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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.

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

2. 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 of 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. Zoo Lake 3. Johannesburg Zoo 4. Military Museum  5. Constitution Hill Red City Tour: 1. Constitution Hill 2. Mining District 3. Carlton Centre (for the Roof of Africa viewing deck) 4. James Hall Transport Museum  5.  Gold Reef City Casino Hotel (join the Soweto extension tour here) 6. Apartheid Museum  7. New Town 8. Origins Centre at Wits University 9. Neighborhoods Market (Saturdays only) Free Hotel Shuttle bus collection times: Sandton: The Holiday Inn: 08:45 The Maslow: 08:53 The Sandton Hilton: 08:57 The Radison Blue Gautrain: 09:04 Sandton Convention Center: 09:09 Da Vinci Hotel: 9:12

Johannesburg and Soweto: Half Day Tour

3. 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.

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

4. 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.

Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

5. Cradle of Humankind and Sterkfontein Caves Half-Day Tour

After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg or Pretoria, your local guide will give you a quick pre-departure tour briefing before departing to the Cradle of Humankind. You will enjoy a guided tour in the Sterkfontein caves, recently made famous in the discovery of the Homo Neledi Fossils and a number of other significant fossils and artifacts. After visiting the Sterkfontein caves, your guide will take you on a short drive to the Maropeng Visitors center for a wonderful journey through the development of the human race. Enjoy a relaxing indoor boat ride and experience the interactive museum artifacts and displays.

Jo'berg in 1 Day: Soweto, Apartheid Museum & City Tour

6. Jo'berg in 1 Day: Soweto, Apartheid Museum & City Tour

After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg, your guide will give you a quick pre departure tour briefing before departing to Soweto (South Western Township). On your way to Soweto you pass by the National Football Stadium City, which hosted the opening and closing ceremonies of the World Cup 2010. You enter the Diepkloof area, where you will take a walk past vendors selling just about anything. In Orlando West you visit Vilakazi Street - drive past the former home of Nelson Mandela and past the home of Archbishop Desmond Tutu. You will have an opportunity to read about the Soweto uprising on 16 June 1976. On that tragic day an innocent little boy called Hector Pieterson gave up his life and kick-started the liberation of South Africa. During this tour you will pass by the Mandela House. A visit into the museum is optional. You continue your tour driving into one of the shanty towns where you get to interact with some of the locals. By now you will have seen the good, the bad and the ugly facets of Soweto. You drive past the Soweto Campus of the Johannesburg University and end your tour with a stop at the largest hospital in the world: Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital. After Lunch on your own account, you will arrive at the world famous Apartheid Museum. Here you will learn about the history and struggle of South Africa during apartheid. Once you are done with the Apartheid Museum, you head into Johannesburg City and start with the view of the impressive 269 metre Telkom Tower, as seen on many postcards of Johannesburg. You then enter the inspiring Constitution Hill – and Court (when not in session) Political activists like Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi were once held here. During a tour inside you will learn about some of the legal history of Johannesburg. On your way to Newtown you pass by the longest southern African bridge, named Nelson Mandela bridge. At Mary Fitzgerald Square you can walk on the Jazz Walk of Fame. You end this tour with a visit to the Carlton Centre, also known as the ‘Top of Africa’. There a lift will elevate you 50 stories for an amazing and total view over the city. In short, this tour offers you a unique Johannesburg experience at an affordable rate.

Johannesburg: Maboneng Street Art Tour

7. 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: Guided Bicycle Tour with Lunch

8. 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.

From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

9. From Johannesburg: Cradle of Humankind Tour

Discover the birthplace of humanity and see the place where our collective umbilical cord lies buried on a day tour to the Cradle of Humankind. Start your morning with a convenient hotel pickup and head to the UNESCO World Heritage Site located just outside of Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind. Begin your sightseeing adventure with a tour of the Sterkfontein Exhibition Center and Caves. Follow your guide as you explore the exhibition above ground before heading deep into the caves. Learn about the fascinating history behind this archeological site and the discoveries that have been made here, some dating back more than four million years. Next, head to the Maropeng Visitor Center to see the award-winning, world-class exhibition focused on the development of humans and our ancestors. Take a journey through time and learn about the evolutionary processes that worked together to create the world as we know it today.

Soweto: Walking Tour with a Local Guide and Lunch

10. 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).

Frequently asked questions about Johannesburg

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The best day trips and excursions from Johannesburg are:

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Other Sightseeing Options in Johannesburg

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What people are saying about Johannesburg

Overall rating

4.6 / 5

based on 1,639 reviews

We had a great trip with Kutlwano. It's amazing what he knows at the age of 20, what patience he brings and also his friendly and open manner. We learned a lot about Johannesburg, from history, the ups and downs. At the end there was a delicious meal together. The fact that Kutlwano is interested in you also shows that a day later he wishes us a pleasant departure.

Very interesting visit to Yeoville, a vibrant immigrant neighborhood, sadly neglected by the government, which tourists rarely explore. We sampled 4 super informal restaurants each representing a different African cuisine. Food was tasty, ambiance fun, experience not sugar-coated. The guide was informative and considerate. Worthwhile experience!

The friendly and helpful staff made my visit to this lounge enjoyable. The food was tasty and fresh, and the drinks kept rolling in. I did not shower, but the restrooms were clean and spacious.

Sana was an exceptional guide. His pleasant demeanor and wide knowledge base contributed greatly to the enjoyment of this tour!

The whole experience was informative and gave a brilliant insight into the various village lives.