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Johannesberg Travel Guide - Travel S Helper

Johannesberg

travel guide

Johannesburg is South Africa’s biggest metropolis. It is the provincial headquarters of Gauteng, South Africa’s richest province.

The city is one of the world’s top 50 urban agglomerations. Following the finding of gold on what had previously been a farm, the city was named and formed in 1886. Because of the massive gold deposit located along the Witwatersrand, the city is sometimes referred to as the modern-day El Dorado. One or all of three figures engaged in the city’s founding are credited with the name. In ten years, the population had grown to 100,000 people. While Johannesburg is not one of South Africa’s three capital cities, it is the home of the Constitutional Court, which has the last say on the interpretation of the country’s constitution and other constitutional problems. Because of its position on the mineral-rich Witwatersrand range of hills, the city is the center of a large-scale gold and diamond commerce.

Johannesburg has a population of 4,434,827 people in 2011, making it South Africa’s most populous metropolis. The population of the Greater Johannesburg Metropolitan Area was 7,860,781 in the same year. Some consider the region around Johannesburg to be greater than the metropolitan area, including Ekurhuleni, West Rand, and Lenasia; in 2007, that wider area had a population of 10,267,700 people. In compared to other major cities, the municipal city’s land area of 1,645 km2 (635 sq mi) is considerable, resulting in a population density of 2,364/km2 (6,120/sq mi).

Soweto, which existed as a distinct city from the late 1970s to the 1990s, is now a part of Johannesburg. Soweto began as a cluster of villages on the outskirts of Johannesburg, occupied largely by native African laborers from the gold mining industry, and was originally an abbreviation for “South-Western Townships.” Soweto had been set aside as a residential enclave for blacks who were not allowed to dwell in Johannesburg proper, despite the fact that it was subsequently absorbed into the city. English-speaking South Africans of Indian heritage make up the majority of the population of Lenasia.

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Johannesburg | Introduction

Johannesburg – Info Card

POPULATION :  City 957,441    /    Metro 4,434,827
FOUNDED :   1886
TIME ZONE :  SAST (UTC+2)
LANGUAGE : • English 31.1%
• Zulu 19.6%
• Afrikaans 12.1%
• Xhosa 5.2%
• Other 31.9%
RELIGION :  53% belong to mainstream Christian churches, 24% are not affiliated with any organised religion, 14% are members of African Independent Churches, 3% are Muslim, 1% are Jewish and 1% are Hindu.
AREA : • City 334.81 km2 (129.27 sq mi)
• Metro 1,644.96 km2 (635.12 sq mi)
ELEVATION :  1,753 m (5,751 ft)
COORDINATES :  26°12′16″S 28°2′44″E
SEX RATIO :  Male: 49.84
 Female: 50.16
ETHNIC : • Black African 64.2%
• Coloured 13.9%
• Indian/Asian 6.7%
• White 13.9%
• Other 1.3%
AREA CODE :   011
POSTAL CODE :  2001
DIALING CODE :   +27 11
WEBSITE :   www.joburg.org.za

Tourism in Johannesburg

Although Johannesburg is not generally thought of as a tourist destination, it serves as a hub for flights to Cape Town, Durban, and the Kruger National Park. As a result, the majority of foreign visitors to South Africa travel through Johannesburg at least once, resulting in the creation of various tourist attractions. The Apartheid Museum (with linked excursions to Constitution Hill) and the Hector Pieterson Museum are two recent additions that focus on history. There is also a sizable tourism business centered on former townships like Soweto and Alexandra. The Mandela Museum, which is housed in Nelson Mandela’s old home, attracts the majority of tourists to Soweto. Day trips to the old house of this former South African star are one of the most popular activities for foreign tourists.

Visitors may gain a sense of the city’s layout by visiting the Carlton Centre, which is located in the CBD’s south-eastern section and includes an observation deck on the 50th floor. It is Africa’s tallest office structure, standing at 223 meters (731 feet) and offering panoramic views of the city and its environs. The neighboring Museum Africa is home to a huge collection of rock art as well as the history of Johannesburg. Gold Reef City, a theme park that depicts mining life at the beginning of the nineteenth century, including an underground mine tour, is also a famous tourist destination. Other attractions include a big amusement park and a popular Tribal Dancing performance.

The Johannesburg Art Gallery, which showcased South African and European landscape and figurative paintings, is one of the city’s cultural institutions. The Market Theatre complex rose to prominence in the 1970s and 1980s as a venue for anti-apartheid performances, and it has since evolved into a hub for contemporary South African playwriting. The Joburg Theatre is South Africa’s premier “receiving house” for live entertainment, showcasing both local and international world-class theatre. Melville, Newtown, Parkhurst, Norwood, Rosebank, and Greenside are known for their bohemian ambiance, vibrant street life, and plenty of restaurants and pubs.

Tourists frequent the city’s markets and flea markets, which vary from posh shopping malls like Sandton City and Nelson Mandela Square to diverse markets and flea markets like the Oriental Plaza and the Rosebank Flea Market, which are renowned for souvenirs and African art. As already said. (Cultural) visitors may also go to the “Mai Mai Market,” which is devoted to traditional herbs and healers (“Ezinyangeni” – the location of healers; situated on the eastern wing of the city center).

The UNESCO World Heritage Site of the Cradle of Humankind is located 25 kilometers (16 miles) northwest of the city. The world’s richest hominid site, Sterkfontein, provided the world’s first adult Australopithecus africanus and the first near-complete skeleton of an early Australopithecine. The Lesedi Cultural Village is another popular weekend (and vacation) destination for Johannesburg locals, while Magaliesburg and the Hartbeespoort Dam are other popular weekend (and holiday) destinations. The Beginnings Centre Museum (see below) focuses on human origins in Africa and has a large collection of rock art.

Visitors who want to see wildlife in Johannesburg and its vicinity have a variety of opportunities. The Johannesburg Zoo is one of the country’s biggest. The Lion Park nature reserve at Lanseria is home to more than 80 lions and other wildlife, while the Krugersdorp Nature Reserve, a 1500-hectare game reserve, is a forty-minute drive from the city center. The De Wildt Cheetah Centre in the Magaliesberg has a successful cheetah, wild dog, and other endangered species breeding program. The Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve, which is located in the “Cradle of Humankind” on 1200 acres of “typical Gauteng highveld,” also has a breeding program for endangered animals such as Bengal and Siberian tigers, as well as the exceptionally uncommon white lion. The Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve, 11 kilometers south of the city center, is home to huge wildlife and hiking paths.

Climate of Johannesburg

Johannesburg has a subtropical highland climate (Köppen Cwb) due to its location on the highveld plateau. The city has a warm climate, with hot days followed by afternoon thundershowers and chilly evenings in the summer (October to April) and dry, bright days followed by cold nights in the winter (May to September).

Due to the city’s high elevation, temperatures in Johannesburg are normally moderate, with an average maximum daytime temperature of 25.6 °C (78.1 °F) in January and a maximum of roughly 16 °C (61 °F) in June. Because to its high height and closeness to the equator, the UV index in Johannesburg reaches 14-16 in the summer.

Winter is the sunniest season, with moderate days and cold nights, with temperatures as low as 4.1 °C (39.4 °F) in June and July. The temperature dips below freezing at night, resulting in frost. Snow has only fallen four times in the twentieth century: in May 1956, August 1962, June 1964, and September 1981. In the twenty-first century, there was light sleet in 2006, as well as snow on 27 June 2007 (accumulating up to 10 centimetres (4 in) in the southern suburbs) and 7 August 2012 (accumulating up to 10 centimetres (4 in) in the southern suburbs).

