Johannesburg
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Top attractions in Johannesburg

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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

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What people are saying about Johannesburg

It was a great tour. The guide was engaging and knowledgeable. GetYourGuide should give guidelines to participants about tipping. No one on our tour (except me) tipped the tour leader, driver or even the volunteer who gave us a thorough presentation in Hector Pieterson Memorial Park. Please understand the tipping culture in an economy with over 25% unemployment and where everyone needs a gig to survive. 10 - 20 Rand per person goes a long way- that’s 70 - 1.40 $US.

Lo mejor de mi viaje a South Africa fue el safari, la Van nos recogió a tiempo el conductor muy amable, nos sentimos muy seguros Cuando llegamos nos presentaron el guía y listos para la aventura Recomiendo altamente el carro abierto tiene mejor vista y se puede sentir los sonidos de los animales Vi todos mi preferidos los elefantes son muy tiernos El guía nos enseñó mucho sobre cada animal regresamos en la tarde felices es una experiencia que vale su precio

Our full day tour with James was fantastic! He did such a great job at explaining the history and facts about all of our stops and was entertaining as well. It didn’t feel like an all day event since he made everything enjoyable. All of the places we visited were great with a good amount of time at each stop. We definitely learned a lot and tried to soak it all in. I would highly recommend this tour, especially with James!

Johannesburg and Soweto Apartheid Full Day Tour Reviewed by Christine, 03/23/2020

Great, knowledgeable and nice guide Nick . The only downside is that we spent a lot of time driving around to pick up others on the trip. May be an earlier time would work better to avoid the peak hour. But overall very satisfied. We didn’t have much to donate in Soweto, bear in mind when you go there !!!

Jo'berg in 1 Day: Soweto, Apartheid Museum & City Tour Reviewed by Anonymous, 03/07/2020

Safari excellent. Cradle of Mankind very interesting. Caves were mixed thoughts. Caves not for non athletic visitors. Caves requires you to duck below 3 feet multiple times and get clothes muddy crawling through tunnels. Some good rock formations but covered in black dust.