Johannesburg, known by the locals as “Egoli” (City of Gold) and more affectionately as “Jozi”, is the major financial hub and entry point for many tourists into South Africa. This big thriving city is buzzing with business and money, and has been since gold was discovered over 100 years ago.
When you first arrive in Johannesburg, there really are a number of places that you should make the effort to see. A visit to the Apartheid Museum is a must, to contextualise where South Africa come from with regards to its political turmoil, and is an excellently put together audio visual display where one could easily spend many hours. A guided tour of Soweto (the south-west townships) really is a must, with hop-on / hop-off buses being a particularly good option. A trip to the very historical Johannesburg Zoo is also recommended, as is an afternoon at the Gold Reef City, where you will find an authentic reconstruction of how the city appeared during the gold rush of the late 19th century. For the very best views, head to the Top of Africa skyscraper building and enjoy a meal at its rooftop restaurant.
The city’s most obvious landmarks are its dominating skyscrapers, which make up the skyline and have in the past been compared with Manhattan, New York. Johannesburg boasts many sights to see, with the Gandhi Square and the very spacious Nelson Mandela Square standing out, being surrounded by places of interest. Also of note is the Constitution Hill, where the Johannesburg Constitutional Court is located, as well as the prison that once housed famously both Mahatma Gandhi and also Nelson Mandela.
Johannesburg is a vibrant, cosmopolitan city with a rich history and diverse culture. There are many things to do in the city, including hot air balloon rides and adventure sports, and it is conveniently close to popular tourist destinations such as game lodges, the Magaliesberg Mountains and the Cradle of Humankind.
Our accommodation recommendations:
The Saxon, The Westcliff, Athol House, The Grace in Rosebank, The Michelangelo