One of the things you will notice while travelling through South Africa is the friendly banter (we like to think of it as such) held between the coastal inhabitants, more specifically Capetonians, and the ones living up on the highveld province of Gauteng.
It might stem from a bit of jealousy of being excluded from the magnificent views and easy going lifestyle of Cape Town, or from the abundance of wealth and opportunities found in Johannesburg, however, I would much rather believe that it's got to do with the pride of one belonging to something, much like sports fans supporting a certain team or an employee gleaming with pride at the fact they work for a well known organisation.
With that being said, even though there is some banter flying around, you will find that each corner will have respect for the other and Gauteng definitely does not lack in the demanding of respect department.
Gauteng (or the old Transvaal) was formed around the early 1800's and quickly expanded in 1886 when gold was discovered in the area. This lead to Johannesburg being founded to support the gold rush and the region that became the single largest producer of gold in the world. Today, Gauteng is considered as the economic centre of South Africa and houses big corporations and industry, which help contribute 7% to the total African continent's GDP.
Sandton, an area in Johannesburg, is often termed the "Richest square mile in Africa" which is testament to the amount of wealth of it's inhabitants, and to the business being done, in the smallest province in South Africa.
Gauteng is the preferred place to be if one would like to do business and make serious money but it's not just about chasing the millions. There are a multitude of experiences to be had and, due to the history of South Africa, a lot of the occurrences happened within this province and this lends itself to a great tourist destination for history aficionados.
Pretoria, named after the Voortrekker Andries Pretorius, is a City that holds a lot of history (good and bad) and was instrumental in the Second Boer War. It is the Capital of South Africa and hosts The Union Buildings (Parliament) and several museums and monuments. This is a perfect destination for those who wish to learn about and understand the Boer history.
The South Western Townships (Soweto) is another area deeply ingrained in the history of South Africa and more specifically in the fight against Apartheid. The Soweto uprising occurred on the 16th of June 1976 which was organised to protest the policy of enforcing teaching in Afrikaans instead of English. This saw 10,000 students marching from Naledi High School to Orlando Stadium and 200 people perishing on the first day of protests. Nelson Mandela's house, that was occupied from 1946 to the 1990's, is located in Soweto and has become a well know tourist attraction.
For those looking for a more relaxed, and in some way less emotional, visit to Gauteng there are many places in and around Johannesburg one could add to their itinerary. It takes a 30 minute drive outside of Joburg to be greeted by the bush and the tranquil surrounds of mother nature.
Sun City is one of those destinations which never goes out of favour, even in the winter months when the Valley of the Waves are closed, there are still an abundance of activities to partake in like golfing, gambling and sight seeing.
Game Reserves are plentiful in the area with the notable Pilanesberg Nature Reserve just a hop from Sun City. Hot Air Ballooning and relaxing Spa treatments are the order of the day in the beautiful Magaliesburg region.
For those inclined to water sports there are the Vaal and Hartbeespoort regions.
Gauteng might be the playground of people seeking fortune and financial stability but by no means is it all just about that for its' inhabitants. They might not have "The Mountain" or the sea but they do make up for it by the history and the amount of places and things to do in the surrounding areas. Besides, "The Mountain" and the sea are only a couple of hours flight from Gauteng.