Stay and Play in Jozi
GQ Magazine called Johannesburg the cool capital of the Southern Hemisphere. Rough Guides listed us as one of the top cities in the world. Johannesburg is a melting pot of cultures and is still something of a frontier space with a fascinating history and creative energy. There are so many different ways to experience Jozi.
Johannesburg In Your Pocket
A comprehensive guide to Joburg that gives a knowledgeable take on the city. Your guesthouse will provide you with a free copy or look online
Red City Bus : Inner City/Maboneng/Soweto
If you want a quick introduction to the fascinating city of Jozi, take the hop-on/hop-off Red City Bus tour
. Although you can join the tour at any of the 10 stops, there are 2 ticket offices: at Gold Reef City or at Park Station.
The bus follows a route through:
- the inner city with good audio commentary (multi-lingual options) on the history, architecture and culture of Jozi. The Carlton Centre stop offers a birds-eye view of the city and the mining area to the south from the 50th floor.
- Maboneng Precinct is an urban regeneration area where old warehouses have been turned into a creative and artistic hub with galleries, studios, entertainment spaces, great specialty stores, rooftop restaurants, hip apartments and a hotel.
- The Red City bus continues from the inner city to the Apartheid Museum (ranked number 1 on TripAdvisor) and Gold Reef City (a theme park with a fairground with amazing adrenalin-rush rides for older children and teenagers).
- From Gold Reef City you can take a small mini-shuttle bus for a 2 hour tour of Soweto.
- The next area you will visit will be Newtown. This area was planned as a cultural precinct post 1994. The iconic theatre of the struggle, the Market Theatre, is in Newtown and is home to some alternative dance venues like Dance Factory and Moving into Dance. Sci-Bono Discovery Centre the old electric workshop (dating to when Newtown provided the city's power) is a good museum for older children; Anglo-Gold Ashanti's excellent adaptive re-use of Turbine Hall is interesting and there is a newly opened Mall: Newtown Junction and adjacent Workshop with designer shops and outdoor eateries around an open piazza.
- The last stops of the Red City bus are all in Braamfontein. Here the significant attractions are Origins Centre, which, as its name suggests, deals with the origins of humankind, WAM (Wits Art Museum) and Constitutional Hill. On Saturdays there is a wonderful foodie market Neighbourgoods in Braamfontein and for great jazz visit The Orbit in the evening. Expect a young crowd as Braamfontein is in the heart of the student area with Wits University on its doorstep.
- Gerald Garner of Joburg Places runs fascinating tours providing fascinating insights into Joburg and its history as well as many of its regeneration projects.
- Main Street Walks offer general walking tours as well as bicycle tours of the city and Maboneng Precinct.
- Past Experiences run a range of excellent inner city tours focusing specifically on graffiti.
- Joburg Free Walking Tours is a new initiative. Tours are offered daily on a tip only basis departing from the Red City Bus Park Station stop.
- Take a tour with Dla Nje and discover the truth about the city's most notorious and misunderstood suburbs; Hillbrow, Berea and Yeoville.
There are various ways of seeing Soweto:
- Take the Red City Shuttle bus from Gold Reef City (2 hour tour)
- Arrange a private tour (your guesthouse can arrange this for you). There are many private guides. Mashaba Tours & Transfers and Mount Zion Tours & Travels are but two.
- Cycling tours are arranged by Lebo of Soweto Bicycle Tours
- Ntokozo Dube aka TK of TKD tours takes walking tours of Kliptown one of the oldest parts of Soweto and still very under-resourced. 073 133 5234 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeff Mulaudzi founded Alexandra Bicycle Tours
. He will meet you at the Marlboro Gautrain station and takes small groups on cycling tours of Alex.
The Big 5
- The Pilanesburg National Park is located west of Pretoria and borders famous leisure and entertainment resort Sun City
- Learn about Cheetah breeding programmes and about the lives of these fascinating animals at the De Wildt Cheetah Sanctuary in Brits.
- Experience close encounters with the giants of the wild at the Elephant Sanctuary near Hartebeespoort Dam.
- Enjoy a game drive at the Rhino and Lion Park in the Cradle of Humankind. While there you can also visit the nearby Sterkfontein Caves as well as Maropeng, the visitor and exhibition centre for the Cradle of Humankind.
- The Dinokeng Game Reserve is the first free-roaming Big 5 residential game reserve in Gauteng.
So ... Stay with us. Sightsee with our partners. Be stimulated. Be inspired. Be in South Africa.