Things to do in Johannesburg

  • 1Pique your historical appetites at the South African National Museum of Military History.
  • 2Wrap your mind around the significance of Constitution Hill.
  • 3Get lost in the twists, turns and dead-ends of the Honeydew Mazes.
  • 4Cool down in the intricate and fascinating, aptly named Wondercave.
  • 5Enjoy the epic view of the Aerial Cableway Harbeespoort.

Visiting Johannesburg

History is inescapable, crushing and confronting; Johannesburg is emerging into somewhat of a renaissance, with inner city neighbourhoods elevating the pace to compete with metropolitan, first world areas, as a confluence of theatres, restaurants, museums and jazz clubs glisten on rolling promenades. Newtown and Braamfontein continue to set the tone for ambitious regions, though prepare yourself to witness true desperation and poverty, as the disparity between the rich and the poor is evident.

Despite this glaring reality, the people for the most part are welcoming and warm, as travellers traverse the path from Apartheid to present day, acknowledging the diversity and suffering of the residents, past and current.

Any visit to Johannesburg must begin inside the doors of the Apartheid Museum, a sobering collection of installations, images, stories and artefacts documenting the brutal history of South Africa.

Must-Do Activities

  • Apartheid Museum
  • Bush Babies Monkeys Sanctuary
  • Lion Park
  • Johannesburg Botanical Gardens
  • Emmarentina Dam

Though this thoughtful entry to your itinerary may stagger your pulse, a few hours within its walls will provide context to the social inequity of modern day Johannesburg. You’ll be in the mood for something light hearted immediately after, and the Bush Babies Monkey Sanctuary is a must on any travel schedule; a cute and educational conglomeration of minute monkeys and lemurs, as they dive for your shoulders and perch there for a lazy ride.

If you’re a lion lover, the Lion Park offers visitors the opportunity to interact with playful Lion cubs and towering, friendly giraffes. After snapping up a bargain in the native boutiques, reflect on your South African experience, strolling through the grounds of Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, sitting on the crystalline borders of Emmarentia Dam.

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