I've participated in similar bus tours of cities elsewhere and like those, the Joburg tour provides a great overview of the city and includes historical context. It also facilitates transportation to keys sections and sights in the city, making it possible to see a lot without the added complexity of sorting out public transport. As a result, my friends and I opted to spend our time on the bus tour.
Of note, you need to purchase and print your ticket online or plan to use a credit or debit card; no cash for tickets. The ticket is good only for day of purchase.
We were staying in a hotel closer to the airport that offered a shuttle to Rhodesfield, so we hopped on Gautrain there into Park and started our tour from Park, easily finding the bright red tour bus just across the street.
If the weather is favorable, head to the upper deck where you'll have a much better view of the areas described via the recorded commentary in the language of your choice. If it's a bit cooler, sit under the protected area on top. There were times that it was hard to see everything.
The buses depart every 40 minutes, so keep an eye on the time so you don't miss the shuttle you want! The entire circuit takes almost 2 hours if you don't get off anywhere. You'll want to plan so that you are able to spend the time you want WHERE you want. The earlier you start your day, the better you'll be able to take full advantage of all this tour has to offer.
We needed to get lunch so had planned to hop off at Gandhi Square where the brochure notes "many eateries," but were dissuaded from this by the tour guide who pushed us to get off at Carlton Centre instead. I wish we'd gotten off at Gandhi Sq. At Carlton Centre a guide escorted us into the basement mall and down to the food court. While there was a variety of options, Nandos was experiencing technical difficulties and the options were all fast food of different qualities.
Of note, avoid a Monday trip if you want to include the Apartheid Museum, the James Hall Transport Museum, Workers's Museum or SAB World of Beer as these are all closed on Mondays.
All in all, it was a worthwhile way to spend a day in Joburg.
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.