Sandton by Lisa Legg submitted 09 Dec 2011  
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Sandton is the vibrant, high energy, commercial, financial and business centre of South Africa. Together with Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City is one of the largest shopping centres in Africa, with 144,000 m2 of shopping space.

Sandton caters for every taste and inclination. There are outdoor and indoor markets of every kind, patisseries, art galleries, shops galore, restuarants with live music, clubs and lounges, museums, spas, and theatres.

One of the biggest tourist attractions is the glittering Montecasino Entertainment Centre, a themed shopping center, hotel complex, casino, movie theater, and bird park all in one old Italian Piazza. The unique architecture is cracked and airbrushed to appear centuries old.

Nelson Mandela Square, formerly known as Sandton Square, was renamed in March 2004, after the unveiling of a 6-metre bronze statue of the former South African president, commemorating South Africa’s first decade of democracy.

Several tour operators offer tours to Soweto, the living monument of the history of political struggle as well as a dynamic and multi-cultural community.

The Cradle of Humankind, a 45 minute drive west from Johannesburg, has been declared a World Heritage Site. It includes 12 key sites where fossils of early humans, animals and plants have been discovered.

A selection of wildlife venues are also all within a comparatively short drive from Sandton. Pretoria, Johannesburg and the entire Gauteng province have outstanding zoos, botanical gardens, game reserves and bird sanctuaries. Many of the conservation areas have opened beautiful hiking trails for the eager explorer.

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*Distances are shown as the crow flies and not necessarily the actual travelling distance.

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