Top 7 Must Dos in Johannesburg
You’re sure to find a lot of interesting things to do that will make your stay in Johannesburg, South Africa’s second largest city a memorable one. Affectionately referred to as Jo’burg or Jozi, Johannesburg is also the country’s economic powerhouse. It has diverse array of entertainment options to pique the interest of every tourist – from cultural sightseeing to gold digging, wildlife watching, shopping and nightlife. So, whether you’re planning a week’s trip or only a couple of days, our handpicked list of attractions is just what you need to get started. So, here goes.
Must Dos in Johannesburg
1) Get Wild
Live it up with Africa’s indigenous wild life animals at the Lion Park, an eco-tourism sanctuary. Home to 80+ lions, numerous leopards, cheetah, caracal, spotted hyenas, black- backed jackal, zebras, wild beest and wild dogs, Lion Park is focussed on conservation and the regeneration of various endangered species. Visitors can explore the park using a variety of options including guided drives, self-drives, night drives and/or overnight stay in tented accommodation. You can also interact with the animals by feeding and petting lion cubs, giraffes and ostriches. A visit during the week is recommended, if you’d like to spend more time with the animals and avoid the crowds on the weekends.
2) Explore Mandela’s Magnetism
Get to the bottom of the workings behind the inequalities and unease that exist in South Africa even today. Visit the various places where Nelson Mandela envisaged a bright future for South Africa including Mandela House, Liliesleaf Farm and Constitution Hill. Explore the Apartheid Museum for a vivid experience provided through the use of film, text, audio and live accounts, which offer a stark reminder of South Africa’s era of segregation and oppression.
3) Go for Gold
Travel back in time to the days of the gold rush which dates back to 1886. Take a tour of the various Johannesburg gold mines such as the Kromdraai (amongst the first gold mines in this city), Blaauwbank, Gold Reef City and Ferreira gold mines, which are integral to the history of this city. As part of the tour, visitors will gain insights into traditional mining methods, as well as witness a gold pour and the brilliant glow of the molten gold.
4) Shop till You Drop
You’ll be spoilt for choice with the various shopping, lifestyle and entertainment options that the various malls have to offer. From the upscale Sandton City shopping centre and Nelson Mandela Square, which houses designer and luxury brands and boutiques, to the Rosebank Mall, which offers excellent entertainment and dining options, there’s something to suit every budget. Also visit the Neighbourgoods Market, which offers a panoramic view of the city from the rooftops, Killarney Mall, which was the city’s first mall and Cresta Mall, amongst the largest shopping complexes in this city.
5) Lap up the Local Culture
Get up close and personal with the locals at the Lesedi Cultural Village. When you visit, you will interact with tribes from five traditional homesteads including the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele. See how they live according to the traditions of their ancestors – from their dwellings, to food and lifestyle habits including entertaining African dances. You have a choice of visiting options including day visit, overnight stay or the dance, lunch and dinner experience.
6) Journey Back in Time
A UNESCO World Heritage Site, the Cradle of Humankind is a collection of fossil-bearing limestone caves. This site has contributed significantly to our understanding of human evolution and development over four million years. The caves are home to around 40 per cent of the world’s known human ancestor fossils. The famous 2.3 million-year-old fossil Australopithecus africanus was unearthed here in the Sterkfontein Caves in 1947. The Swartkrans and Driemolen caves houses hominid fossils of Australopithecus robustus, bone tools by homo ergaster, the forefather of homo sapiens, fossilized hearths and a collection of 270 burnt bones around 1.3 million years old.
7) Get Seduced by the Lipizzaners
Whether you have little or no knowledge of equestrian pursuits, you’ll fall in love with the elegant South African Lipizzaner horses. The oldest horses bred by humans, the Lipizzaners trace their ancestry to the Roman and Carthaginian horses during Julius Caesar’s reign in Rome. They are loved by novices, racing enthusiasts and equine specialists alike for their graceful movements, perfect physique and good nature. Watch the stunning stallions performing at the Lipizzaner Centre Reserve on a Sunday morning. Following which, you can also interact with the riders and horses. Lunging lessons are also available for those keen to experience the joys of riding these beauties.