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Things to do in Johannesburg

Our most recommended things to do in Johannesburg

From Johannesburg: Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Game Safari

1. From Johannesburg: Pilanesberg Nature Reserve Game Safari

Visit Pilanesberg Game Reserve on a full-day safari from Johannesburg, where over 7000 animals roam freely. Have the chance to see big 5 game animals (elephants, rhinos, leopards, buffalos, and lions). Enjoy 2 extensive game drives in a jeep with a guide and a delicious lunch. Be picked up from your hotel in Johannesburg in the early morning and relax on the drive to the Pilanesberg Game Reserve. Follow your guide on a drive to encounter animals like zebras, giraffes, cheetahs, hyenas, hippos, crocodiles, jackals, antelopes, and over 300 species of bird. During the heat of the day, sit down to a delectable lunch at one of the many rest camps in the Game Reserve. After lunch, depart on an afternoon safari drive in an open vehicle. Ask your guide any questions you might have about the animals and the natural environment. Leave Pilanesberg in the late afternoon to get back to at your hotel in Johannesburg before sunset.

Johannesburg Airport (JNB): Virgin Atlantic Lounge Access

2. Johannesburg Airport (JNB): Virgin Atlantic Lounge Access

Gain 3-hour access to Virgin Atlantic Johannesburg Clubhouse at O.R. Tambo International Airport that captures the spirit of Africa with earthy tones of the continent's landscape. Enjoy a haven of South African tranquillity, a combination of parquet flooring, soft lighting and luxurious seating. Treat yourself to something off the clubhouse menu which offers a locally-inspired range of freshly prepared meals ranging from nibbles and light snacks to main-course dishes. Order a South African wine of your choice using the complimentary drink service at the bar. Find the clubhouse on the mezzanine level of the international retail area within international departures, after airport security. Benefit from the showers facility to freshen you up before boarding your flight. Use the luggage storage for free.

1 or 2 Day Johannesburg Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour

3. 1 or 2 Day Johannesburg Hop-On, Hop-Off Tour

Discover the top 20 attractions in Johannesburg with a 1 or 2 day ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus. Described as the New York of Africa, take your time exploring the exciting city. On board, you will learn about the history of Johannesburg from the prerecorded audio commentary in 15 languages. Ride the double-decker bus through the city's historic neighborhoods and fascinating attractions, many related to the struggle against apartheid. See the world's biggest man-made forest and learn about why Johannesburg should never have been built where it was. Get on and off as much as you like. Two of the 20th century’s most famous liberation heroes started their legal careers and then their political careers in Johannesburg; Mahatma Gandhi with the Passive Resistance (Satyagraha) movement, and Nelson Mandela with the Defiance Campaign. Trace some of their footsteps between Chancellor House and Gandhi Square in the city center. Join the tour at Rosebank and travel through the city's leafy suburbs to Constitution Hill. Change here to the downtown route for a first-hand visit to authentic inner-city Johannesburg. All of the tour stops are safely located and staffed as necessary to ensure you will have a great time in the city.  Hop-on hop-off stops: Green Tour:  1. Rosebank  2. Melrose Arch 3. Mandela Foundation 4. View from Munroe Drive 5. Constitution Hill 3. Johannesburg Zoo 4. Military Museum  1. Rosebank return Red City Tour: 1. Constitution Hill 2. Mining District 3.  Gold Reef City Casino Hotel (join the Soweto extension tour here) 4. Apartheid Museum  5. Newtown 6. Neighborhoods Market (Saturdays only) 1. Constitution Hill return Free Hotel Shuttle bus from Sandton as follows: The Holiday Inn: 09:00 AM The Maslow: 09:08 AM The Hilton: 09:12 AM The Radison Blue Gautrain: 09:19 AM Da Vinci Hotel: 9:25 AM

Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

4. Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

Depart from your hotel, heading to the southwest township of Johannesburg. Take a route through Johannesburg's southern suburbs and see the sleek cars and spacious freeways. Next, discover Johannesburg city with its tall buildings, most of them built during the apartheid era, while you make your way to Soweto. Watch the beautiful scenery disappear as you enter Soweto. Pass by 2 iconic landmarks that used to generate power in the township of Soweto and are now normally used for bungee jumping. Drive through Soweto heading to the famous Hector Pieterson Museum with its dark history about the youth uprising in 1976. From here, drive through the township for sightseeing, and finally, head to Mandela House Museum on Vilakazi Street. In the museum, you will learn about the father of the nation, Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela, who became a world icon. Finally, hop back into the tour vehicle returning to your hotel. On route, you will pass by FNB stadium also known as Soccer City or The Calabash, which hosted the opening and closing matches of the 2010 World Cup finals.

