Johannesburg, or Jozi, as it’s affectionately known, is South Africa’s commercial hub. It is a fast-paced place and while it may not be blessed with Cape Town’s exceptional beauty, accommodation in Johannesburg is popular for a number of other reasons. Aside from the electric energy here, Joburg is an extraordinarily friendly city and one buzzing with creativity and innovation.
Being situated inland on a plateau, Johannesburg’s climate is dry and warm, with afternoon thunder storms in summer and a piercing chill on winter mornings. This is unlikely to affect the traveller too much though.
Within Joburg there are a number of interesting things to occupy oneself. Many people claim to know the horrendous story of South Africa’s Apartheid regime, but the excellent collection of multi-media exhibitions and old artefacts at the Apartheid Museum will really bring it to life. JAG (Johannesburg Art Gallery) is another place worth a visit. This large gallery has 15 exhibition halls showcasing a wide variety of local and international artwork ranging from Dutch 17th century pieces to contemporary South African works. It is a Johannesburg institution!
If you are looking for ‘street life’ in Jozi, head to Melville, Norwood or Parkhurst, pretty suburbs renowned for side-walk cafes and restaurants the overflow onto the pavements. These areas are particularly celebrated for their mix of African and international cuisine. The suburb of Melville is a popular tourist one and also happens to be both a party hub and the gay epicentre of Joburg with a number of designated gay bars. Other suburbs with a poppin’ nightlife include Sandton and Rosebank.
Joburg is home to a number of up and coming neighbourhoods such as the Maboneng Precinct, which is worth a visit if you want to see contemporary Johannesburg at its best. It is also home to a trendy Saturday market, numerous celebrated restaurants and funky boutique stores.
For a completely different cultural experience you can take a tour of Soweto, South Africa’s largest township. This rambling satellite town is a mixture of government housing and informal settlement, creating a frenetic buzz of people. Despite the poverty evident in this area though, there are many community projects and entrepreneurial schemes to enlighten and inspire you.
Johannesburg is also conveniently located with the Sterkfontein Caves, an internationally significant archaeological site famed for being the cradle of human kind, a day trip away. The Kruger National Park can also be reached within a few hours.
If you want a glimpse of South Africa’s City of Gold, named after the gold reefs which lead to Johannesburg’s development, book your Johannesburg accommodation soon and make use of Sleeping-OUT’s convenient and safe booking service.