I am a born and bred Jozi girl, Johannesburg is the city that I have lived in my whole life and the city that I have fallen in love with. Although I plan to visit many many cities and villages all over the world, I have a feeling that Joburg (that’s what us locals call it) will always have a special place in my heart. While it’s not as pretty and scenic as Cape Town (the Mother City of SA), Joburg has a special vibe and buzz about it.
One of the things that I love about Joburg is its diversity. Its diversity of people, culture, history, landscape, art, food, fashion, music, nightlife and what ever else you can imagine. There are so many different types of people living in and visiting Joburg. The city attracts business people, arty farty people, fashion folks, hipsters, entrepreneurs and a whole bunch of busy bodies. No matter what your style there will be a place in Joburg that will be your haven. All it takes is a bit of exploring in the big city to find where your soul should be…the place where you will find people just like you.
Another thing that I love about Joburg is that in one city there are so many different things that you can do. In one day you can enjoy a five star breakfast in a top class hotel, followed by a morning of adventure jumping off water towers or hiking up koppies, with a tasty lunch at a flea market vendor before shopping up a storm at the many shopping malls to look for the perfect outfit your night of partying in the city. Yes, that is a very busy day and you have not even started seeing what Joburg has to offer. I have lived here my whole life and still have a looong list of places to go and things to do.
So you can imagine how hard it is to choose only 3 things to do/see in Joburg. I could easily make a list of 300 things to do/see in Joburg. But alas travellers often only have a few days in Joburg before shooting off to see the many other beautiful places in South Africa, so here are 3 very different things to do in Joburg:
1. Visit the inner city
Yikes! The inner city…yes Joburg CBD is not renowned for being the most pretty place in Joburg, and many tourists (and locals) fear the place. But it is actually quite an interesting place to visit. There are many city rejuvenation projects that are cleaning up the city and making it more modern and funky. These places are now the local hangouts for hipsters and the who’s who of the city…your pretty cool if you hang out here.
A great place to visit is Arts on Main where you will find great shops, art galleries, music, tours and other awesome places. Every Sunday there is Market on Main, which is an amazing market that has delicious food and pretty cool bits and pieces to buy.
2. Visit Soweto
Soweto is a township that houses so much history of South Africa. There are many different tours that will take you to historical places in the township as well as visiting a few shebeens for a taste of local food and beer. It is a definite must see for any tourist.
If you have a bit of adventure in you then you should visit Orlando Towers to bungee jump or do the power swing off the water towers. It is pretty awesome to jump off water towers in the middle of a city…and they’re quite cool water towers aswell.
3. See some wildlife
I told you that there is a diversity of thing to do in the city, and yes you are coming to ‘Africa’ so you have to see some of its wildlife. The Lion and Rhino Nature Reserve is a great place to visit to see a whole lot of wildlife in one day. It is situated in the Cradle of Human Kind which is declared a World Heritage Site.
They have lions, crocodiles, different kinds of bucks, wilddog, rhinos, hippos and a few other animals. You are able to go into an enclosure and play with the lion cubs, which is always very popular. How many people get to say they played with a lion? This is definitely a whole day activity as you will be amazed by the beautiful animals.
Joburg will forever remain vibrant and bustling and will not stop for anyone. Something is always on the go, which is another thing that I love about the city.
This is my submission for the ‘3 Things in the City’ I Love contest by Velvet Escape, Traveldudes and Wimdu.co.uk
*This entry made it to the finals of the 3 Things in the City I Love competition.