Top attractions in Johannesburg
With the recovery of its post-apartheid economy, Johannesburg is shedding its "most dangerous city" reputation for that of a friendly metropolis with quirky urban attractions to substantiate its wilder and more scenic offerings. Here are a few of its best!
Combining natural vegetation and rocky hiking trails with skillfully landscaped gardens, visitors must trek up to the top of its waterfall to see Black Eagles and terrific views!
This national park not only offers safaris galore but you can even camp here. In spite of the large meandering beasts, it's safer than it sounds!
Home to a startling number of our chimpish ancestors, it's no wonder the fossil-rich Sterkfontein caves are also known as the Cradle of Humankind!
Discover the brutish conditions of a detention center that held Nelson Mandela, Gandhi, and many other political leaders and suspected dissidents. It can prove to be a very humbling experience.
This research and observation center lets you get close to cheetahs, wild dogs, and other native creatures you may have missed on safari.
How did Apartheid feel? Upon paying admission you'll be assigned a racial category to help you understand the gravity of the exhibits. It's hard to see it all in one visit though.
The allure of the safari too often distracts from this brilliantly landscaped zoo. It's now a world-beater but you can still visit a few old enclosures to see how far it's come!
In terms of the weather there is not really a best time to visit Johannesburg. Daytime temperatures are fairly warm all year round, with the high altitude keeping summers from getting too hot. The South African winter is between May and August, and if you plan to take safari then the lack of foliage at this time makes it considerably easier to spot lions!
Johannesburg is not as dangerous as you might think. Crime is nowhere near the level it once was and you'll immediately notice cars stopping at red lights all over the place without being stolen! Like any city, crime is still an issue but tends to be particularly high around certain areas. Avoid Yeoville, Berea, Hillbrow, and Alexandra if you can, and opt for taxis over public transport, which is quite chaotic.
Johannesburg is a city of suburbs, so don't expect a hotel in the center to be your best bet. Consider booking a guesthouse in Melville, Sandton, or Rosebank. For contrast, Soweto is the city's largest township. Although it's still quite poor, it's one of the friendliest, liveliest parts of the city. The downside to that is it can be hard to get any sleep!
- LanguageAfrikaans and English
- CurrencySouth African Rand (ZAR)
- Time ZoneUTC (+02:00)
- Country Code+27
- Best time to visitWarm temperatures can be enjoyed all year round, but if you are visiting for safari, plan to come between May and August when foliage is at a minimum and big game sightings are easier!
Things to Do in Johannesburg
Top Attractions in Johannesburg
Cities in South Africa
Other Sightseeing Options in Johannesburg
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What people are saying about Johannesburg
Our guides showed us very impressive areas of Johannesburg. It was great to get insights from local people and to enjoy life with them. Thank you very much
What i liked most was the care of the park about the "environment" for the animals, having the roads limited in order to not disturb animals way of life. Also, i`d like to register my special thanks to our guide Alex (from Portugal), who showed great knowledge about the animals' lifestyle, their diet and their diurnal habits.
I would recommend highly. We got in late at night and our concern was safety. Our driver was very friendly and courteous. Drove us to our hotel and took care of our luggage.
This tour covered some major points of interest in Pretoria as well as Soweto and Johannesburg. Our guide John was knowledgeable and we enjoyed his commentary. His presentation of parts of South Africa's history was unbiased and objective given the complex nature of this country's past during the Apartheid era. We highly recommend this tour.
Gave us a wonderful way to preview the places we wanted to give more time to. The commentary was excellent the headphones comfortable and clear and the bus clean