Love it or hate it, Johannesburg is an amazing city that has a few interesting facts hidden up its sleeve. It turns out there is a lot more to Joburg than most people think. Here are 5 of our favourite facts about the largest city in South Africa.

Sunset Johannesburg

No Coastline? No Problem for Johannesburg

Sometimes life gives you lemons and you have to make lemonade. Johannesburg is nowhere near a coast or major water source like most capital cities worldwide. But that’s never held Jozi back – in fact, it’s made the metropolis famous. That’s right, Joburg is famous for being the largest city in the world that isn’t built on a water source or a coastline. Can you guess why? Find out in our next point.

Johannesburg gold

Gold, Gold and More Gold

World-famous for its huge amounts of gold, Johannesburg has definitely earned its reputation. The fact that 40% of the world’s gold was mined in the greater Johannesburg area shows you why you can’t talk about Joburg without mentioning the reason it first existed. Gold reserves are the reason Joburg wasn’t built on any major water source and is also the reason for the city’s incredible growth. The mining heritage still persists in some fun, and scary ways. See our next point to see what we mean.

Gold mine JHB

Tower of Terror

The history of the gold rush is scattered all over Gauteng but nowhere is it as fun to experience than at Gold Reef City. The mining themed amusement park is filled with rides and attractions that bring promise to have something for everyone. The most daring ride for the ultimate thrill-seekers is the Tower of Terror. Not only is it a sheer 90º drop but it’s the highest and fastest roller coaster in Africa!

Street in Johannesburg

Trees for Africa

Not many people think of trees when they think of Joburg. Which is strange because the city holds the record for being the largest man-made forest in the world. With the estimated number of trees sitting at around 10 million, the city can be thought of as more of a concrete garden than a concrete jungle. Tree planting initiatives continue to add to the number in and around the greater Joburg area. Other than making the city more beautiful the trees also help towards limiting the greenhouse gases emitted by the massive city and population.

OR Tambo Airport Johannesburg

OR Tambo International Airport

Most people reading this would have been through OR Tambo International Airport at least once. At first, the busy airport seems like just another airport but there’s more than meets the eye. The airport was opened in 1952 and has been a vital hub for Joburg ever since. The growth of the city and air travel, in general, has led to OR Tambo becoming the busiest airport in Africa with up to 28 million travellers passing through each year!

If you’re one of those travellers and desperately need a place to rest your head, don’t forget that there’s a comfy bed with your name on it at City Lodge Hotel at OR Tambo.

So, there are some amazing facts that hopefully make you see Joburg in a new light and might even convince you to explore the city more. Get out there and explore all that our country has to offer, and we’ll be with you all the way.




  1. I actually didn’t know about these 5 things, ha-ha. Johannesburg is an awesome place for sure, I would recommend visiting it at least once 🙂

  2. Andrew Russell Reply

    Thanx for the blog good to know for tourism
    Thanx for the blog

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