During the winter, regular cold fronts sweep through, bringing very cold southerly winds but typically bright sky. The average annual rainfall is 713 millimetres (28.1 in), with the most of it falling during the summer months. During the winter, there are a few rains here and there. On June 13, 1979, the lowest overnight minimum temperature ever recorded in Johannesburg was 8.2 °C (17.2 °F). On June 19, 1964, the lowest midday maximum temperature was 1.5 °C (34.7 °F).

Geography of Johannesburg

At a height of 1,753 meters, Johannesburg is situated on the eastern plateau area of South Africa known as the Highveld (5,751 ft). The old CBD sits on the south side of the Witwatersrand (Afrikaans: White Water’s Ridge) ridge, with the land falling to the north and south. The Witwatersrand serves as a watershed between the Limpopo and Vaal rivers, with the Jukskei River draining the northern half of the city and the Klip River draining the southern section, which includes most of the CBD. The city’s north and west sides have undulating hills, whereas the east side is flatter.

Although Johannesburg is not situated on a river or port, its streams feed two of Southern Africa’s most powerful rivers, the Limpopo and the Orange. Most of the springs that feed several of these streams have been concreted over and canalized, which explains why many early farm names in the region end in “fontein,” which means “spring” in Afrikaans. Some examples are Braamfontein, Rietfontein, Zevenfontein, Doornfontein, Zandfontein, and Randjesfontein. When the first white settlers arrived in what is now Johannesburg, they were struck by the gleaming rocks on the hills, which were dripping with trickles of water supplied by streams, earning the region the name Witwatersrand, which means “ridge of white rivers.” Another theory is that the whiteness is due to the quartzite rock, which has a unique shine after rain.

Internet, Comunication in Johannesburg

Always-On, +27 (0)11 575-2505, offers prepaid WiFi connectivity in a variety of Johannesburg locales. Simply connect to the access point, and you’ll be offered the option to pay by credit card for access. The cost of a ten-minute session begins at roughly R15, while a 100-MB session costs around R60.

The following areas are covered:

  • City Lodge. Most of them.
  • The Baron. Bryanston and Woodmead
  • Mugg&Bean. Just about all of them.
  • Nand. Benmore, Chilli Lane, Douglasdale, Rivonia
  • OR Tambo Airport. Most of the airport is covered as well as the City Lodge and Airport Sun InterContinental
  • Protea Balalaika Hotel.
  • Wimpy. Midrand, Randburg, Centurion, Aero Centre
  • Highland View Executive Guesthouse. 164 Highland Road, Kensington, Johannesburg, Gauteng

Economy of Johannesburg

Johannesburg is one of the world’s most important financial centers and South Africa’s economic and financial core, accounting for 16 percent of the country’s GDP and 40 percent of Gauteng’s economic activity. Johannesburg was rated 47th out of 50 top cities in the world as a global commercial center in a 2008 assessment done by MasterCard (the only city in Africa).

The Witwatersrand’s economy was built on mining, but because to depleting reserves, its relevance is waning, and service and manufacturing sectors have grown in prominence. Despite the fact that gold mining is no longer permitted inside the city borders, the majority of mining businesses still keep their headquarters in Johannesburg. The city’s industrial businesses are diverse, and heavy industries like as steel and cement facilities continue to play an important role. Banking, IT, real estate, transportation, broadcast and print media, private health care, transportation, and a thriving leisure and consumer retail industry are among the service and other businesses. The JSE, Africa’s biggest stock market, is located outside of the city’s core business sector. The city is the headquarters of the province government, as well as a number of government branch offices, consulate offices, and other organizations, due to its commercial significance.

There is also a sizable informal sector, which is dominated by cash-only street sellers and vendors. Official statistics make it impossible to measure the extent of this economic activity, but it sustains a segment of the population that includes immigrants who are not in regular work. This informal industry is perhaps the world’s biggest, maybe second only to Beijing’s informal sector.

In a dry environment, the Witwatersrand urban complex is a big water user. Its sustained economic and demographic expansion has been reliant on programs to divert water from other parts of South Africa and Lesotho’s highlands, the most important of which being the Lesotho Highlands Water Project, although other supplies will be required early in the twenty-first century.

The container terminal at City Deep is renowned as the world’s biggest “dry port,” with around half of all cargo arriving in Johannesburg through the ports of Durban and Cape Town. The Gauteng government has designated the City Deep area as an IDZ (industrial development zone).

How To Travel To Johannesberg

Get In - By plane

  • O.R. Tambo International Airport, originally known as Johannesburg International Airport and Jan Smuts Airport, is still popularly referred to by these older names. Johannesburg International Airport, tel. +27 11 921-6911, is the city’s primary airport. It is Africa’s busiest airport and serves as a hub for flights to other cities in Southern Africa. Numerous flights connect to Johannesburg from foreign cities, most notably London. The majority of planes from Europe arrive in the early morning. If you arrive on one of these planes, anticipate lengthy immigration lines. Bear in mind that if you are travelling from a high-risk location, you will need your yellow fever certificate.

International flights depart from Terminal A, while domestic flights depart from Terminal B. When departing, certain foreign planes may check in at Terminal B but depart from Terminal A. The two terminals are close to one another and are connected by a 5-minute indoor walk.

The airport is situated 24 kilometers (15 miles) east of Johannesburg. From the airport, a high-speed rail connects to Sandton and Pretoria (see below). If you’re taking a cab, continue straight until you reach the building’s exit and then bear left until you see a lengthy line of taxis (mostly Mercedes) with yellow TAXI signs on their roofs. These are licensed taxis equipped with metering systems (tell the driver the address and insist on using the meter before you get in the car). Avoid anybody who approaches you within the airport building offering a cab; they are unregistered touts, and you will wind up paying extra. If you are staying in a hotel, request that the hotel arrange for a shuttle pickup (though it may cost).

Avoid the many banks and money changers to the left of the arrivals entrance while seeking money: They show exchange rates but do not disclose their high “commissions,” which may lower the amount you get by 10% or more – this is true of all banks and bureaux de change in South Africa. It is preferable to withdraw cash from ATM machines (South African ATMs do not charge fees for withdrawals). ATM machines are placed on the second level of the airport, in the shopping mall, which has a variety of stores and eateries.

  • Lanseria Airport is Johannesburg’s secondary airport, serving commercial flights. Unlike O.R. Tambo, which is managed by the Airports Company South Africa, it is privately owned (ACSA). It is accessible from Sandton, Pretoria, Westrand, and Midrand, but may be a traffic nightmare to get there. This airport has fewer carriers and is mostly utilized for regional, business, and diplomatic travel. However, certain cheap airlines, such as Mango, operate frequent flights from Lanseria.

The airport is mostly used for smaller charter, cargo, and traditional airlines aircraft; it is actually busier and sees more air traffic than Johannesburg International. Kulula.com is now operating a commercial flight from the airport to Cape Town.

  • Rand International Airport The airport is mostly used for commercial and general aviation.
  • Grand Central Airport is a commercial and general aviation airport located just off the N1 between Johannesburg and Pretoria.

Get In - By train

Park Station is Johannesburg’s central station, located in the city’s central business district between Rissik (west), Wolmarans (north), Wanderers (east), and De Villiers (south) streets. While the station is very secure in and of itself, the surroundings around it may not be. Take cautious and attempt to arrange for onward transportation before to arrival. All long-distance Spoornet trains, as well as the majority of MetroRail trains, are very safe. The best course of action is to consult with locals prior to use any public transportation.

