Things to do as a first-timer in Gauteng

So you’re in Gauteng for the first time, and excited to learn about this diverse place. Add these fun to-dos to your bucket list.

Take a City Sightseeing tour

Hopping on the City Sightseeing bus is a fun, easy way to explore Joburg and its attractions.

The various tours highlight historical and cultural attractions such as Africa’s tallest building, the Carlton Centre, the Apartheid Museum, SAB World of Beer and Constitution Hill.

If you’re keen to explore the beauty of Joburg’s suburbs, check out the Johannesburg Zoo or nearby Zoo Lake. You can also visit Soweto, South Africa’s largest township. The red buses allow you to hop off at any of the attractions along the route, and to hop back on when you’re ready to move on.

Find more information on City Sightseeing ticket prices and bookings here.

Participate in a Parkrun

Parkrun – an initiative aimed at keeping young and old fit and active – offers free, safe, timed 5km runs that happen every Saturday at 8am. South Africa joined the international Parkrun community in 2011 and the event now takes place at more than 100 venues countrywide.

So why not spend an active morning exploring one of the many routes across Gauteng? Click here to view the venues and to find the one closest to you.

Head to Cullinan

Just 20 minutes’ drive from Tshwane lies the historical mining town of Cullinan, home to the Cullinan Diamond Mine, South Africa's third-richest diamond producer.

Take a tour around the facility, the source of the most famous diamond ever unearthed: the Cullinan Diamond that was cut into nine major pieces and 96 smaller diamonds.

Tours several times a day on weekdays and weekends allow you to explore the underground and surface operations, as well as the surrounding area.

Take the Gautrain

(Image: Gautrain)

Commute easily – and quickly – using the efficient, convenient and safe Gautrain, the first rapid rail network in Africa to comprise two links, one between Tshwane and Johannesburg, and another between OR Tambo International Airport and Sandton. The Gautrain uses a cash-free ticketing system and reloadable smartcards. Buses and shuttles run to and from stations from various locations. Ticket prices vary according to your route and can be accessed on the Gautrain website.

Experience the Vaal River

The area around the Vaal River in Sedibeng caters to a variety of interests and is only an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. The Vaal Dam and River provide a beautiful setting for water activities and leisure, and a number of outdoor adventure centres offer a range of exciting experiences.

Whether you’re interested in a relaxed cruise on the water, nature walks, extreme sports, relaxing at a spa, great dining experiences or even visiting craft markets and workshops, the Vaal has lots to offer.

Also visit Southern Sun’s Riverside Sun on the river or the Emerald Resort & Casino, offering game drives, rock climbing and other activities.

Visit the Cradle of Humankind

If you’re curious to explore where humans originated, the Cradle of Humankind is not to be missed – and it’s only an hour away from Johannesburg!

The Cradle is one of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa, and has two official visitor centres, Maropeng and the Sterkfontein Caves. The Maropeng exhibition centre focuses on human evolution and our ancestors.

The Sterkfontein Caves are where an almost complete Australopithecus skeleton known as Little Foot, estimated to be approximately 3.3-million years old, was found in 1994. Mrs Ples, an Australopithecus africanus skull, was also unearthed here. Make sure you visit both the exhibition centre and the caves. View ticket prices here.

(Image: Maropeng)

Whether you’re looking to experience the city, nature or history, or simply have some fun, Gauteng has lots to offer. Make sure you experience as much of this diverse and beautiful province as you can during your visit.