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Approaching Johannesburg, even a hundred miles away, one can feel the electricity in the air. It is a city alive and throbbing with dynamic energy. The largest city in South Africa, it is situated on the Highveld plateau, in the wealthiest province, Gauteng. Now a major modern global city, it is the youngest, and certainly grew the fastest. It is the only city in the world not built on a waterway, port or river, but instead on a ream of gold, the Witwatersrand.

On a barren farm belonging to an Afrikaans farmer, the reef was discovered in 1886, and the gold rush started.  Within a few years 100,000 people had flocked there. Johannesburg then grew from a modest mining town to an extensive metropolis, the economic industrial centre of South Africa. The city spreads over 130 square miles, more space per person than any other city.

Johannesburg is very cosmopolitan. Once the gold rush... Show more