England Cricket Tours Johannesburg – While its coastal cousins sparkle by the sea, the largest, richest city in South Africa dazzles you with bling. Glitz and glamour are Johannesburg’s two main calling cards.
Gold was discovered here in the 1880s and along with diamonds it has added a shine to Jo’burg ever since. With a population of 4 million people, Jo’burg (AKA Jozi or Joeys) is a bustling metropolis. It may not have the wow factor of a Table Mountain but will offer you a glittering array of activities instead.
Things to do in Johannesburg
A visit to South Africa’s biggest city gives you the chance to experience a wealth of Johannesburg attractions. The streets of Jozi have been paved with gold for many and as a result brash skyscrapers and office blocks dominate. But you’ll also get a taste for cosmopolitan Gauteng in the cafes and restaurants or see rags turn to riches in the Market Square Market. Further afield you can dig deep into South Africa’s soul, in the magical diamond mines.
Johannesburg bars, pubs and clubs
In the beginning Johannesburg’s bars were of the golden variety, now they attract a different crowd of prospectors. South Africa’s largest city is party central with a pub or club to suit all tastes.
There is no typical night out in Johannesburg just a myriad of choices. So for soulful rhythms head for a South African jazz bar like Sophiatown. Alternatively check out the cocktail and cafe ‘Vaab’ (vibe) in stylish 7th Street in Melville or relax in a Greenside restaurant.
The mane attraction
South Africa’s parks and reserves teem with native species and perhaps the most famous is Kruger Park. But Jo’burg takes real pride in Lion Park. This sanctuary just west of Jozi is home to many species, including hyenas, zebras, giraffes and antelope.
But as you’d expect the lion is king here. Four prides prowl the blood curdlingly-named Carnivore Camps. Other highlights include cuddly Cub World and Gambit the Giraffe who is always on the lookout for snacks.
Rock up with the ancestors
Less than an hour from Johannesburg you can come face-to-face with some of our earliest ancestors. South Africa’s “Cradle of Humankind” is home to 40% of all hominid fossils and a much-visited World Heritage Site.
Centred around Sterkfontein Cave and a complex of caverns you’re invited to delve into 4 million years of history. Alongside archaeology you’ll also encounter pockets of adrenaline. This multi-activity hub caters for activities including zip-lining, go-karting and horse riding.
Synonymous with the struggle against Apartheid, the sprawling township of Soweto provides a fascinating insight into a changing nation. From Mandela to Tutu its inhabitants have helped shaped South Africa’s cultural and political history for decades. The gangs have mainly gone and the middle class is on the rise but it’s still edgy and eye-opening.
Closer to the city, Johannesburg’s Apartheid Museum also provides a vivid portrait of township life in the 1960s and 70s.
Tuscany transplanted to Africa Jo’burg is not always renowned for its tourist attractions but in Montecasino it trumps the lot. This faux-Tuscan entertainment complex really has to be seen to be believed.
At its heart are a casino, cinemas and the impressive “Teatro Theatre“, home to a succession of big hitting musicals. Yes it’s tacky but there’s no denying the spectacle. As dusk falls and the lights flicker around the fountains and ornate facades, it can be enchanting. Or perhaps that’s the Chianti talking!
The weather in Johannesburg
Far from the sea and high up on a plateau, Jo’burg is cooler but drier than other South African cities. The average Johannesburg temperature in summer is in the low 20’s but can rise to the high 30s. The sun shines an average of 8 hours a day and often hot days precede a thunderstorm here in “The Lightning City”.
Notes on visiting Johannesburg
Johannesburg Local Time
+2 Hours GMT
Valid for min period of 30 days from the date of exit
Highest Average: 21°
Lowest Average: 10°
Last updated July 19th, 2017