Soweto: Guided Bicycle Tour with Lunch

5. Soweto: Guided Bicycle Tour with Lunch

Embark on a fun and unique tour experience as you explore the urban complex of Soweto on a bicycle. Get to experience the township like a local. Get a glimpse of Hector Pietersen Museum, Mandela House and Tutu House. Start your cycling tour in Killarney, an up-and-coming tourist destination in Soweto. Learn how this township was created in 1904 and share the history of these neighborhoods. Ride to Mzimhlophe and visit Mzimhlophe Women's hostel. Continue to Mama Lilian Ngoyi's house, an anti-apartheid activist. Cycle to Hector Pietersen Museum where the Soweto uprising transpired which was one of the turning points of apartheid. This tour will get you closer to all the highlights of Soweto. See the Mandela House, where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962. Imbibe a slice of authentic history on the world's most famous former prisoner. Then, pass by Tutu House on Vilakazi Street, where Archbishop Desmond Tutu and his family once resided. Talk about the Nobel Laureate's contribution to apartheid's downfall in South Africa. Give your feet a break by stopping for lunch. Taste South African sandwiches called kota before cycling back to the starting point.

Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Soweto Tour

6. Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Ticket and Soweto Tour

See the sights of Johannesburg at your own pace with a 1 or 2-day ticket for the hop-on hop-off sightseeing bus tour. Then, take a 2-hour eco tour of the township of Soweto, described as the “New York of Africa.” Take in the sights of the city where Mandela once lived and Mahatma Gandhi started his legal career. Learn the history of Johannesburg from the audio commentary in English once on board the double decker sightseeing bus. Ride through the city's historic neighborhoods and see fascinating attractions, many related to the struggle against apartheid. Get on and off as much as you like. Hear about 2 of the 20th century’s most famous liberation heroes in the city where they started their legal and political careers. Follow in the footsteps of Mahatma Gandhi and his Passive Resistance (Satyagraha) Movement, and Nelson Mandela with his Defiance Campaign. Hop-On and Hop-Off Bus Route: Green Tour:  1. Rosebank: @The Zone Mall, next to “Hamleys”  2. Zoo Lake 3. Johannesburg Zoo 4. Military Museum  5. Constitution Hill Red City Tour: 5. Constitution Hill 10. Mining District 11. Carlton Center for the “Roof of Africa” viewing deck 12. James Hall Transport Museum  13. Gold Reef City Casino Hotel – join the Soweto Eco tour here 14. Apartheid Museum  15. New Town 16. Origins Center at Wits University  17. Neighborhoods Market (Saturdays only) Soweto Eco Tour: Reconnect with Nelson Mandela's past, and get an understanding of where he started his fight against apartheid at his family home in Soweto. Now a museum, Mandela House follows the story of the legendary leader in the small rooms where his family lived. The single-story matchbox house is located at number 8115, on the corner of Vilakazi and Ngakane streets. A short distance up the road is Tutu House, the home of Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu. Encounter the eclectic atmosphere of the markets and memorabilia stands, as well as various eateries like the Mandela Family Restaurant. Enjoy drinks on restaurant balconies or at tables dotted along the sidewalks. Soweto is home to thousands of South Africans and the site of some of the most iconic events in the nation’s history. Get a fascinating look into kasi living, and hear the history of South Africa’s freedom struggle. Stop at Soccer City on the outskirts of Soweto before going to Diep Kloof. Discover the renowned Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, the largest hospital in the world in 1997. Go to Orlando Towers to see the site of the world’s highest Suspended Catch Air Device (SCAD) Freefall. Enjoy a drink or some braised meat at the Chaf Pozi shisa nyama and shebeen. Drive past Orlando Stadium, the 1st ever sports facility built for black South Africans in a residential area. Then, go to the Hector Pietersen Memorial in Orlando West to discover a work of art that marks the events of 16 June 1976, a catalyst for the Soweto Uprising. End your Soweto tour at the Kliptown Open Air Museum in Walter Sisulu Square, where 3,000 people gathered in 1955 to adopt the Freedom Charter. See the 10 tenets on which the South African Constitution is based. Another popular landmark, just a few meters from the museum is the 4-star Soweto Hotel.

Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

7. Soweto: Bike Tour with a Local Tour Guide

This short tour will let you experience day to day life in the township. Meet your local tour guide and start the bike tour. You will be able to visit famous spots including Nelson Mandela's house, Archbishop Desmond Tutu's house, Vilakazi, Orlando stadium, and the Hector Peterson memorial. Learn about the incidents that happened on the fateful day of 16 June in 1976 when Hector Peterson was shot and killed by the police during the student protests. This tour includes a little bit of exercise and is eco-friendly. You get to cycle on the most famous street on the African continent, Vilakazi Street. Interact with locals and see how life goes in South Africa's most famous township. You will have the opportunity to support local small businesses on the way. You can bring small change or items that you would like to donate. 

Johannesburg: Maboneng Street Art Tour

8. Johannesburg: Maboneng Street Art Tour

Discover why Johanessburg’s artistic hub is recognized worldwide as a booming creative center on this 2-hour guided walking tour. You’ll see some of the best street art from around the world and even meet some of the artists themselves. Hit the streets of Maboneng Precinct and Jewel City to see why South Africa has long been recognized for its exciting modern art. Your guide will take you to meet the locals and explore Joburg subcultures, learn about the artists, their motivations, and the different techniques they use.  You’ll walk through individual pieces and get an overview of these colorful pieces, experiencing first-hand just how street art is changing the perspective in these local communities.

Soweto: Walking Tour with a Local Guide and Lunch

9. Soweto: Walking Tour with a Local Guide and Lunch

Discover the history of Soweto, where political icons lived during Apartheid, fighting against the regime. Explore the everyday life, meet the locals, taste local cuisine and get an authentic experience with a Sowetan native guide. Start at the Hector Pietersen Museum and hear about the Soweto uprising that transpired in 1976, which was one the turning point of Apartheid. Be introduced to the famous house of Nelson Mandela in Vilakazi Street, built in 1945, where he lived until he was imprisoned for 27 years. Have a conversation about Arch bishop Desmond Tutu in the famous street in Vilakazi Street. Continue through Orlando East, the first formal settlement of Soweto and Orlando Stadium, Soweto football giants, the Orlando Pirate and ride a minibus taxi to the last stop at the Orlando Towers. Listen to the many personal stories about the family's generations, how apartheid had an impact in each and everyone of them and how Soweto has changed today. Enjoy a traditional, local lunch of Kota (Local burger) or Braii (Barbecue).

From Johannesburg: Pilanesberg National Park Safari

10. From Johannesburg: Pilanesberg National Park Safari

Enjoy a convenient pickup from your Johannesburg accommodation or directly from O.R. Tambo International Airport and make your way to the North West Province. Travel in the comfort of an air-conditioned vehicle and learn interesting facts from your knowledgeable guide on your drive.  Once you arrive at the Pilanesberg National Park, keep a lookout for Africa's Big Five along with the abundance of wildlife that calls this park home. Spot giraffes, wildebeest, elephants, impala, and many other animals. Learn about the fauna and flora from your guide and enjoy the breathtaking scenery of the African bush.  Your wildlife safari concludes after around four or five hours in the park, after which you'll travel back to Johannesburg and end your day back at your accommodation or O.R. Tambo International Airport. 

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Frequently asked questions about Johannesburg

What are the best day trips and excursions from Johannesburg?

The best day trips and excursions from Johannesburg are:

Apartheid Museum

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

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 2,053 reviews

Best tour ever! Joe, my tour guide really took his time to explain the history of Johannesburg and especially Yeoville to me. I experienced the cuisine of Pan-Africa and it was amazing and authentic. Money well spent, I've learned so much! Thank you Joe, my friend, I will keep this experience close to my heart.

Best tour ever! Dumi, my tour guide really took his time to explain the history of Soweto to me. Money well spent, I've learned so much! Thank you Dumi, my friend, I will keep this experience close to my heart.

Great tour! Well organized, especially the Soweto part was super interesting! Super great tour guide who gave us a lot of information. He was funny and made the tour a highlight! Highly recommended

Friom the time we left to getting back our guide Tsholo was filled with facts and stories. Awesome exeprience for a few Aussies seeing what Soweto held for us.

Superb guided tour! We were able to learn and discover the richness of the history of South Africa, from Johannesburg.