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Johannesburg

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Illinois
posts: 7
reviews: 2
Johannesburg

We are going on a safari but before and after spending a few days in Johannesburg. We are looking for suggestions on where to stay (we will not have a car) and what to see in the area. Our first time. We are going in December.

16 replies to this topic
Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 1,844
reviews: 23
1. Re: Johannesburg

There are a number of things to see and do.

It much depends on your interests.

Popular things are;

Soweto tour

Apartheid Museum

Lilliesleaf farm

Cradle of Humankind

Lesedi Cultural Village

Gold Reef city.

There is a hop on hop off bus.

Further away, there are interesting things to see in Pretoria (50Km from Johannesburg),

like the Voortrekker (Pioneer) Monument,

Boer war Forts,

several homes, which belonged to famous personalities, like:

Paul Kruger, George Heys, Jan Smuts, Sammy Marks.

Also, one can do a tour of a diamond mine.

Try googling the things I have mentioned, for further information.

If you need a more comprehensive list, I can provide one.

A good place to stay would be in Rosebank. which is pretty central, and has numerous hotels, lodges, shopping and restaurants.

Sandton is also popular, but is a little sterile IMHO.

Illinois
posts: 7
reviews: 2
2. Re: Johannesburg

I read it was best to stay north of the city due to crime etc? We do not have a car so will depend on walking and some kind of transportation. what is your opinion

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 1,844
reviews: 23
3. Re: Johannesburg

The nonsense perpetuated by the media, and various agents, is somewhat insulting to the millions of law abiding citizens who live in this great city.

They should actually visit us, to see how it is.

In 2010, we had 100's of 1000's of visitors for the football world cup.

They were all over the city, north, south, east, west.... there were fewer incidents than during the previous World cup, which was held in Germany !!!

The recommendations I gave, by the way, happen to be north of city center, for no other reason than convenience.

Illinois
posts: 7
reviews: 2
4. Re: Johannesburg

We appreciate your response and never judge a city prior to a visit. We love staying in the city and being a part of the action. We will explore and enjoy. Thanks for the hotel suggestions.

Any other input, as a resident, would be great to receive. How about the public transportation for taking in the museums and sites?

Johannesburg, South...
Destination Expert
for Johannesburg
posts: 956
reviews: 64
5. Re: Johannesburg

Although there is public transport available its a bit of a mystery to me and I've lived here for many, many years. People do travel by bus and its probably my fault that I've never bothered to work out the routes. Unless you are extremely adventurous I wouldn't go the public transport route. That's my personal opinion though. Best to get your hotel to arrange shuttles to the sites and/or taxi an/or tour guide company.

Johannesburg...
posts: 30
6. Re: Johannesburg

For Soweto Township I would suggest that you set aside a day so you can take a full day tour of Soweto Township which includes a visit to Apartheid Museum, Hector Pieterson

Museum (dedicated to the 1976 students uprising), Vilakazi Street Precinct (the only street in the world to have two Nobel Peace Prize winners as neighbours and includes Nelson Mandela House Museum & Bishop Desmond Tutu House as well).

You can visit Credo Mutwa Cultural Village (The village offers an outdoor museum of African art, culture and folklore. Created over a period of ten years by the world renowned Zulu

shaman, artist, painter, author, environmentalist and traditional healer. The village also serves to highlight the key role played by traditional culture within an urban environment. Landscaped with a variety of indigenous plants including

many used in traditional medicine), historical and heritage sites in Soweto.

You can have a buffet lunch at one of the many top restaurants

that offer great South African cuisines. You can see also great

buildings such as the Orlando Twin Towers, Soccer City Stadium. A full day tour usually takes about 8-9 hours, so you have plenty to do. Enjoy.

Nathan Ngwenya (Soweto Voyage - Owner Manager)

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 302
reviews: 92
7. Re: Johannesburg

If you are in Joburg on a weekend then I'd suggest checking what tours P.A.S.T experiences are running, they are quite intimate tours and show you another side of the city. Also the neighbourgoods market (Saturday) and art on main (Sunday) are a market fair type experience.

You will need to get driven everywhere regardless where you stay. It just how things are done here. Do not expect to use public transport (apart from the Gautrain) whilst in Joburg.

Consider staying in a hotel connected to a shopping mall (not something I would normally suggest) as it will give you easy access to restaurants. Something at Nelson Mandela Square is a good option in Sandton. I can't comment on Rosebank I don't know it well.

If you stay in either you should be able to use the Gautrain to get to and from the airport. The red bus also stops at some of the Gautrain stations: www.citysightseeing.co.za/joburg.php

Illinois
posts: 7
reviews: 2
8. Re: Johannesburg

If deciding to stay in either Sandton or Rosebank....Which area would be best for new visitors (seniors) for a week. Any favorite hotels?

Johannesburg, South...
posts: 302
reviews: 92
9. Re: Johannesburg

Tsogo Sun tend to be a good hotel chain. The Sandton sun is connected to the Sandton city mall and Mandela square. But I've not stayed there so I can't attest to its quality.

The raddison blu nearby is where Obama stayed when he was here recently... so I assume it is good!

Randburg, Gauteng...
posts: 858
reviews: 33
10. Re: Johannesburg

Hello, i suggest you stay in Sandton, it is easily accessible by the Gautrain from the ORTambo airport. Then look at Garden Court, West street, very central, close to Nelson Mandela Square and close to the Gautrain station. Or also the Balalaika Hotel, nice hotel, old but stately. You are then able to walk around this area because it is safe. Plenty of shopping at the Sandton City shopping centre. Coffee shops, restaurants on the Nelson Mandela Square and also a theatre. Tours i recommend, you can combine these for full day tours or do half day tours. Cradle of Humankind (nowhere else is there anything like this in the world) Lesedi Cultural Village - a showcase of wonderful AFrican dancing and singing (can be a full day tour). Then Soweto and Apartheid Museum - also done either as a half day for each or as a full day for both. The Gold mine tour offers you an opportunity to go down the mineshaft in what was the richest and deepest mine in the world. Also a diamond mine tour and a tour of the capital city of Pretoria. You can also comine Johannesburg, Soweto and Apartheid Museum as a full day tour with a lunch stop.

If you stay in Sandton, you can take the Gautrain to Pretoria (you will have to get transport then to show you around) and also take the train to Rosebank. They have an african market there every day called the Rosebank AFrican Craft Market. There are nice shopping malls with coffee shops and restaurants.

You could consider a tour company who can advise you of other sights in this area. But i have mentioned the most popular tours.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

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