The Gauteng is the smallest of the provinces of South Africabut also the most industrialized and richest, not only within the country, but the entire African continent.
The Guateng is located on the plateau, or Highveld, and borders the province ofLimpopoto the North, the Mpumalangato the East, to the South the Vaal river separates it from the province of Free State, while to the West it borders the North Westprovince; until 1994 the Gauteng was part of the Transvaalprovince.
Despite occupying only a small area of South African soil, the province is the highliest urbanized one and home to the largest city in South Africa: Johannesburg, that also plays the role of provincial capital.
In addition to Johannesburg in Guteng is the administrative capital of South Africa: Pretoria.
What to see in the Gauteng province
The economic engine of the country is also the most populous province with about 14 million inhabitants.
Compared to other provinces, Gauteng has less to offer under the naturalistic point of view, but it is extremely interesting for its history of South Africa, both recent, linked to the struggle against apartheid, and more ancient, in fact there are numerous remains of hominids.
Johannesburg, called by its inhabitants also Jozi or Joburg, is the capital of the small province; its sparkling skyscrapers almost squeeze next to the huge expanses of low single-family houses and townships with tin barracks; but these are the typical contrasts of an African megalopolis.
Johannesburgis one of the most modern and prosperous cities in the African continent and it is the economic center of South Africa, where there are many commercial, financial, industrial and mining activities of the country.
The city was founded in 1886, when gold was discovered in the area, from that moment on, due to the flourishing mining industry, there was an equally rapid demographic development, as many people migrated here in search of gold and work.
The region where Johannesburg is now located in a few years became the first gold mining area in the world.
Even today, the province of Gauteng possesses huge reserves of gold in the rocky area of Witwatersand, where Johannesburg stands, but it has great concentrations also of other precious materials, such as platinum, iron, chromite and uranium.
The city of Johannesburg includes Sowetothe largest township of Jozi, its name is the acronym of South Western Township; Soweto was born as a dormitory area for miners, who were "deported" here to work in the gold mines.
Today Soweto is a tourist destination where museums and iconic places can be found, linked to the period of the struggle against apartheid; here is in fact the home of Nelson Mandela and the apartheid museum, with interesting photos of the student parades fighting for equal rights.
The tall towers of the former Orlando West power plant, the Orlando Towers, are a landmark of the city, today they are covered with murals, they host a restaurant that serves an excellent braii and a platform for bungee jumping.
The green city of Pretoriais one of the three South African capitals, in fact it holds the role of administrative capital, while the other two capitals are Cape Town, legislative capital, and Bloemfontein, the judicial capital.
This city is rich in beautiful historical buildings and places of culture, known in the past for its roses that bloom thanks to the favorable climate, today Pretoria has been nicknamed Jakarandastad, that means "city of Jacaranda", these magnificent trees, present a little everywhere in the city, during the flowering period become huge purple clouds.
The Gauteng is also home to one of the most important paleontological areas in the world, the Cradle of Humankind, in this valley there are numerous caves and fossils.
The archaeological site was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1999, the area hosts information centers and permanent exhibitions dedicated to hominids that were found on the site, that includes a dozen limestone and dolomite caves, containing fossil remains of plants, animals and hominids.
The most famous cave is the Sterkfontein cave, inside which, in 1947, the oldest fossil of Australopithecus Africanus dating back to 2.3 million years ago was found.