City of Lakes
Benoni is situated east of Johannesburg and together with the other small towns of Boksburg, Brakpan, Edenvale, Germiston, Kempton Park, Nigel, and Springs forms the East Rand.
The town is affectionately known to its locals as City of Lakes because of its four lakes. Benoni also has more than 30 parks with walks and nature trails and the Korsman Bird Sanctuary in Westdene is home to over 100 species of birds.
Benoni is not only known for its lakes and natural scenic landscape, after the Benoni Race Track was opened in 1907, the town is now believed to have more horse stables per square kilometre than any other place in the Southern Hemisphere.
Before Charlize Theron made Benoni famous, it is well worth noting the other famous figures that call Benoni home - Oliver Tambo, one of South Africa’s great Struggle heroes, famous South African rugby player Bryan Habana, Princess Charlene, consort of Prince Albert ll of Monaco, and First Lady of Zimbabwe, Grace Mugabe.
Unlike most of the other East Rand towns which tend to be more industrialised, Benoni has a suburban feel to it. Try shopping at the Lakeside Mall, a replica of a Mississippi steamboat, or play a round of golf at the Benoni Lake Golf Club.
Benoni boasts many accommodation options from Hotels and luxury Guest Houses to self-catering and camping.
Things to do and see
- Benoni Museum
- O R Tambo Cultural Precinct
- Korsman Bird Sanctuary
- Trees Eco Fun Park
- Benoni Monkey & Bird Park
- Lakeside Mall
- Benoni Lake Golf Course
- Carnival City Casino & Entertainment World, Brakpan 30 km
Benoni receives approximately 716 mm of rain annually with the majority falling during the Summer months.
Summer months, November to March will have average temperatures of between 13˚C and 27˚C.
Winter months, May to August will have average temperatures of between 1˚C and 23˚C.
There are daily flights into Johannesburg’s O R Tambo International Airport approximately 23 km away via the N12. Car Hire facilities are available at the airport.
The towns inauspicious beginnings were in 1881 when then surveyor-general Johan Rissik was tasked with assigned title deeds to all unclaimed state property. He named one particularly irregularly shaped and difficult to survey region Government Farm Benoni, meaning “son of my sorrow”, after the Hebrew name given by Rachel to her son in the biblical Book of Genesis.
In September 1887, gold was discovered and the Chimes Mine was established and Sir George Farrar, the chairman of a mining company, undertook the beautification of the rapidly growing mining town in 1904. Sir George Farrar planted thousands of trees in the town from whence it owes much of its beauty.
Water was pumped to a natural marsh from the mines and stocked with fish. Today these reservoirs are large enough for yachting and boating and there are many picnic sites on the banks.
The town became a municipality in 1907 and besides gold, it produces iron, steel and brass.
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