South Africa’s biggest city Johannesburg is built on speculation, risk, big dreams and ambition. In 1886, it was nothing more than a few farms on the ridges of the Witwatersrand. Then prospectors struck gold and the City of Gold was born. Rapidly growing from a tent town to a modern city in the African bush, Johannesburg attracted miners, entrepreneurs, gangsters and gamblers. For the lucky ones, the City of Gold spat out money like a jackpot bonus in a mobile casino. Today, it still attracts millions of visitors a year. Although most tourists typically stay in Joburg in transit to tourist destinations like the Kruger National Park, with its lions, leopards, elephants, rhino, buffalo, and other wildlife, more and more people are discovering that it’s got a lot to offer in its own right. Considering the importance of gold in the city’s history, it’s no surprise that Joburg has a thriving casino culture, offering sophisticated entertainment under big blue skies.
After The Gold Rush
To relive the spirit of the gold rush, head for Gold Reef City, an entire entertainment precinct with a theme that reflects the hey-days of the gold rush. Open 24 hours a day, Gold Reef City offers a vibrant, world-class casino complex with a great atmosphere and all the games you could wish for, including 1700 slot machines and 50 gaming tables. The highly trained staff are there to attend to your every need. For the sophisticated player, the Privé features a luxurious reception area, lounge and private gaming room.
Away from the tables, you can catch a show at The Lyric theatre, watch a movie at the Victorian metro themed cinema complex or even go ten-pin bowling. There are restaurants and fast food joints to suit every taste. Other attractions include a theme park with 18 exciting rides and an authentic underground mine tour.
Italy In Africa
Only 30 minutes from Joburg’s OR Tambo International Airport lies Montecasino, one of the city’s most popular entertainment destinations. A vast gaming, retail and leisure complex, Montecasino was built to resemble a quaint Tuscan village – a very successful illusion that turns a late-night shopping into a wander through a classic Italian movie set. The lively cosmopolitan casino area has more than 1700 slot machines and 70 gaming tables, and the restaurants include Italian, Asian, Mediterranean, Portuguese and Japanese flavours, to mention just a few. Just next door, Montecasino Bird Gardens is home to 1,000 birds, mammals, reptiles, amphibians and other small creatures in their natural habitat.
If you really want to live it up, a stay at Montecasino’s 5-star Palazzo could be just the ticket. The splendid Tuscan architecture, luxurious rooms and beautiful gardens have won the Palazzo the reputation of being one of South Africa’s most romantic and opulent hotels. Not only that, but the Palazzo has also won a World Luxury Hotels Award for eight years running as well as a TripAdvisor Certificate of Excellence in 2018.
Unleash Your Inner Jester
After you’ve experienced the Gold Rush and taken a break in Tuscany, you might want to let it all hang out and head for the Big Top. To the east of Joburg, in Brakpan, Carnival City Casino and Entertainment World awaits. It’s a world-class entertainment and casino complex with a festive-to-crazy circus theme featuring big top circus tents, roller-coasters, clown murals and dazzling lights to unleash your inner jester. This playful atmosphere perfectly complements the fun of playing in the casino, with its 1700 slot machines and 60 gaming tables. After the games, head for one of the popular late-night fun spots – sport on the big screen at the Sports Bar, live music at the Bru’s Bar, or some razzle-dazzle at the Show Bar. Then there’s the 3500-seater Big Top Arena, which has been graced by top acts ranging from Chris Rock and Joss Stone to India Arie, James Blunt, the Pixies and Joe Cocker.