Johannesburg is South Africa‘s ‘City of Gold’ with diversity in culture, colour and heritage. An extraordinary city, born just over 120 years ago with the discovery of gold has sprawled through the metropolis located in the northern region of South Africa.
Jo’burg is home to about 750,000 people already. Casting its nets wide, the city is known for major business hubs in the country, also has a large and vibrant arts scene as well as my favourite, food scenes.
Jozi’s got it all-the energy, the friendliest people, the freshest ideas and the high-octane lifestyle and unique character which attracts people from all over the world.
When visiting South Africa, many people like myself opt-out of visiting the city and head to other cities in the country such as Clarens, Durban and Cape Town, but, it’s is a shame since Johannesburg is a city that should not be missed when visiting South Africa!
From the self-described lifestyle market, the Locrate Market which empowers entrepreneurs with indelible experiences such as food trucks, live music, poetry readings, bike tours, craft beer, singular designer apparel among others, Jo’burg is alive every first Sunday of every month from 10am to 6pm.
Whereas you can watch a game or take a tour of the FNB Stadium, the “Soccer City” happens to be the largest stadium on the continent of Africa with the capacity to hold over 90,000 people!
The Stadium is also famous for being the spot where Nelson Mandela delivered his first speech after being released from prison in 1994 and also for playing host to three games during the 2010 FIFA World Cup in South Africa.
The multi-purpose stadium I’m told by my new friends Suping and DK that it serves as the go-to venue for major musical and sports events in the country.
For some reasons, Johannesburg is beautifully divided into two. A journey to SOWETO clarifies these beautiful demarcations.
The South Western Townships simply called Soweto is a large cluster of townships located just outside of Johannesburg. The neighborhood of Soweto has a long and intense history in South Africa and is the site of the Soweto Uprising of 1976 where Hector Pieterson was murdered, home to the famous leaders’ Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu, as well as the home of the famous Orlando Pirates soccer (football) team.
Amazingly, there’s a unique street demarcation in Soweto that I think makes the neighbourhood beautiful although it’s also backed by rich Soweto Uprising of 1976. For instance, a street is just used as a landmark between the rich, middle and poor citizens living in the neighbourhood.
Coming from FNB Stadium on your left is mostly the beautiful houses for the rich while the middle class and poor livelihoods are located on your right. unlike other neighbourhoods where the rich is located in a particular city, Soweto which is home to over 1 million people (including expatriates from around the continent of Africa) blends culture, lifestyle and allows diversity to beauty Johannesburg.
When I said Jozi’s got it all- the energy, the friendliest people, the freshest ideas and the high-octane lifestyle and unique character which attracts people from all over the world I also meant, you hop on a Red Bus tour for the most cheerful way to discover Joburg was to be on the roof of a shiny red city sightseeing bus.
No that’s not London! The hop on, hop off meaning you get to choose how you spend your time. The tour comes with audio commentary available in 15 languages.
There’s so much to explore in the ‘City of Gold.’ From a reflect at the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory to the three-wheel e-tuk-tuk ride which is no longer reserved for Bangkok’s congested streets, or Fly Boku‘s Nigerian Okada men but ordinary people exploring Johannesburg can have a refreshing, environmentally-friendly and fun way to cover short distances in Melville cheaply through an e-tuk-tuk.
The mega Gold Reel City is another hub of adventure whole day experience in Johannesburg!
Get a little crazy with a slam dunk bounce on 50 interconnected trampolines where you do epic slam dunks, flips and serious kicks or simply enjoy a game of trampoline dodgeball with your mates at the Waterfall Lifestyle Centre. Or rediscover the city with main-street walks while feeling the pulse of Jo’burg by exploring its arteries at the East city cycle tour.
Another stop on the Red Bus tour is a ride to the elevators of 50 floors to see the awe-inspiring view from the top of the Carlton Centre.
As part of the Red City Bus tour, you get to a spot where you meet the James Hall Museum of Transport to steam locomotives, penny farthings and ox wagons which will keep kids intrigued for over an hour at Pioneer Park, Rosettenville Road, La Rochelle.It’s only in Johannesburg you can feed the ducks and geese while on a boat at Zoo Lake! People looking to upgrade their adventure can also rent out a rowboat which fits up to 6 people and has a great time paddling about.
You can climax the first half of your routes to Johannesburg by visiting the world’s first bungee jump between two cooling towers. A variety of adrenaline junkie activities are available with the most affordable being the 25m rock climbing course and the group paintball available at the bottom of the western cooling tower.
If you’re keen to spend a bit more and you’re feeling up to the challenge the Bungee Jump, the Power Swing and Abseiling/Rap jumping are next activities to increase your BP around the Dynamo Street on Old Potch Road, Soweto.