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Johannesburg
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Top attractions in Johannesburg

See all tours & things to do in Johannesburg

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!

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

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!

Pilanesberg National Park

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!

Sterkfontein

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!

The Old Fort

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.

De Wildt Cheetah & Wildlife Centre

This research and observation center lets you get close to cheetahs, wild dogs, and other native creatures you may have missed on safari.

Apartheid Museum

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.

Johannesburg Zoo

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!

Planning Your Johannesburg Visit

When to go?

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!

How safe is it?

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.

Where to stay?

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!

Good to know

  • Language
    Afrikaans and English
  • Currency
    South African Rand (ZAR)
  • Time Zone
    UTC (+02:00)
  • Country Code
    +27
  • Best time to visit
    Warm 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

Want to discover all there is to do in Johannesburg? Click here for a full list.

What people are saying about Johannesburg

Informative Heart Felt Empathy for the S. Africa's living conditions

Tour guide was excellent, timely and very knowledgeable about the cities, its people and culture. I would strongly recommend this tour. I would encourage tourists to cease taking advantage of the people when they purchase goods and services. The South African people are human beings and should be treated with respect and dignity. I pray the government and people who own so much wealth will be moved to do better by the people that serve them everyday. May God Bless the People of South Africa everywhere. May we all show more gratitude for the blessings we enjoy everyday. Amen!

Johannesburg and Soweto Apartheid Full Day Tour Reviewed by Janet, 06/19/2019

Great alternative if you're in Joburg with little time

I really enjoyed the full day Pilanesberg safari. The pick-up at the hotel is very convenient and the drive at the park is full of great fun facts that our driver/guide provided. Lunch is also included with the fee; there were different great options from a grilled cheese sandwich to burgers - both with fries and a soft drink. I booked last minute and it all worked out well, no problems or confusions. I would really recommend it for anyone with short time in Joburg.

Unforgettable experience and great guide (Alex Freire).

My wife and I had a wonderful day on this safari! We saw a lot of animals close up which was a magical experience. Our guide Alex Freire (from Unique Safaris) did his utmost best to show us as much as possible. He made us feel safe and comfortable and was very friendly and informative. He really gave us a lot of insight on the animals and the nature. We highly recommend him as a tour guide.

Full-Day Pilanesberg Game Reserve Safari With Closed Vehicle Reviewed by Giliano & Deomattie, 05/30/2019

Perfect morning! Very happy with the experience.

5 stars because he drive was polite and arrived on time. He took care of everything and drove safely. The experience was unforgettable. Petting a baby lion and a giraffe is amazing. The Safari was fabulous. The staff was very knowledgeable and made sure to give is a fabulous experience! What more could you ask for?

Great experience with lots of opportunity to interact with locals!

I can recommend this tour to everyone! The bikes are not in great shape but that only adds to the experience! :-) We made many stops and talked to many people on the streets. My guide Tumi was a great guy and pretty well known in the area.

Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide Reviewed by Martijn, 08/26/2019