This region is dominated by Johannesburg, the continent's second largest city. It also incorporates, Sandton to the north, Soweto to the south west and the Ekurhuleni municipality to the east of where the city originated. Central Gauteng, or put another way, Johannesburg and its sprawling extremities is a bustling metropolis with more than three million inhabitants. Its population is the country's most diverse.
The region was once the world's largest gold producer and is the country's economic hub, in which the financial, manufacturing, transport and telecommunications sectors all have a strong base. It is a region of opposites in which unbridled wealth and abject poverty co-exist side by side.
Despite the fact that central Gauteng is highly urbanised, it boasts one of the world's largest man made forests due to all the trees that have been planted here over the years. It is a green spectacle due to the summer rains but the grasslands turn light yellow in the dry winters.
Needless to say, there are tons of activities for every type of interest, but if you are a golfer then you must play at least one of the many fine golf courses in this area. Due to the high altitude golf balls travel much further - particularly in the winter when the courses are dry and there is maximum roll on your ball - and even the shortest of hitters will feel like they are hitting big, booming drives!
The area has a vibrant night life and is very much home to the upwardly mobile and those on the go. The visitor to central Gauteng is spoilt for choice. Whether travelling on business or pleasure a vast range of accommodation, conferencing or leisure activities are available.
Soweto (which stands for SOuth WEstern TOwnship) started out as a barren piece of land surrounded by mine dumps where the apartheid government "relocated" non-white families from inner city neighbourhoods that were chosen for white families. This township grew exponentially as waves of migrant workers from all over South Africa (and further afield) flocked to Johannesburg in search of employment.
Soweto has a rich history in the struggle against apartheid and there is much to see in this regard, including Vilakazi Street where Nelson Mandela and Bishop Desmond Tutu once lived, the Hector Pieterson memorial and museum, the Regina Mundie catholic church, Freedom Square in Kliptown and many other attractions.
- go to Gold Reef City where you can experience a turn of the century mining town, take the kids to the amusement park or have a flutter in the casino
- visit the Apartheid Museum
- visit the SAB World of Beer for a fantastic insight into the history and process of brewing beer
- Watch a soccer derby at FNB Stadium (Soccer City or The Calabash) outside Soweto
- go on a craft beer tour (http://www.takeyouthere.co.za)
- Montecasino Bird Park
- go bungee jumping in Soweto
- pop down to the Maboneng Precinct and weekend market
- stroll down Vilakazi Street - the only street to be called home by two different Nobel Peace prize winners
- go on a bicycle tour of Soweto (http://www.sowetobackpackers.com)