Spoornet is a freight railway business, although they do have a branch named Shosholoza Meyl that provides passenger service. There are eight key roads that connect South Africa’s metropolis to smaller villages. Intercity trains operate on a regular basis between major cities around the country, including Cape Town, Durban, Pretoria, Bloemfontein, Kimberley, Port Elizabeth, East London, Pietermaritzburg,Nelspruit, and Polokwane. Passengers may travel in the tourist class, which has either a coupe for two or a compartment for four. When traveling for an extended period of time, these compartments transform into beds. Another choice is economy class, which is, of course, less expensive, with seats that recline but do not convert into beds. On trains, there is a dining car where passengers may purchase meals. If you are traveling in a coupe or compartment, a trolley service is offered, which eliminates the need for you to leave your compartment. From Johannesburg to Cape Town, the four-berth sleeper cost is R630 per person.

MetroRail runs regular commuter trains to a number of surrounding suburbs and towns. Metrorail is separated into five areas for operational reasons due to the fact that it serves many cities. The Witwatersrand region encompasses the metropolitan area of Johannesburg. Trains connect Johannesburg and Germiston to Springs, Pretoria, Soweto, and Krugersdorp via Springs, Pretoria, and Soweto.

Gautrain is a new high-speed train service that connects Johannesburg, Pretoria, and OR Tambo International Airport. A terrific, first-world-quality rail service connects the airport to Sandton in about 15 minutes. You may connect to Pretoria or Rosebank from Marlboro or Sandton stations. Extremely safe – several cameras and security personnel on trains and stations. Fares are affordable except for trips to and from the airport, which incur an extra R80 surcharge. Avoid attempting to walk to or from the neighboring Rhodesfield Gautrain station in order to avoid this fee – the route is a maze of motorways and flyovers.

Get In - By bus

Park Station is served by long-distance buses. To and from Johannesburg, all major bus companies provide a service. Several of them include the following:

  • Greyhound, the well-known bus company, operates routes across South Africa.
  • Translux’s route network connects them to a number of South African cities as well as important cities in Malawi, Mozambique, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
  • Magic Bus is a company that specializes on short-distance transportation, such as scheduled airport shuttles.
  • S.A. Roadlink operates coaches between major cities in South Africa.
  • The Baz Bus provides a hop-on, hop-off service for travelers. It connects Johannesburg and Durban through the Drakensberg before continuing down South Africa’s coast to Cape Town. (Note that the formerly advertised second route between Johannesburg and Durban through Swaziland is no longer available.)
  • Eldo Coaches operates a bus service between Johannesburg and East London for R300. and R450 from Johannesburg to Cape Town.
  • Eagle Liner operates buses between Johannesburg and Bulawayo, Zimbabwe, at a fare of R330.

Get In - By car

Numerous roads connect Johannesburg to the rest of South Africa, notably the N1 from Cape Town and Bloemfontein and the N3 from Durban.

  • N1 from Cape Town and Harare in Zimbabwe
  • N3 from Durban
  • N4 from Nelspruit and the Kruger National Park, as well as Botswana
  • N12 from Kimberley and Potchefstroom
  • N14 from Upington and Namibia

Traffic may be especially terrible during peak hours (M-F 6:30 a.m.–9 a.m. and 3:30 p.m.–6:30 p.m.), so plan accordingly. Accidents are common and may occur at any time of day or night. Take additional caution if you’re driving to OR Tambo airport, since accidents are common around the Gillooly’s Interchange and on the R24 towards the airport.

Traffic has steadily deteriorated as a result of the rising number of automobiles on the road. If you’re going Monday through Friday in the city, keep in mind the likelihood of traffic jams prolonging your route. Due to the city’s size and dispersion, traveling about may entail crossing considerable distances; for example, the distance between Midrand and Soweto exceeds 45 kilometers (28 mi).

How To Get Around In Johannesberg

Johannesburg was designed to be a car-centric metropolis, thus public transportation is still in the works. The Gautrain (a non-metro speed train) provides a nice, clean, and safe method to go from the airport to Malboro, Midrand, Rosebank, Pretoria, and Centurion quickly. Buses and minicabs abound on the streets, however there are few marked stops, so buses must be called down on major thoroughfares such as Oxford Street and Jan Smuts. Although they may be dangerous, bigger double-decker metro buses go entirely down Oxford, from Gandhi Square to Sunninghill, passing through Killarney, Rosebank, Illovo, Sandton, Rivonia, and Sunninghill (bus no. 5C and 5D). Orange Putco buses, which run more often than metro buses but are somewhat more costly, are another bus option. Finally, there are the Gautrain feeder buses, which offer rather wide routes from each station and can be readily discovered on the gautrain website or mobi site. On weekends and public holidays, buses are very difficult; Gautrain buses do not operate, Metro buses only run two routes, and Putco buses come to a total standstill. This is why taking the train or renting a vehicle would be an excellent option.

You tell the taxi where you want to go (be sure you know where it’s heading; normally, locals use precise handsignals to guarantee the taxi arrives at its destination), and it arrives at your desired location along the established path. Unless accompanied by locals, it is generally not a good idea to take a minibus cab. Taxi drivers in minibuses often say anything they need to get a fare. Renting a vehicle gives you the most freedom and allows you to visit the city; nonetheless, driving is fast-paced but not difficult provided you keep vigilant. Heavy traffic entering Sandton in the morning (6:30 to 9:00 a.m.) from all directions leading to Sandton and in the afternoon (15:30 to 18:30 a.m.) from all directions might cause your travel to be delayed by up to 2 hours, so plan accordingly.

Get Around - By Car Rental

If you are a competent driver, renting a vehicle is your best choice since public transportation in the city is quite restricted. It is recommended to get a decent Johannesburg road map, use a GPS (available when renting a vehicle), and carefully organize your visits before leaving. The city is big and not well-signposted. Make it very clear to your rental agency what kinds of problems are covered by their insurance policies. “Full coverage” may not always imply complete coverage. Traffic may be rough, and minibus taxis, in particular, are notorious for breaking the laws of the road.

If you appear like a tourist or don’t have enough gas to get out of a major city, there are several places of Johannesburg you don’t want to go into. Inquire about it. If you’re unsure, go to a police station and ask for instructions.

From the airport, stay on the motorway between the airport and Sandton, and avoid taking London Road via the townships and Alexandra. Although a GPS pursuing the shortest route would typically detour around the townships, knowing where you’re heading is important. (If you’re traveling from the airport and are concerned about getting this incorrect, continue on the N3 (which becomes the N1) beyond Marlboro Drive until you reach Rivonia Road. Then turn left/south, which will take you right into Sandton without traveling through any townships.)

Get Around - By taxi

Foreigners are recommended to use only regular sedan taxis (metered or fixed-price taxis that carry just you and your travel companions), since minibus taxis have a bad reputation. Minibus taxis, on the other hand, are extremely inexpensive and provide the fastest route between two sites. It’s a fantastic experience, but you must be aware of the hazards if you use them. The majority of them rely on a variety of native hand signals, but if you ask nicely, the locals will happily assist you in finding the correct taxi. Metered taxis are not as plentiful as in many large cities, but they are accessible and must be called ahead of time in most circumstances. As you wait for the cab, this might cause significant delays. Renting a vehicle is recommended unless you are just coming for a brief period of time.

In general, all taxi companies conspire to set pricing, thus cabs are neither inexpensive nor metered. Because haggling is common, it’s preferable to settle on a price when you call. Do not depend on taxi stands at shopping malls, since they are often unavailable. To prevent getting stuck somewhere, have a few cab phone numbers and cash with you at all times. Uber, if you have a local SIM, provides better price and service than taxis, which are plentiful in Sandton.

