The Top 10 Things To Do And See In Johannesburg

Johannesburg, nicknamed ‘Joburg’ or ‘Jozi’, is one of South Africa’s largest cities and a prime tourist destination. Trying to decide what to do in this vibrant city can be overwhelming, so we have come up with a comprehensive list of the best things to do and see in Johannesburg that will guarantee you a fun-filled trip.
Apartheid Museum | © Sarahjadeonline/Flickr

Apartheid Museum | © Sarahjadeonline/Flickr

Visit The Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum is very popular among visitors who are eager to learn about the history of the city and South Africa as a whole. The non-profit museum was opened in 2001 and relies on donations, contributions and sponsorship to keep functioning and growing. The Apartheid Museum is the first of its kind and documents the rise and fall of the apartheid system. Here you’ll be able to learn through film footage, photographs, text panels and a variety of artifacts that bear witness to the events and human stories that were part of the apartheid.

Take a trip to Lion Park

The wildlife conservation known as Lion Park is dedicated to the protection of Transvaal lions and is spread over 500 acres of land in the Gauteng province. More than 80 lions live in the park (including some rare white lions), along with many other carnivores such as cheetahs, Cape wild dogs, spotted hyenas, black-backed jackal and a wide range of antelopes. Don’t miss the rare opportunity to see such splendid wildlife variety that has even attracted famous celebrities. An outing like this is perfect for the entire family.

Lion cubs at the Lion Park, Johannesburg | © Nick Roux/WikiCommons

Lion cubs at the Lion Park, Johannesburg | © Nick Roux/WikiCommons

Go to Nelson Mandela Square

Formerly known as Sandton Square, Nelson Mandela Square was renamed in 2004 in honor of the former President of South Africa and anti-apartheid activist, the late Nelson Mandela. A striking statue of Nelson Mandela was erected in the square, which lures many visitors who want to take a picture next to the iconic president. The square also boasts a sprinkler fountain, which provides great entertainment for children.

Nelson Mandela Square | © James Cridland/Flickr

Nelson Mandela Square | © James Cridland/Flickr

Visit Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park

How many opportunities will you get to see a crocodile farm? Situated in close proximity to the Lion Park, Croc City Crocodile & Reptile Park is one of the world’s favorite wildlife filming venues for crocodiles and other reptiles. The park provides a great experience for the whole family. Don’t miss feeding time as the crocodiles wrestle each other for chickens. Best of all, you can have a photo taken holding a baby crocodile or a snake. Be sure to check out the snake show, and once you’ve seen everything the park has to offer you can go for a meal at the pizza restaurant.

Croc City, Gauteng | © George Groutas/Flickr

Croc City, Gauteng | © George Groutas/Flickr

See the Golden Rhinoceros of Mapungubwe

The ruins of Mapungubwe were discovered in 1932. They provide evidence not only of the early smiting of gold in southern Africa, but also of the extravagant wealth and social differentiation of the people of Mapungubwe. Among the ruins a gold foil rhinoceros was found molded over a soft core of sculpted wood. A replica of the gold rhinoceros was erected on Fox Street, just opposite the Hollard Street pedestrian mall. The Limpopo province, where the discovery was made, has been designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Many people stop by The Golden Rhinoceros of Mapungubwe to take a photo with this historical gem.

Have a grand time at Gold Reef City

Image result for See the Golden Rhinoceros of Mapungubwe

Gold Reef City is an amusement park located on a gold mine that was closed in 1971. Come and enjoy a wide variety of fun rides – be aware that some have height restrictions. Here, visitors also get the opportunity to learn about real life mining disasters. For an additional fee, you can take part in an underground tour of a disused gold mine. One ride to look forward to is the giant wheel, which provides a stunning view of Johannesburg’s suburbs and the beautiful calabash of Soccer City. Test out your luck at the casino afterwards.

Gold Reef City | © George Groutas/Flickr

Gold Reef City | © George Groutas/Flickr

Place your bet at Montecasino

If you find yourself in the Sandton area you could make a trip to Montecasino. The leisure and casino complex covers 26 hectares of land and there are buskers and street performers wandering around entertaining visitors. Montecasino was first opened in November 30, 2000. It presently attracts 9.3 million visitors annually who are amazed by the theatrics and high-quality entertainment. The main casino building boasts a fake sky painted on the roof that goes from light to dark from one side to the other.

Montecasino monument | © Monikoska/WikiCommons

Montecasino monument | © Monikoska/WikiCommons

Spend a Day at Lesedi Cultural Village

A visit to Lesedi Cultural Village is always fulfilling, as the place allows visitors to get a glimpse of the different South African tribes and cultures. Located near the Hartbeespoort Dam, the Lesedi Cultural Village reproduces traditional houses and offers demonstrations of dances and other traditions of the Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho, Nguni and Ndebele people. For a reasonable price you get to sleep in colorfully decorated traditional huts equipped with bathrooms. You can also sample authentic African cuisines prepared by talented local cooks.

Exit at Lesedi Cultural Village | © Stephantom/Wikicommons

Exit at Lesedi Cultural Village | © Stephantom/Wikicommons

Dine and shop at Fresh Earth Food Store

Located on Komatie Street, Fresh Earth Food Store was established with the aim of fostering a new understanding of healthy eating and sustainability. Its delicious vegetarian dishes are prepared from scratch and they don’t contain any artificial additives, sweeteners, colorants or preservatives, so the meals are nutritious and healthy. Not only does Fresh Earth offer tasty vegetarian treats, but here you can also shop for healthy groceries, supplements and baby food. It also stocks cleaning products and kitchen equipment. One added bonus are the detailed vegetarian recipes available for free at the store.

Barley salad | © Lablascovegmenu/WikiCommons

Barley salad | © Lablascovegmenu/WikiCommons

Go to Johannesburg Zoo

The Johannesburg Zoo sits on 140 acres of land and is home to about 2,000 animals of 320 different species. The zoo has been around since 1904 and was formerly owned and operated by the Johannesburg City Council. However, it has recently been turned into a corporation and registered as a non-profit organization. Though often overlooked by tourists, the zoo has been upgraded over the past few years and is definitely worth a visit. Here, you’ll be able to see pygmy hippos, primates, reptiles, monkeys, western lowland gorillas, chimpanzees, zebras, rhinos, antelope, and leopards among other animals.

Mountain goats at Johannesburg Zoo | © Baynham Goredema/Flickr

Mountain goats at Johannesburg Zoo | © Baynham Goredema/Flickr

 

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