Sandton, an affluent area in the northern suburbs of Johannesburg, is known as “the richest square mile in Africa”. It is the most opulent area in South Africa, and apart from the magnificent palatial mansions, Sandton is the most important economic and financial centre of the country.
Originally, in a more leisurely age, Sandton was Sandown, a beautiful peaceful suburb about 10kms out of central Johannesburg, with glorious gardens, trees and streams. Development in the 1980’s began transformation of the suburb into the main business and commercial area of South Africa.
Once Sandton City shopping centre was built, it was followed by high rise 5 star hotels, restaurants, shops and cinemas. New redevelopment plans for Sandton City include what will be the highest building in Africa, of 60 stories.
The best office parks in Gauteng are in Sandton, with investment banks, financial consultants, and even the Johannesburg Stock Exchange having their headquarters there.
The climate is one of the best in the world, with year round sunshine. The temperature is usually between about 16 and 29 degrees all year, with afternoon thunderstorms in summer, and sunny dry winters.
What to Do
People in Sandton are smart and sophisticated, they dress well and eat well and have a huge variety of superb restaurants. Quality is high and eating out is a particular pleasure as there are so many excellent choices in this cosmopolitan place.
As the most important retail centre in South Africa, Sandton has wonderful shops, with fabulous merchandise from both local and international designers. The main shopping malls are Sandton City, Benmore and Hyde Park Corner.The vibrant mix of so many different cultures in Gauteng has led to a dynamic and original emergence of arts and design.
Sandton Central has a fantastic vibrant nightlife and world class exciting entertainment, with cinemas, theatres, concerts, festivals, stadiums and casinos.
There is also the Montecasino Leisure and Casino centre in Fourways with theatre shows, movies and hotels.
Golf and Sports Clubs
Sandton has many sports clubs for tennis, golf, squash, swimming and other facilities. There are olympic pools, both outdoor and heated indoor.
There are wonderful established golf courses with impeccable fairways and beautiful trees, like the Bryanston Country Club, and others in scenic settings like the River Club and Randpark courses. Many superb golf tours are available for golf enthusiasts.
Cradle of Mankind
From Sandton you are only an hour’s drive from the Maropeng Cradle of Mankind, the oldest fossil site of human ancestors, 3 million years old. At the 47,000 acre World Heritage Site, the Sterkfontein Caves have the richest site of hominid fossils yet found on earth. It has a fascinating exhibition with real size renditions of hominids.
Sandton is only 64 kms from Hartbeespoort Dam, a Water sport and relaxation destination. Sailing, boating, water skiing, windsurfing, and jet skiing available. Hartbeespoort provides a fun diversion for the fast living population of Gauteng. There is a marvellous array of entertainment there, from outdoor activities to amusement parks and animal sanctuaries.
The Transvaal Yacht Club has yachts moored on the dam. One can also hire canoes, boats, or book a weekend on a yacht.There is a variety of leisure and speed Boat cruises.Many places around the dam are suitable for family picnics and braais.
There are animal parks and sanctuaries, and nearby reserves have leopards, jackals, genets, cheetahs, hyenas, sables and giraffes.
The Elephant Sanctuary allows you to get close to elephants and there are also an Aquarium, Snake park and Monkey and Bushbaby Sanctuary.
You can enjoy the Air Sports of Paragliding and Hang gliding at Hartbeespoort for exciting views of the countryside. Bill Harrop’s Hot air Ballooning is popular, with spectacular views of game.
The Hartbeespoort Aerial Cableway provides panoramic views of the ancient magical Magaliesberg mountains, 100 times older than the Himalayas.
The natural terrain of the countryside outside Sandton is gently undulating hilly savannah grasslands, and there are interesting scenic drives around the Skeerpoort and Crocodile River valleys.
Only an hour’s drive from Sandton, the open countryside around Magaliesburg has valleys, rivers and indigenous woodlands, crystal clear streams and waterfalls.
Where to Stay
Sandton has an enormous selection of accommodation, everything imaginable. There are 5 star hotels in luxurious sumptuous style, business hotels, upmarket elegant guest houses in gorgeous gardens, spa retreats, self catering apartments and stunning penthouses.
Sandton is a perfect central point from which to visit other destinations in South Africa such as Game parks, Nature Reserves, or some of the beautiful coastlines in Natal or the Cape.
Oliver Tambo and Lanseria are the two airports.
The Gautrain is a rapid rail system linking the Tambo airport to Sandton. This state of the art modern high speed railway was completed in 2012, and provides a quick efficient link to cars, taxis and buses for business and tourism.
Car rentals are at the airports.
Taxis do not cruise, they are booked. Uber is operative and an easy option for visitors.