  • Sandton Taxi Cabs (Pty)Ltd,  +27 11 039-4402. Transport Company offering Chauffeur Services, Airport Transfers, Day Tours & 24hrs Taxi Services.
  • Airport Link,  +27 11 792-2017. Fixed price airport transfer service.
  • Elias,  +27 76 834-0670. Friendly taxi driver based in the CBD.
  • Magicbus, +27 11 548-0822. Offers shuttle services between OR Tambo Airport and Sandton. They also offer door-to-door transfers. A bit expensive for the single traveller but reasonable when traveling in groups.
  • Maxi Taxi,  +27 11 648-1212. Reputable taxi firm based in Yeoville.
  • Roses Taxi,  +27 11 403-9625. Operates throughout the city.
  • Zebra Cabs,  +27 86 110-5105. Operates throughout Johannesburg. Every car is equipped with a GPS. R11/km.

Get Around - By bus

Johannesburg’s public transportation consists of municipal buses and unofficial minibus services. If you are a foreign tourist or business traveler unfamiliar with South Africa, the bus (other than the Gautrain feeder buses) is not a practical alternative. Large blue city buses operate along the major routes, and smaller buses may be hailed down on the side of the road, albeit they are not the most dependable method of transportation and are often connected with crime. These should only be utilized if you are well-versed in South African culture and the fundamental geography of Johannesburg.

  • Rea Vaya. This Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system is intended to provide a safe, secure, and cheap public transportation system on major metropolitan routes. There are designated bus lanes and stations every 500 meters in Rea Vaya. Smaller buses (feeders) and taxis will add value to the transportation of passengers to and from major routes.
  • Metrobus, +27 11 833-5538. Buses are available, however they have restricted routes and schedules by Western standards.
  • Minibus taxis. should be avoided unless you are traveling with a local: the itineraries are quite unclear, and conductors will often respond ‘yes’ when asked whether they are heading to X in order to collect your money and then drop you off at a crossroads and say ‘change here.’ When traveling by minibus, it is better to ask the other passengers for directions rather than the driver; people are often courteous and willing to assist you. Minibuses are regularly engaged in deadly accidents and are not roadworthy (despite being in considerably better condition than the rest of Africa). Extreme, often warlike competition has resulted in mass transit that is affordable to the general public.

Districts & Neighbourhoods In Johannesberg

Johannesburg’s suburbs are the result of urban development and are divided into four regions: north, south, east, and west, with distinct personalities. While the Central Business District and its near environs were formerly ideal living places, suburban space has tended to drive people away from the city and its immediate environs. As a consequence of letting out inner city properties to lower-income groups and illegal immigrants, abandoned structures and crime have become a part of inner city life. Yeoville, despite its apparently bad image, is a hotspot for black nightlife in the nearby city suburbs. The suburbs to the south of the city are mostly blue collar communities that are located near certain townships.

The suburbs to the west have struggled in recent years due to the fall of the mining sector, but have seen some resurgence as houses have been purchased by the local African middle class. To the east and north, there is the most sprawl. The eastern suburbs are affluent and near to a number of industrial zones. The northern suburbs have absorbed the majority of the flight from the city center, and certain residential districts, notably around Sandton, which stretches north to Midrand, the halfway point between Johannesburg and the capital Pretoria, have been commercialized.

The rich have traditionally congregated in the northern and north-western suburbs, which have high-end retail outlets as well as various upper-class residential neighborhoods such as Hyde Park, Sandhurst, Northcliff, Hurlingham, Bryanston, and Houghton, where Nelson Mandela lived. The predominantly black suburb of Sophiatown, which was previously the center of political action, and the Bohemian-flavored Melville, which has restaurants and nightlife, make up the north-western region in particular. The South African Broadcasting Corporation, AFDA (The South African School of Motion Picture and Live Performance), and the University of Johannesburg are all located in Auckland Park.

Soweto, a township built under apartheid to house displaced black South Africans residing in regions designated for white settlement, is located southwest of the city center. Lenasia, a primarily Asian neighborhood to the south of Johannesburg, was built exclusively for Asians under apartheid.

The following are the key areas of Joburg, albeit this list is not exhaustive:

  • CBD/Inner City (Which encompasses the tourist areas of Braamfontein, Maboneng, Newtown and Fordsburg)
  • Old Joburg (Which encompasses Melville, Greenside, Killarney, Emmarentia, Parktown, Houghton and others)
  • Sandton (The new city centre including Rivonia, Fourways and Sunninghill)
  • Randburg
  • Soweto
  • Alexandra
  • Midrand
  • Roodepoort (The West – Which encompasses the The Cradle of Humankind, Muldersdrift and Lanseria Airport)
  • Ekurhuleni (The East – Which encompasses Modderfontein, Greenstone, Edenvale, Bedfordview, OR Tambo Airport, Benoni, Boksburg and Brakpan)
  • Alberton and Germiston (The South)

Prices In Johannesberg

Tourist (Backpacker) – 48 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:meals in cheap restaurant, public transport, cheap hotel.

Tourist (regular) – 123 $ per day. Estimated cost per 1 day including:mid-range meals and drinks,transportation, hotel.

MARKET / SUPERMARKET

Milk 1 liter $0.87
Tomatoes 1 kg $1.28
Cheese 0.5 kg $5.45
Apples 1 kg $1.32
Oranges 1 kg $1.35
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.25
Bottle of Wine 1 bottle $4.00
Coca-Cola 2 liters $1.08
Bread 1 piece $0.61
Water 1.5 l $0.91

RESTAURANTS

Dinner (Low-range) for 2 $18.00
Dinner (Mid-range) for 2 $27.00
Dinner (High-range) for 2 $36.00
Mac Meal or similar 1 meal $3.30
Water 0.33 l $0.58
Cappuccino 1 cup $1.40
Beer (Imported) 0.33 l $2.00
Beer (domestic) 0.5 l $1.50
Coca-Cola 0.33 l $0.72
Coctail drink 1 drink $3.50

ENTERTAINMENT

Cinema 2 tickets $8.00
Gym 1 month $36.00
Men’s Haircut 1 haircut $
Theatar 2 tickets $
Mobile (prepaid) 1 min. $0.13
Pack of Marlboro 1 pack $2.55

PERSONAL CARE

Antibiotics 1 pack $
Tampons 32 pieces $2.80
Deodorant 50 ml. $2.00
Shampoo 400 ml. $3.35
Toilet paper 4 rolls $1.55
Toothpaste 1 tube $0.98

CLOTHES / SHOES

Jeans (Levis 501 or similar) 1 $49.00
Dress summer (Zara, H&M) 1 $36.00
Sport shoes (Nike, Adidas) 1 $69.00
Leather shoes 1 $70.00

TRANSPORTATION

Gasoline 1 liter $0.85
Taxi Start $1.30
Taxi 1 km $0.65
Local Transport 1 ticket $0.95

Beaches in Johannesberg

Johannesburg is located on the coast, and there are beaches in Johannesburg. So, you’ve probably assumed it has some of the best beaches in the area, and you’d be right. Port Elizabeth has some wonderfully clean and beautiful beaches, with water temperatures ranging from 66 to 77 degrees F during the southern summer, but whose water stays comfortably warm even during the winter, ranging from 62 to 71 degrees F.

The waves are quiet, and the beaches are pristine if you stop there. If you want to take a break from your travels and have some aquatic fun, this is a terrific combo to try.

In the region, there are primarily two beaches and a lake where you may swim and participate in water sports.

