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Johannesburg, South Africa

Carlton Centre Mall & Top of Africa Viewing Deck

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No Better Vantage

Rising to 732 feet tall in the heart of Johannesburg, the Carlton Centre reigned supreme as the loftiest building in Africa for many decades until 2017 saw it surpassed (literally--by more than 100 feet) by the Jemma Al Djazair mosque in Algiers. The 50-story skyscraper--once a glitzy hotel catering to politicians and celebrities--is still plenty epic, and its top-floor wraparound viewing deck serves as one of Johannesburg's best-known attractions. The Top of Africa, as it's called, affords an unreal view: Besides surveying all of South Africa's biggest city, you can gaze out as far as Pretoria, the country's administrative capital. Down below, meanwhile, the Carlton Centre's lower floors host a big and busy shopping mall.

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