10 Facts about Johannesburg

By Ben Waterworth

Heading to South Africa? Well you will no doubt be heading to Johannesburg as part of your trip there, so here are 10 facts to educate you about the city you will soon fall in love with!

  1. The city of Johannesburg is actually one of the 40 largest cities in the world when measured by metropolitan limits. It is the largest city in South Africa and the largest city in Sub-Saharan Africa with a population over 3.9 million people.
  2. The city has been rebuilt four times in its history, starting off as a camp filled with tents, moving then into a town filled with tin shanties, then to brick buildings and finally to the city it is today filled with modern skyscrapers.
  3. The nickname for the city is ‘Egoli’ which translates to the ‘place of gold. Johannesburg is actually home to 40% of the entire world’s supply of gold so it’s easy to see how it earned this nickname.
  4. Johannesburg is also home to 40% of all human ancestors’ bones, making the city very connected with the world’s population.
  5. The city is also known as the world’s largest man made forest, with over 10 million trees spread throughout the city.
  6. Johannesburg is actually not that old, with the city only being formed in 1886. This fact makes it one of the world’s ‘youngest’ major cities.
  7. The tallest office block in all of Africa, the Carlton Centre, is in Johannesburg and is 50 stories high. The tallest tower in Africa is also in Johannesburg and is called the Hillbrow Tower and is 270 metres tall.
  8. Johannesburg has an average travel time of 48 minutes for its commuters, a fact often disputed by locals!
  9. The only two polar bears on the entire continent of Africa are in Johannesburg at the Johannesburg Zoo.
  10. Large portions of the city are dedicated to parks and natural spaces, with 1616 parks spread through Johannesburg. There are also 107km of natural trails in the city.


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