Algoa Bay

Johannesburg is located on the coast, and there are beaches in Johannesburg. So, you’ve probably assumed it has some of the best beaches in the area, and you’d be right. Port Elizabeth has some wonderfully clean and beautiful beaches, with water temperatures ranging from 66 to 77 degrees F during the southern summer, but whose water stays comfortably warm even during the winter, ranging from 62 to 71 degrees F.

The waves are quiet, and the beaches are pristine if you stop there. If you want to take a break from your travels and have some aquatic fun, this is a terrific combo to try.

In the region, there are primarily two beaches and a lake where you may swim and participate in water sports.

Germiston Lake

You will fall in love with Germiston Lake if you like water activities. In the sweeping meadows around the lake, there is a playground for children to enjoy. The surrounding region of the lake is lush with greenery, and people who like spending time in nature will enjoy frequent visits to the lake. The Rondebult Bird Sanctuary, cultural institutions, and inner-city museums are also adjacent to the lake. The location is ideal for a family picnic, particularly if you have children who will appreciate and learn about the birds in the sanctuary. Because there is no admission charge to the lake, it might also be a good option for budget vacationers.

Sights & Landmarks In Johannesberg

Central Business District / CBD

The process of regeneration In the run-up to the 2010 World Cup, Central Business Direct accelerated, and there are many sections of the inner city that are visitable, and the central area’s bad image is no longer merited. Art is being used as a cornerstone of the CBD’s revitalization by city planners, and there are various galleries and art venues springing up all around the city. For African visitors, especially merchants who come to purchase at Johannesburg’s wholesale stores, the city center is the most frequented region of the city.

Newtown and the Market Theatre area (the city’s cultural quarter) are now readily accessible from the motorway and Mandela Bridge, and are quite enjoyable; there are live music venues and pubs here as well. The university district of Braamfontein features a fantastic Saturday market, a vibrant nightlife, and is quite artistic. There’s nothing here throughout the day.

Main Street Life, Maboneng Precinct, and Arts on Main are all located on the city’s east side (especially the Sunday market and The Bioscope independent cinema). The Troyeville Hotel features a superb restaurant, as well as an art center and all of the major sports stadiums (football, tennis, athletics, rugby).

Fordsburg, on the west side of Joburg, is a formerly-Indian neighborhood with Indian and Pakistani restaurants, stores, and marketplaces. This neighborhood has good cuisine and, by Johannesburg’s standards, has a lot of street action in the evenings, especially on Friday and Saturday. Alcohol is not provided in most venues since they are halaal. The Oriental Plaza shopping mall is located nearby and offers great deals.

Look up between Jeppe and Bree Streets at Delvers Street to see the Amharic writing, which indicates that you are in the Ethiopian/Somali section of town; Ethiopian restaurants and coffee shops can be found at the Africa Mall and Johannesburg Mall. Arrive before 2 p.m. if possible.

Yeoville, known as Le Petit Kinshasa to the north, is home to many of Johannesburg’s Francophone African diaspora. Cameroonian eateries and Congolese pubs abound.

Hillbrow (Little Lagos) has a poor record for drug trafficking, sex clubs, and violence, but it’s improving – if you go to Constitution Hill or the Johannesburg Art Gallery, Hillbrow is immediately over the street, so it’s not that terrifying. On a Sunday morning, empty your pockets and stroll to the foot of the Hillbrow Tower; remain on the major streets and have your wits about you; and don’t carry anything worth stealing. Definitely a unique experience. Before you go, watch Louis Theroux’s ‘Law and Disorder in Johannesburg.’

  • Top of Africa, Carlton Centre, 150 Commissioner St (Take the elevator from the second floor to the fiftieth), +27 11 308-1331. 8AM to 7PM daily.From the top of Africa’s highest structure, the Rand 7.50, get a panoramic perspective of the city.
  • Johannesburg Art Gallery, Corner of Klein and King George streets, Joubert Park,  +27 11 725-3130. The biggest gallery on the A good selection of local and international art is on show throughout the African continent. It’s also completely free.
  • Standard Bank Gallery, Corner Simmonds and Frederick Streets, +27 11 631-1889. Open 8AM to 4:30PM Monday to Friday and 9AM to 1PM on Saturdays. Entrance is free.
  • Sci-Bono Discovery Centre, Electric Workshop building, cnr Miriam Makeba and President street, Newtown,  +27 11 639-8400, fax: +27 11 832-3360, e-mail: cynthia.sithole@sci-bono.co.za. 9AM to 5PM Mon to Fri and 9AM to 4:30PM weekends and public holidays. Adults: R20, children: R10.
  • Origins Centre – The South African Museum of Rock ArtA museum for the people of the globe in Africa. A fantastic audiovisual presentation of rock art and human beginnings. Excellent curio, book, and coffee store.Yale Road, University of the Witwatersrand, Braamfontein, Ph: +27 11 717-6051, enquiries@rockart.wits.ac.za . 9AM to 4:30PM. Students R35. Adults R80

Northern suburbs

Greenside, Houghton, Parktown North, Parkhurst, Killarney, Rosebank, Illovo, Melrose North, Atholl, Sandown, Sandton, Morningside, Fourways, and Randburg in the north are green, leafy, and pleasant – and safe and comforting to first-world visitors. Most have a shopping mall of some kind, and some have a main street with cafes, boutiques, and grocery stores.

  • Johannesburg Planetarium, Yale Road, Entrance 10, University of the Witwatersrand, Milner Park,  +27 11 717-1392, fax: +27 11 339-2926, e-mail:planet@planetarium.co.za. From Rand 16 to Rand 25, depending on show.
  • South African National Museum of Military History, Erlswold Way, Saxonwold (Next to the Johannesburg),  +27 11 646-5513, e-mail:milmus@icon.co.za. Open daily 9AM to 4:30PM. A good collection of military hardware, including one of very few ME 262 jet fighters from WW2 still in existence. There is also a huge South African built G6 self-propelled, 155mm howitzer on show. A snack shop as well as a shop selling genuine and reproduction vintage military equipment is located within the museum. R20 entrance fee.
  • James Hall museum of Transport, Pioneers’ Park, Rosettenville Road, La Rochelle,  +27 11 435-9718, fax: +27 11 435-9821, e-mail:curator@jhmt.org.za. Open Tue to Sun 9AM to 5PM. Largest museum dedicated to transport in South Africa. Free entrance.
  • Chérie De Villiers Gallery, Lower Level, Rosebank Mall, Rosebank,  +27 11 788-9949, e-mail: cheart@global.co.za. Art by South African artists.
  • The Apartheid Museum,  +27 11 309-4700. A powerful and educational journey through South Africa’s stormy history and present. Everything takes at least a half day to go through and has video, images, and several artifacts, so you could easily spend a day going at it. It’s just next to Gold Reef City, and it’s a must-see.

Soweto is becoming a more popular tourist destination for visitors from all over the globe. Take a tour or just drive in using your GPS to Vilakazi Street: the road infrastructure and signage are great. Stop by Maponya Mall and join the Sowetan middle class as they shop and watch movies.

