Difference between revisions of "Gauteng"
Revision as of 13:58, 9 October 2007
Gauteng is one of the provinces in the north-east of South Africa. The word "Gauteng" is a Sesotho phrase meaning "Place of gold", referencing to the thriving gold industry following the 1886 discovery of gold in Johannesburg. The province is the centre of South Africa's industrial and commerce sectors.
A summer rainfall area, Gauteng experiences hot summer days that often result in short but intense afternoon thunderstorms, commonly accompanied by thunder and lightning. Summers nights are also hot.
The realtime Irene radar map  provided by the South African weather service is a great tool to help you plan any afternoon outdoor activity in summer. It gives ample warning of any approaching thunder storms.
Winter is dry and cold with temperatures dropping to a little above freezing at night, however, winter days are beautiful with comfortable temperatures.
Gauteng is considered the gateway to Southern Africa. Many spectacular destinations are a short flight or drive away. It is a small province, flanked by four other provinces in South Africa.
English is widely spoken in Gauteng & you will rarely meet someone who can't speak it. Afrikaans, Sotho & Zulu are also common.
Gauteng is bordered by four provinces:
Public transport is non-existent by European standards, so you'll need to rent a car. There are plenty of rental agencies at OR Tambo International Airport  or you could visit their websites of Avis Hertz.
Road are generally in good condition, but peak hour traffic in the mornings and afternoon can be slow.
There are a number of small nature reserves in Gauteng:
In Gauteng the locals eat out a lot, so there are plenty of restaurants & take-away places around. Johannesburg, Pretoria & surrounding areas are filled with places offering a variety of cuisine. From traditional African to American, Asian & European foods.
You'll be hard-pressed to find a non-licensed restaurant in Gauteng. There are many coffee shops, most of which are unlicensed since they serve hot beverages.
Though Gauteng (In particular Johannesburg) has a reputation for crime, rest assured it isn't all bad. As with everywhere in the world, some places are less safe than others.
Certain sections of the major cities (Pretoria & Johannesburg) are best visited in a group with an experienced guide, while others can be safely visited by the individual. Though many tourists are keen to visit a Township, be advised that the only safe option is to go with a tour operator that offers the service, do not go into a township by yourself or without an experienced guide!.
Unfortunately petty theft is a problem everywhere in South Africa, so keep an eye on your belongings. Don't, for example, leave your mobile phone lying unattended on a table at a restaurant. Make sure that if you are carrying a handbag, that is is secure, & not easily grabbed off your shoulder or out of your hands. Also make sure that your belongings are not visible when in your car, as "smash and grab" incidents do occur, particularly at traffic lights.
If you are traveling with a laptop or camera, use a bag that doesn't advertise its contents. Disguise your laptop by using a normal backpack bag instead of a laptop bag & do the same with your camera.
HIV infection rate is high, DO NOT HAVE UNPROTECTED SEX.
Municipal water is safe to drink.
It is best to avoid public hospitals when possible, but private hospitals are of world class standard.
The following hospitals all cater for 24 hour accident and emergency treatment: