Johannesburg also known as Jozi, is the largest city in South Africa. It is the provincial capital of Gauteng, which is the wealthiest province in South Africa. The city is one of the 50 largest urban areas by population in the world, and is also the world’s largest city not situated on a river, lake, or coastline. The city was named and established in 1886 following the discovery of gold on what had been a farm. The name is attributed to one or all of three men involved in the establishment of the city. In ten years, the population was 100,000 inhabitants.
While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the seat of the Constitutional Court, which has the final word on interpretation of South Africa’s constitution as well as with issues in connection with constitutional matters. The city is the source of a large-scale gold and diamond trade, due to its location on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills. The City is regarded as the economic powerhouse of the African continent.
The Cradle of Humankind a UNESCO World Heritage Site is 25 kilometres (16 mi) to the northwest of the city. The Sterkfontein fossil site is famous for being the world’s richest hominid site and produced the first adult Australopithecus africanus and the first near-complete skeleton of an early Australopithecine. Other attractions in this area include the Lesedi Cultural Village, while Magaliesburg and the Hartbeespoort Dam are popular destinations for Johannesburg residents. The Origins Centre Museum, covers the origins of humankind in Africa, and houses an extensive collection of rock art.
Johannesburg offers various options to visitors wishing to view wildlife. The Johannesburg Zoo is one of the largest in South Africa. The Lion Park nature reserve, near Lanseria, is home to over 80 lions and various other game, while the Krugersdorp Nature Reserve, a 1500 Ha Game Reserve, is a forty-minute drive from the city centre. The De Wildt Cheetah Centre in the Magaliesberg runs a successful breeding program for cheetah, wild dog and other endangered species. The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, situated in the “Cradle of Humankind” on 1200 Ha of “the typical highveld of Gauteng” also runs a breeding programme for endangered species including Bengal Tigers, Siberian Tigers and the extremely rare White lion.