Things To Do In Johannesberg

  • Township Tour to Soweto, a tour of Soweto’s heavily crowded yet bustling town. Do not go alone; only use approved operators.
  • Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens (The gardens can be tricky to find as it is not well signposted from the main roads. From the N1 get onto Hendrik Potgieter at exit 80 (Roodepoort/M8 14th Ave). Follow the signs indicating Tarlton (M47) to the north. Pass Clearwater mall, turn left into Handicap Road and right into Malcolm Road where you see the first signpost for the gardens. The gardens will be on your left a couple of hundred meters from here.),  +27 11 958-1750, fax: +27 11 958-1752, e-mail:SisuluGarden@sanbi.org. One of Johannesburg’s few surviving green spaces. Several species of birds, including the critically endangered Black Eagle. Within the grounds, there is a restaurant, as well as picnic and braai spots. R25 per person, with student and senior discounts.
  • Constitution Hill. The renowned Old Fort prison complex is located downtown on the eastern outskirts of Braamfontein. The South African Constitutional Court, located around the historic Fort jail, is a fascinating location well worth a visit – part courtroom, half museum, and part art gallery – in the same spirit as the Apartheid Museum. Free.
  • South African Lipizzaners, 1 Dahlia Road, Kyalami (Follow the N1 towards Pretoria, take exit 108 Midrand, R561 Allandale Road towards Kyalami. Kyalami Road and Main Road intersects at the entrance to the Kyalami racetrack, turn right here. At the second traffic light, turn left and follow Main Road, look out for Maple Road to your right. Turn right into Maple Road and right again into Crocus Road), +27 11 702-2103, fax: +27 11 468-2718, e-mail: lipizzaner@hixnet.co.za.Apart from Vienna, this is the only venue where you can watch Lipizzaners who have been recognized by the Spanish Riding School in action.
  • Lesedi Cultural Village (Just past the Lanseria Airport on the R512),  +27 12 205-1394. Traditional Zulu, Sotho, Pedi, Xhosa, and Ndebele dances and meals are performed in real Zulu, Sotho, Pedi, Xhosa, and Ndebele communities.
  • Lion Park, R114 near the corner with Malibongwe (old Hans Strijdom Drive) (R512), Honeydew (From the N1, take exit 90, Randburg/R512 Malibongwe (old Hans Strydom Dr.) and follow this north for 12 kilometers past Kya Sands. At the Traffic Light for R114, take a right turn. The Lion Park is six hundred meters down the road on the right.),  +27 11 691-9905, fax: +27 11 691-9904, e-mail: lionpark@cknet.co.za. A visit with the lion cubs (yes, you get to touch them), feeding the giraffe (R20 for giraffe food), and self-drive game viewing in the lion camps and game area are all included in the admission ticket (antelope, zebra, giraffe and others live here). Weekends and public holidays may be very crowded at the Lion Park. If you want to spend some quality time with the lion cubs, go during the week when the park is less crowded. If you want to drive by the lion cages, make sure your car is free of loose debris and that your windows are closed. 4×4 spare wheel covers are very attractive to lions, so remove them before entering. The cost is R130 per person.
  • Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve, Karee Kloof (R54 South from Johanneburg towards Vereeniging, take the Kliprivier/Heidelberg offramp, go left, then right at 4way stop, left at next 4way stop,and the left at T-junction, on the left, follow signboards (approx 1 hour drive)). Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is a popular ecotourism location in Gauteng. This reserve, located just outside of Johannesburg, an hour’s drive from Johannesburg International Airport, and near the historic town of Heidelberg, has a typical sample of the Rocky Highveld Grassland biome’s wildlife and plants. The reserve provides an absolutely refreshing getaway from the frenetic city life, with 134 km2 of unspoilt natural environment and a mountain range characterized by meandering twists and turns of hiking routes. The elevation here ranges from 1,545 to 1,917 meters above sea level.
  • Montecasino Bird Gardens, Montecasino Boulevard (Cnr William Nicol and Witkoppen Roads), Fourways (From the N1, take exit 95 (Marked: 95 Sandton/R511 William Nicol Dr.) and head north, cross over Leslie Ave and turn right into Mentecasino Blvd.),  +27 11 511-1864. Open weekdays from 8:30AM to 5PM and weekends from 8:30AM to 6PM. Many birds and other small wildlife. Also look out for the 2500 year old tree located near the parrots. Flight of Fantasy Shows at 11AM and 3PM weekdays and 11AM, 1PM and 3PM on weekends.
  • Old Kromdraai Gold Mine, Kromdraai Road, Krugersdorp. 9:00 to 16:00 weekends, by appointment during the week. Visit the Old Kromdraai Gold Mine, for example. The Kromdraai Gold Mine was one of the original gold mines on the Witwatersrand (today’s Johannesburg region), and it’s located in a beautiful rural setting around 60 minutes from Johannesburg International Airport and 40 minutes from the city. R100 for adults and R50 for youngsters.
  • Gold Reef City, Northern Parkway, Ormonde (From the M1 South, take exit 5, Johannesburg/M17 Xavier Street and follow Crownwood Rd until intersection with Northern parkway. Turn right into Northern Parkway and follow that road for about 1 km),  +27 11 248-6800, fax: +27 11 248-6863, e-mail:nfo@goldreefcity.co.za. A casino and entertainment park. Here, visitors may learn about gold mining and tour a mine (about 200 deep, too clean). Unfortunately, Gold Reef isn’t a world-class theme park, so if you’re expecting “Disney Land Africa,” you’ll be disappointed.
  • Ferreira’s Mine, Standard Bank Centre, 5 Simmonds St,  +27 11 636-9111, fax: +27 11 636-4207, e-mail: info@standardbank.co.za. Open during normal banking hours 8AM to 4PM. This bank is practically surrounded by gold. During the 1980s building of the Standard Bank headquarters, an ancient abandoned gold mine from the late 1800s was unearthed. Construction on the mine resumed after taking into consideration the mine’s access tunnels. The public has access to portions of the old mine as well as the modern museum affiliated with it. There is no charge to enter.
  • Workers Museum, Newtown Park, Jeppe st, Newtown (Travel Nelson Mandela Bridge, left into Carr st then right into Miriam Makeba st, cross over Jeppe st and parking is on your right. Entrance is from Newtown Park.),  +27 11 833-5624. Tuesday to Sunday 9AM to 5PM. The Workers Museum will be situated in the Newtown Compound on Mary Fitzgerald Square in Johannesburg, and will be a site-specific museum. One of the few remaining instances of municipal compounds for black male laborers is the Newtown Compound. The City Council constructed the complex in 1913 to accommodate migrant laborers who initially worked for the Sanitary Department and eventually for the neighboring power plant.
  • Sophiatown Heritage Tours (Sophiatown Heritage & Cultural Centre), 73 Toby Street, Sophiatown (Close to Melville/Westdene), +27 11 673-1271.Open: 10h00 – 16h00 (Tues, Wed, Fri); 10h00 – 18h00 (Thurs); 10h00 – 13h00 (Sat). Sophiatown’s tale is one of the most important in South Africa’s recent history, since it was a site of forced removal prior to that of Cato Manor, District 6 and others around the country. Sophiatown’s blend of political, literary, musical, social, criminal, and cultural “movers and shakers” created a setting for possibly Johannesburg’s most famous time. Walking tours begin at Dr. AB Xuma’s former home in the 1930s and transport you back in time to see where Hugh Masekela, Jonas Gwangwa, and Stompie Manana’s talents first emerged; hear stories of removal and rebirth, witness Don Mattera and Can Themba’s heady talent, and listen to street life tales immortalized in song and dance. 2 hrs. Group tours and school programs are R25 for adults and R10 for children; guided walking tours of Sophiatown are R60 for adults and R30 for children.

Shopping In Johannesberg

In Johannesburg and the neighboring regions, there are several artisan markets. On the roadway and at junctions, you’ll also discover a lot of wonderfully created beading and wirework for sale. Though you may be able to haggle with the locals, keep in mind that many craftspeople are jobless and depend on sales to sustain themselves and their families.

