’ drive from Tshwane. There are also an abundance of parks and botanical gardens scattered throughout the province.
Since gold was first discovered on our land in 1886, Gauteng been the site of historical events which have shaped South Africa in unprecedented ways. Just one visit to the Voortrekker Monument, Church Square, Freedom Park, Gold Reef City, the Apartheid Museum, or Constitution Hill and you will never look at your surroundings the same way again.