Soweto | South Africa's Constitutional Court | Tour Tshwane/Pretoria, the Capital City | Gold Reef City | Cullinan Diamond Mine
Pretoria National Botanical Garden | De Wildt Cheeta and Wildlife Centre | Lesedi Cultural Village | Elephant Sanctuary
The Cradle of Humankind - a World Heritage Site | Pilansberg National Park | The Kingdom of the Lost City, Sun City | Golf | Birdwatching
The Gautrain | Shopping at special markets | Restaurants
A visit to Soweto
Soweto is the largest black urban settlement in Africa, best known for its contributions to the struggle against the Apartheid regime. But it is a far more complex society than simply a hotbed of political turmoil. It's rich cultural and historical tapestry makes for a fascinating encounter with the people of Africa.
The visit will include the Hector Pietersen Museum, the previous home of Nelson and Winnie Mandela, as well as the Walter Sisulu Square of Dedication (Freedom Square). En route, we pass the famous Regina Mundi church (home to many activist organisations during the Apartheid era), the squalid informal settlements and hostels, as well as the progress made in recent years, including the luxury homes of Soweto's wealthier residents and the upmarket Mopanya shopping mall. A day you'll never forget.
South Africa's Constitutional Court was opened by President Mandela in 1994 to mark the birth of our new democracy. He said: The last time I appeared in court was to hear whether or not I was going to be sentenced to death. Fortunately for myself and my colleagues we were not. Today I rise not as an accused but, on behalf of the people of South Africa, to inaugurate a court South Africa has never had, a court on which hinges the future of our democracy.
The Court was deliberately built in Johannesburg on the site of a high-security prison built in 1893 known as The Fort, where over time hundreds of thousands of people were jailed there - including famous figures such as Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Luthuli. Nelson Mandela paid The Fort a visit first as a young lawyer, then as a prisoner and finally as the president of South Africa.
Tour Tshwane/Pretoria, the capital city
Gold Reef City a theme park built around an old mine giving visitors a feel of what life was like during the gold rush of a century ago. Visitors get taken down a mine shaft, see a gold pouring demonstration and experience tribal dancing and drumming.
Cullinan Diamond Mine offers a surface tour of Premier Mine which was opened in 1902 and where the world's largest diamond was discovered. Premier Mine has produced more than 250 gems over 100 carats and nearly a quarter of the world's diamonds of 400 carats and more. Visitors will see the big hole, the shaft and the diamond room where a selection of uncut diamonds and replicas of world famous diamonds is displayed. The Village of Cullinan also offers markets and restaurants along its main street that give visitors a glimpse into history.
Pretoria National Botanical Garden offers nature-lovers from all over the world a comprehensive showcase of many southern African plants in all their seasonal guises. Many rare and protected species are found in the gardens and horticultural research methods are continually being tried and tested. Enjoy the tea garden, Sunday picnic concerts, environmental education and a visit to the Herbarium. For more details go to www.nbi.co.za
Lesedi Cultural Village is a multi cultural home to five African tribes: the Basotho, Ndebele, Pedi, Xhosa and Zulu. Visitors will experience their different homesteads, traditional dancing and a buffet of the finest African foods.
Elephant sanctuary www.elephantsanctuary.co.za
The Cradle of Humankind - a World Heritage Site
Pilansberg National Park is ideal if you don't have time for a Kruger Park tour. Only two hours' drive from Pretoria, this malaria-free 58 000 hectare park is actually perched on an extinct volcano crater and is the home to the Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, rhino and elephant) and more than 365 bird species. Exclusive overnight accommodation is also available.
The Kingdom of the Lost City, Sun City
To download a PDF with the entries of birds spotted in and around Coral Tree Inn, please click here. Underlined entries denotes birds spotted on the feeding tray.
The Gautrain Project
It is estimated that when the Gautrain is operating at full capacity it will be able to carry more than 100 000 passengers per day in each direction. The key features for this R25billion project are:
Shopping at special markets
Restaurants - visit www.eatout.co.za for bookings and information
For the contact details of these restaurant and other great recommendations, visit www.eatout.co.za