On Sundays, craftsmen and women from all over Africa sell their wares in the Rosebank flea market, and on weekdays, they sell their wares in a bazaar-style store in the Rosebank mall. There is no unique artwork in Johannesburg that cannot be found elsewhere in the nation. However, you have excellent quality stores for this. Many forms of South African art are created in Swaziland or imported from other African countries. Don’t forget to purchase the 2-foot giraffe that you can find all over the place, even at the airport. It is also available in your own nation.

African Arts & Crafts

  • African Craft Market, Rosebank Mall, Cnr Cradock and Baker St, Rosebank.,  +27 11 880-2906, fax: +27 11 880-2944. Open 9AM to 6PM daily.

Flea Markets

  • Mai Mai, Anderson and Berea St. Johannesburg’s oldest market. There are several traditional healers offering traditional herbs and cures here.
  • Bruma Flea Market, Ernest Oppenheimer Ave, Bruma (Close to Eastgate), +27 11 622-9648. Daily 10AM to 6PM.
  • Market Theatre Flea Market, Newtown Cultural Precinct, Bree St, Newtown, +27 11 832-1641. Open Sat 9AM to 4PM.
  • Panorama Flea Market, Klipriver Drive, Mulbarton,  +27 11 682-2222, fax:+27 86 513-3267, e-mail: howard@panoramafleamarket.com.

Shopping Malls

Shopping malls are particularly popular in Johannesburg because of their ease and safety, as well as the lack of alternatives – luckily, Jozi is one of the few cities in the nation that still has some street life. All of the regular chain retailers may be found at a normal shopping mall (for clothes, books, music, chemists etc.) In the basement, there is a food court (KFC, Mugg & Bean, etc.) as well as a large western-style grocery. A multiplex theater is also available in several of them. Be wary of them since they might be cozy but lifeless refuges that can ensnare tourists in their familiar, air-conditioned surroundings. There are several retail malls in Johannesburg, most of which provide free safe parking, while some of the more popular malls charge for parking (Rosebank & Sandton). The major shopping centers are:

  • Oriental Plaza, Fordsburg. A flavor of the Orient in Africa, as well as some excellent prices. Unlike other malls in South Africa, this one allows you to haggle with the shops. The Oriental Plaza is unusual in that it is home to more than 360 privately owned businesses. The location of Mahatma Gandhi’s iconic pass-burning ceremony, which took place 100 years ago, is only a block away from the Oriental Plaza. The site, which is just outside the Newtown mosque, is fittingly commemorated with a cauldron and historical information.
  • Sandton City, 5th St, +27 11 217-6000, fax: +27 11 883-0978, e-mail:info@sandtoncity.co.za. M-Sa 9AM-6PM, Su 10AM-4PM. In Sandton, there is a huge and popular mall. Please don’t spend your whole vacation here, despite the fact that many people do.
  • 44 Stanley, 44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark (From the M1 north or south, turn right at the Empire Road turnoff. Take the second robot (traffic light) left into Owl St (under the bridge). Stanley Ave is the 2nd road on the right), +27 11 482-4444. A refreshing change from the sterility of traditional retail malls. 44 Stanley is a collection of disused industrial buildings near the city gasworks that currently houses 25 stores, cafés, and creative studios that are arranged around interconnected courtyards. It’s the heart of a fascinating urban revitalization initiative, and it’s definitely worth a look.
  • Northgate, Corner of Northumberland Rd & Olievenhout Ave,  +27 11 794-1687. In the northwestern part of the city, just across from the Coca-Cola Dome, which is well-known for hosting big-name music events. Northgate is modest in compared to the other “gates,” but it does provide some excellent recreational opportunities, including movies, paintball, ice skating, and weekend children’s entertainment.
  • Bedford Centre. In the east, a smaller mall worth searching out – a decent range of individual retailers, as opposed to the chain store overload seen in most South African malls.
  • Westgate, 120 Ontdekkers Rd, Roodepoort,  +27 11 768-0616, fax: +27 11 768-2291, e-mail: westgatemall@motseng.co.za. M-F 9AM-6PM, Sa 9AM-5PM, Su 9AM-2PM. For many years, Johannesburg’s most working-class mall, Westgate, had a much-needed refurbishment and now sports a more contemporary appearance. Due to its remote location from the majority of tourist destinations, it is almost unknown to international tourists, but provides a good shopping experience with locations for the majority of the big chain businesses.
  • Eastgate, Cnr Nicol and Bradford, Bedfordview,  +27 11 616-2209, fax:+27 11 622-2473, e-mail: egmarketing@libertyproperties.co.za. 9AM-6PM.
  • Cresta Mall, Cnr Beyers Naude and Weltevreden Rd, Cresta,  +27 11 678-5306, fax: +27 11 678-4096, e-mail: info@crestashopping.co.za. This is where the middle-class populace of Central Johannesburg goes shopping and socializes. There are large branches of all the big chain businesses here, as well as several excellent family eateries. Take a stroll in Cresta and experience what it’s like to be a real native.
  • Rosebank, Between Bath and Cradock Aves, Rosebank (From the M1 south, take exit 19 (Johannesburg/M20 Gelnhove Rd), turn right and follow Glenhove to Oxford, cross over Oxford and turn right into 4th Ave that leads directly into the mall parking),  +27 11 788-5530, fax: +27 11 880-6250, e-mail: info@themallofrosebank.co.za. The mall is now undergoing extensive redevelopment and refurbishment.
  • Southgate, Cnr Columbine Ave & Rifle Range Rd, Mondeor,  +27 11 942-1061.The facility is located in Johannesburg’s south suburbs, barely five minutes from Soweto.
  • Fourways Mall, Cnr Witkoppen Rd & William Nicol Dr, Fourways, +27 11 465-6095.

Additionally, there are other smaller retail centers located near residential neighborhoods. Typically having one or two big retail locations, a number of smaller chain locations, quick food, and maybe a restaurant or coffee shop.

Nightlife In Johannesberg

The Melville student neighborhood, Braamfontein, Rosebank, and the Newtown cultural zone all have excellent bars and clubs. The Rivonia and Sandton areas are known for their posh and affluent nightclubs.

  • Back o’ the Moon Nightclub, Located in Gold Reef City Casino,  +27 11 496-1423. A casino-restaurant featuring classic and modern jazz performances, as well as supper and dance. It offers a diverse assortment of grills and seafood as well as a reasonably priced set menu. Lunch and supper are served Tu-Sa for R25.
  • Troyeville Hotel. Traditional pub with pool tables and occasional events such as book signings and jazz bands. Excellent restaurant. The pub is full on match days due to its proximity to rugby and soccer grounds. Sunday barbecues with a view of the city and draught drinks from local breweries.
  • Monsoon Lagoon, Caesar’s Palace Casino,  +27 11 928-1280. Good nightclub with DJ Sebastian. Closed.
  • The Manhattan Club, 19 Wessels Rd, Rivonia (From the N1 take exit 100 (Sandton/M9 Rivonia Rd), follow Rivonia Rd south and turn left into 12th Ave at the second traffic light, turn left into River Rd and follow that until it becomes Wessels Rd),  +27 11 803-7085, e-mail: guyb@manhattanclub.co.za. Th-Sa 8PM-4AMish, Tu W 9PM-3AM. Closed Su M, Th. A sprawling, sophisticated, and popular establishment including eight bars, including a shooters bar and a ladies-only cocktail bar. Student and female discounts are available. Cover R50-70.
  • The Woods / Town Hall, 66 Carr Street, Newtown. Fr-Sa 7PM-2AM.. The greatest place in Johannesburg for those in their twenties seeking for a good time. Most often, this location holds dubstep or drum ‘n bass events. The Woods and Town Hall are two clubs located next to one another in the heart of the city. The majority are in their twenties and students. A pleasant location. Variable depending on the event. Expect to pay between R50 and R300.
  • The Radium Beer Hall, Louis Botha Ave, Orange Grove,  +27 11 728-3866. Since 1929, this establishment has served beer. Weekends include live music.
  • Roxy Rhythm Bar, 20 Main Rd, Melville,  +27 11 726-6019. This club has a rooftop dance floor and an out-of-this-world sound system. It hosts live rock bands, dancing performances, and stand-up comedy. The most prominent bands perform on weekends, while Monday is designated as student night. Cover fee is R50.
  • SAB World of Beer, 15 President Street, Newtown,  +27 11 836-4900, fax:+27 11 836-4900, e-mail: events.co-ordinator@za.sabmiller.com. The SAB-Miller Beer museum. R25 for the tour, including 2 free drinks in the pub at the end of the tour.
  • Katzy’s. Upmarket bar at The Firs mall in Rosebank, next to the Hyatt, offering live music and dancing most evenings. This establishment specializes in high-end whiskies. A mixed, middle-aged, affluent audience. When a live band performs, there is a cover fee.

