It is known as the City of Gold, a sprawling megacity on the South African rand that seems to radiate endlessly beyond the gleaming urban core.
Johannesburg exists largely because of the gold first found here in the 1880s by an Australian prospector. He'd come across the richest gold reef ever found, and more than a century later, gold is still being extracted from mines around the city.
The jobs and wealth those mines have generated have made Johannesburg the country's largest city, with six million people. A lot of that growth has happened on the city's outskirts, where unemployed rural blacks in search of jobs came and established what became known as townships - in a lot of cases little more than massive squatter camps. The most famous of these is Soweto, and tours there are now available to take visitors to a distinctly different part of greater Johannesburg.
Those who have prospered live in a cosmopolitan city that in areas seems to ooze wealth, and there are many fine galleries, shopping centres and restaurants to choose from.
There's also the popular Rosenbank and Randburg Waterfront nightclub districts, the Wanderer's Club cricket grounds and Ellis Park, where the home team Springboks captured the 1995 Rugby World Cup and sent a country into delirium.