Johannesburg, South Africa’s largest city is undoubtedly one the country’s many gems. While the city’s crime-riddled past may be of concern to some tourists (including myself), my experience of the city was anything but dangerous. So, here are just some of the things you can safely enjoy in Johannesburg….
Johannesburg places to stay are stylish and sophisticated. The Peech Hotel in Melrose is one of the city’s renowned, boutique hotels and offers contemporary, African cuisine in their modern restaurant as well as spacious and luxurious rooms. However, if like me you want to be right in the hub of the city, look no further than the Reef Hotel. While it may not measure up to the overstated Peech Hotel, it’s comfy, clean and convenient. What more could I want?
If it’s a good shop that you’re after, why not stay away from the typical shopping malls and head to one of the many markets? Bruma Lake Flea Market is one of the biggest markets in South Africa and you’ll find almost anything here. Textiles, clothes, jewellery, wood, furniture, there is something for everyone. It’s acceptable to try your hand at a bit of haggling too. Let’s just say my bargaining powers need a wee bit of practice… The East Rand Flea Market is another must for market lovers. Situated in Boksburg just outside of the city, the market is particularly famous for its abundance of artwork, particularly street wire art.
So, I couldn’t really go to South Africa without going on safari could I? To escape the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg for a couple of days fly out to Kruger National Park. As one of the top national parks in the world, it would be criminal not to pay a visit. With a safari to suit every taste and budget, Kruger has something for everyone. I set off on the ‘Great Trek North’ and witnessed all of the big game as well as rare, local species. There was also a tense moment with a hungry lion, but let’s not get in to that…
Upon my return from the wild I decided to dip into a little history and culture. Soweto, one of Johannesburg’s largest districts provides the best insight into the country’s past. If you can bare a museum, the Hector Pietersen Museum in Orlando West is well worth a visit. The museum gives a fascinating insight into the apartheid regime and is located two blocks away from where Hector Pietersen (a casualty of the 1976 Soweto uprising) was killed. Soweto is also home to a more recent addition to the country’s history- Soccer City, home of the 2010 Fifa World Cup. Why not go and see some local football or just marvel at the impressive stadium?
Shopping, luxury hotels, lions and football. Johannesburg and the surrounding area really left me spoilt for choice. I’m just happy I got out of Kruger alive!
For more great info and insight into Jo’burg please take a look at Johannesburg My Destination