Johannesburg and The Gold Mines

Johannesburg is the second most crowded city of the Republic of South Africa after Cape Town. Its population is about  3,5 million people. It is considered as one out of the 40 biggest metropolitans in the world.

Johannesburg, which is a younger city than Cape Town, had first emerged in 1886 when the gold mines were found. When the gold mine was found, there was no settlement here. 10 years later after gold mine was found, the population had became 300,000 people. Now, when considering the unregistered population, it is said to be over 5 million.

Johannesburg is 1,680 meters above sea level.

When there started first settlements here, there was no green area around here. But after the settlement done, the city had been planted with the trees from all around the world. The city is now in such a condition that it seems like rainforests when looking up from the plane. They are not natural, but human made.

The gold mines are located in the southern part of the city. They had opened some of these mines to the touristic visits. 4 grams of gold is being extracted from a gross-ton rock. The land particules sifted are being poured to the mine again.

The sharp line between the poor and the rich is appearent here, as well. While the poor ones are living in shantytown, the rich ones are living in luxury villas located in outside of the city. The villas had been surrounded by high walls and electrified fence. They also had been set with broken glass pieces. Yet, crime rate is quite high.

Until 1991, there had been a race discrimination. The black people had never been allowed to go anywhere other than here.

Transportation in the city provides mostly with trains and buses. Coaches are colorful and they reflect their culture.

On the second day in Johannesburg, we went to Lion Park first. There was a road on which there were 3-million- year-old human remains. In the Lion Park, you can pet lion cubs. The white lions were quite interesting. Even if it is known as Lion Park, there were ostriches, impalas, giraffes and zebras there.

Zebras were walking around with groups in order not to be hunted by lions. Their stripes are unique like our fingerprints. Zebras make themselves hard to be hunted by lions  by creating an optical illusion with their stripes.

Our local tour guide gave us information about lions. The most interesting one is that father lion eat his cubs with an instinct to protect his domination. To prevent this kind of situation, park keepers take the new born cubs to a different section. But in the natural environment, the mother tries to protect her cubs from the father. There is a situation contrast to the one in the film Lion King, but the cubs were really cute.

In Johannesburg, you can visit Lesedi Park to get to know about tribal life.



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