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female solo traveler.1st time SA 4 nights Joburg this week

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Santa Monica...
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female solo traveler.1st time SA 4 nights Joburg this week

hello all!

writing from Hawaii... we are preparing for 2 hurricanes coming our way starting tomorrow.

I'll be in Joburg this coming Tuesday night to Saturday morning Aug 12-16.

Finishing up the last details on this part of my SA trip.

This is what I have so far.


Lion Park

Lunch/shopping at Sandton, NM square, dinner @ moyo Melrose arch


Soweto tour

botanical garden

dinner and exploring in melville


maybe visiting top of africa, market theatre flea market if they are open, tour cradle of human kind and visit the constitution hill to see an exhibition.

My friday is still up in the air since it's my last full day. I wouldn't mind the aerial cableway harbeespoort but I am going to CP and visiting table mountain so I'm not sure if I'm wasting my time doing the aerial cable in joburg.

I don't like museums... l'm a big foodie, love culture, cool neighborhoods to walk around, shop... and I'm a blogger. Anything I should see I'm not aware of?

Where should I go out Wednesday night? Thursday night? Friday night? Im a dancer and love house music and hiphop... would love to go to a house club and dance.

Also... how do I get around? google map doesn't show options for public transportation. I'm staying in orange grove with a host and from what I understand mini bus taxis are my option?! I'm traveling alone. I like using public transportation. any suggestions? I never take taxis around the world since most places have a good public transportation system.

All input welcome! Thanks so much.


Pretoria, South...
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1. Re: female solo traveler.1st time SA 4 nights Joburg this week

Posters who are more knowledgeable than I am will no doubt be along to give advice on your other days' activities but I wanted to make two comments:

- with respect to the very first activity you mentioned: you may want to read at least some of the posts in the pinned thread "The reality of lion cub petting".

- You are correct: we do have very little public transport. The infamous minibus taxis serve that purpose all over Southern Africa. They tend to be used by people who can't afford their own wheels and have a reputation for being overloaded and unroadworthy. They are often driven with a total lack of regard for road rules, which leads to accidents. Using them would certainly be an adventure if you are up to it and can work out the labyrinthine process according to which the system operates.

Brisbane, Australia
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2. Re: female solo traveler.1st time SA 4 nights Joburg this week

As Auntie said, read up on the Lion Park first and decide if you are still comfortable going.


Also the Cradle of humankind is over an hour out of Joburg and will take at minimum half a day.

You will have to resign yourself to using taxis as public transport is almost non-existent.

For the Wednesday or Friday your best way to get around will be to get a metered taxi (the minibus taxis are not particularly safe and very confusing to use) to Park station or gold reef city and get on the Red Sightseeing bus. Its a Hop on Hop off bus and will take you to Constitution Hill, the Carlton Centre (top of Africa) and a number of other sites in the CBD.

For dancing you will definitely find something in Melville. Otherwise check out www.jhblive.com for dance/trance/club events.

West Hollywood...
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3. Re: female solo traveler.1st time SA 4 nights Joburg this week

That is a very impressive photo pose!!!

I've been following the Johannesburg thread since January so here's a share of what I've noted:

Get a private room at the Grillhouse in Rosebank (They might even pick you up from your hotel). The food is great and atmosphere is amazing. If you want music, next door is Katzys which has live music most nights- check out eatout.co.za for restaurants


Nuno's in Melville

Soi in Melville

Winesense wine shop

The Cube tasting kitchen is about 2 Km from the Gautrain Station.

www.browns.co.za these are two top of the range in Jo'burg. http://www.cubana.co.za/

Near Hyde park is dw 11-13 which is very good. They have a restaurant that is very difficult to get into. But their "grazing room" is easier, and having been there just this week can tell you its fabulous - its a tapas menu.

Blackanese in Maboneng has phenomenal sushi and that area in general is worth a visit. Arts on Main in the same area has a eats market on Sunday and is also a great place for a drink on a Sunday. On a Saturday head to the neighbourgoods market in Braamfontein for a similar experience.

The Saxon in Sandhurst has the best brunch in town

Bars of note for their view: San Deck (at the Sandton Sun). The bar at the Hyde Park Sun. Randlords in the City. As mentioned Melville has a very cool vibe and is your best spot to do some bar hopping.

For an extra special chef experience, try five hundred at the Saxon Hotel.

BTW, my favorite place in Santa Monica is the Hungry Cat on PCH :)

~Lucky Chucky

Johannesburg, South...
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4. Re: female solo traveler.1st time SA 4 nights Joburg this week


1. Regarding the minibus taxis, I guess your host can give you some advice on how to use them. From Orange Grove you will be nearest Louis Botha which is a long road going directly into the city centre. You'll pass some pretty hairy neighbourhoods on the way and by the end land at the massive bus rank on the end of Hillbrow. That's an intimidating place the first time you go there for sure and can feel a bit unsafe (and Hillbrow itself is definitely not safe for tourists alone). Whenever I take a bus that way I try to ask to get off near the Rea Vaya bus station (ask a passenger). Rea Vaya bus is like a regular bus and easy to use but it will not get to Orange Grove for a few more years yet! You need some balls to go for it, but it's an adventure like using public transport in any other developing place and has its own risks....Personally though I think if you are on holiday you don't want to be stressed and feeling out-of-you-depth (1st time I started using the minibuses I found it very stressful and confusing!) so forking out for cabs is worth it, at least to get to places where there are some better transport links like Park Station, Rosebank or Sandton (Gautrain)....You can also get e-tuk tuks around all the Melville-Rosebank areas and Shesha tuks in Sandton. They don't go further than 10km though

2. Foodie stuff, shopping and cool neighbourhoods. You should go walk around Maboneng and Braamfontein, they have shops with cool local designs, hip cafes, lots of street art. pop-up restaurants, fun bars etc - they are by far the most happening areas. Loads of great art galleries there too

3. NM Square is a huge mall, if you want shopping know that it is a place for high street chain stores. The Zone at Rosebank has some more hip local brands if you want local fashion as well as an attached mall with big chains

4. Soweto is a lot to take in so I wouldn't plan to also do Botanical Gardens that day too, would just mean a lot of travelling especially if you're going to party in Melville after. You could also consider Alexandra Bike Tour, that's another township which is only about 10mins drive from Orange Grove

5. Totally recommend the sightseeing red bus! That could do you a whole day if you wanted and you can stop at Constitution Hill and Roof of Africa on the way

6. There are plenty of house music clubs. Kong at Rosebank is really popular - on Fridays they have RnB and hip hop, very dressed up glam place. In Sandton there's also The Sands and Sway - house music. And Club in Braamfontein is very popular for deep house and quite underground.

7. Personally I think Moyo is a bit of a tourist trap - better have an incredible steak at the Grillhouse! Also ask your host about getting dinner in Chinatown on Derick Avenue (Cyrildene), it is very near to your area and has amazing food.

5. Re: female solo traveler.1st time SA 4 nights Joburg this week

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