Johannesburg, South Africa's biggest city and capital of Gauteng province, began as a 19th-century gold-mining settlement. Its sprawling Soweto township was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s former residence is now the Mandela House museum. Other Soweto museums that recount the struggle to end segregation include the somber Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, a former prison complex.

To the northeast, Herman Eckstein Park encompasses a boating lake and Johannesburg Zoo. The Gold Reef City theme park combines thrill rides with mining history and an underground tour. The Johannesburg Art Gallery features contemporary local work and 17th-century Dutch paintings. Arts on Main is a trendy studio development in a converted industrial precinct, part of the up-and-coming Maboneng district. Upmarket stores cluster at the Sandton City mall, and Sunday’s Rosebank Rooftop Market showcases African crafts, food and entertainment.

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