Festivals & Events In Johannesberg

  • Coca-Cola Dome, cnr Olievenhout Avenue and Northumberland Road, North Riding (Next to the Northgate shopping mall). Throughout the year, the Coca Cola stadium hosts a variety of events, ranging from bridal expos to live motorsport theater. This is the southern hemisphere’s largest dome construction.
  • Rand Show: 3-12 April 2015 , at the Expo Center, Nasrec, +27 11 661-4000, e-mail: randshow@kagisoexpo.co.za. Annual Rand Ester Show, as well as several other regular fairs, expos, and trade events.

Stay Safe & Healthy In Johannesberg

Bear in mind that Johannesburg has a high rate of crime, however visitors are seldom victims. As is the case in many other cities with a crime issue, certain areas are fairly safe while others may be highly hazardous, and crime may vary according to the time of day or night. In the metropolis, armed security guards (not necessarily police) are a regular sight. Consult with locals (hotel personnel, police) to determine what to do.

Johannesburg developed its lawless image throughout the 1980s, when apartheid crumbled. Things took a turn for the worst in the early 1990s, and many (white) South Africans have painful recollections of this time period, which continue to influence their security recommendations for the city today. However, things have much changed since those days, and the advice you may hear from certain Johannesburg locals may not reflect contemporary realities. Nonetheless, travellers must maintain vigilance at all times while in strange areas.

When walking along the street (this does not apply to shopping malls or other safe areas), the best general advise is to attempt to blend in with the locals and avoid flashing any type of affluence. Consider concealing your telephone, leaving your jewelry at the hotel, and avoiding bags, daypacks, cameras, or purses. Utilize a low-cost plastic bag, leave your valuables at the hotel, and bring just the amount of money you really need. Never carry a purse; instead, carry loose cash or bills in your pockets.

If you are a victim of robbery, it is advisable to comply with your attackers, surrender your belongings, avoid negotiating, avoid looking them in the eye, and avoid fighting back. Then contact the police to report the robbery.

Above everything, use caution! If someone insists on your accompanying them somewhere/doing anything, go with great care. Never pay someone for anything until you have the item in your possession. It is typically a good idea to gently but firmly decline beggars.

Finally, bear in mind that although Johannesburg has a somewhat justified reputation for crime, the majority of victims are inhabitants of the townships. The vast majority of guests had an enjoyable stay.

SHOPPING MALLS

Johannesburg’s retail malls are as secure as those found everywhere else in the world, with pickpocketing being the sole concern, although a minor one.

CENTRAL BUSINESS DISTRICT

The central business district is bustling throughout the day, and portions of it are somewhat run-down, but there is plenty police and private protection on hand. At night, on weekends, and on holidays, the region is mainly desolate. There are plenty intriguing things to do in the CBD; just plan ahead for parking and visits, and never roam aimlessly.

NORTHERN SUBURBS

Although pedestrians are few, you should be able to stroll from your guesthouse to a nearby restaurant or retail center; nonetheless, distances may be considerable, making driving or hiring a cab the best alternatives. If you wish to go running (which is not suggested for lone women) or for a lengthy walk, pack a map and as few valuables as possible, and return home before nightfall.

TOWNSHIPS

Alexandra is an extremely impoverished and hazardous slum that demands special attention from international visitors due to its proximity to the route that connects the airport to Sandton, making it simple to end up there if you get lost or take the incorrect off-ramp.

Never take the London Road off-ramp from the N3 highway to get to Sandton (which you will see on the horizon and London Road may appear to be a shortcut even when reading a map or using GPS) unless you are traveling with a local who knows their way around, as this road runs through the heart of Alexandra and you could easily get lost.

To reach Sandton from the airport, exit the N3 onto Marlboro Drive and continue straight until you reach the M1 freeway (this is also called the Marlboro offramp). Between the N3 and the M1, including Louis Botha Avenue, do not turn south/left (if approaching from the N3) or right/south (if approaching from the M1/Sandton side) (which may be dangerous unless you know the area).

Alternatively, if you want to avoid the risk of getting this wrong, you can drive a little further (the N3 becomes the N1) and take Rivonia Road south, which will take you directly into central Sandton, passing through only affluent areas the entire length of the road, ensuring that even if you get lost, you will remain in safe areas.

Additionally, while using the Gautrain (very safe and nauseatingly well-guarded) between downtown Sandton and the airport, Marlboro Station is one of the stops. This station serves as a gateway to Pretoria and is located on the outskirts of Alexandra. At this station, do not depart.

Other townships surround the city – and offer nothing to the visitor, with the exception of Soweto, whose middle-class sections (Orlando West) may be visited alone, although the majority choose for a tour.

NIGHT-TIME

It is advisable to schedule nighttime trips in advance and to hire a trusted taxi service. If you must go at night, stay in densely populated, well-lit areas and walk confidently and purposefully to give the appearance of knowing where you are going. Avoid giving the appearance of being lost, and seek directions only from businesses, not from random individuals on the street.

DRIVING

When driving, it is recommended to use a GPS to avoid getting lost. Also keep in mind that vehicle accidents kill more South Africans than violence. On the roadways, there is a lot of aggressiveness, and many accidents are caused by drinking.

It is not a good idea to leave any valuables on the seats since your window might be shattered and your items taken. If you spot folks loitering at red traffic lights late at night, don’t stop. They might be up to no good. Even if you have to pay a fee, slow down and go through the red traffic lights (very small chance). Always be on the lookout for cars tailing you or roadblocks (stones, wood) on the route. If you’ve parked in a peaceful spot, be extra cautious while getting in and out of your car, since criminals may be waiting for victims to depart or enter their vehicle. Drive to the closest police station or well-lit populated area if you are confronted with a suspicious or hazardous situation.

PUBLIC TRANSPORT

The Gautrain is completely risk-free. The city’s Metrobus service and the new Rea Vaya buses are both safe to use, albeit they are often late and much too unpredictable and perplexing for a short-term foreign tourist to figure out.

WOMEN

The rate of rape and sexual assault is alarmingly high. Most occurrences of sexual assault and rape, on the other hand, involve alcohol and occur between individuals who know one other. Due to the high HIV prevalence in Johannesburg, caution should be used in sexual contacts, and condoms should be used. Females should never travel alone and should strive to stay in groups if at all feasible.

STAY HEALTHY

Johannesburg’s tap water is fully safe to drink, with one of the highest ratings in the world.

At OR Tambo International Airport, there is a Travel Clinic.

It is preferable to avoid governmental hospitals since their standards have lately deteriorated; nonetheless, private hospitals are of world-class quality.

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