Johannesburg Travel Guide

Explore the REAL Johannesburg


Well . . . Johannesburg is South Africa’s most African, and the continents most cosmopolitan city.
It is also Africa’s most visited city!

And what about . . . Johannesburg, Second Greatest City after Paris*!
It’s true – but I’ll talk about that later.

But why Jo’burg?
–   It’s a city built on the world’s largest gold deposit, but designed to be no more than a temporary mining camp!
–   It has beautiful open spaces, but development stretches for hundreds of kilometres!
–   It has a really good night life as well as an abundance of great restaurants.
–   Warm, friendly people plus warm, perfect weather!
–   It’s the world’s largest city not on a waterway, despite 12 river systems – better described as streams, that run throughout the city.
So . . . no distinguishing natural icons to explore.

Pilanesberg National Park near Johannesburg


Johannesburg is the wildlife hub for all of southern Africa.

Pilanesberg National Park, a fantastic Big 5 park, is only 3 hours by road from Johannesburg.

Accommodation in Johannesburg


From Backpackers to Boutique and then Luxury to Lodges.

Guest House, Bed and Breakfast, and Self Catering Units as well.

Soweto street art of Nelson Mandela


A very familiar name, but sadly for all the wrong reasons!

SOuth WEstern TOwnships is today one of Johannesburg’s top tourist attractions.


It’s a vibrant city, a fun city . . . but also a cerebral city.
Despite it only being declared a city on 5th September 1928, (having been ‘founded’ in September 1886), it has eons of significant history to explore.

The surrounding area has, along with East Africa, the world’s longest recorded human activity.
From the early Australopithecus africanus (discovered in 1947) to Australopithecus sediba, discovered in 2008 and Homo naledi discovered in 2013.

It’s been home to Homo sapiens sapiens, Early Stone Age hunter-gatherers and finally Iron Age settlements – they’ve all been here, done it and earned the ‘T’ shirt (or should that be leopard skin?)

It is a city that was at the forefront of the struggle against Apartheid, including Mohandas Gandhi’s Satyagraha of 1908, the Freedom Charter of 1955, Women’s March of 1956, Treason Trial of 1956-1961, Sharpeville massacre of 1960, the Rivonia Trial 1963-1964 and the Soweto Uprising of 1976.

This rich cultural history results in a number of fantastic museums and monuments to explore.

Johannesburg restaurants Cucina di Ciro


Eating out has become an essential, and typical, part of living in Johannesburg

Restaurants, along with home entertaining, have become the social nuclei of the city.

Apartheid Museum sign in Johannesburg


Johannesburg is a cerebral city and has a number of very interesting, and relevant, world-class museums!

Pilanesberg National Park near Johannesburg


Johannesburg is the wildlife hub for all of southern Africa.

Pilanesberg National Park, a fantastic Big 5 park, is only 3 hours by road from Johannesburg.


Johannesburg is not the bland nightmare that uninformed opinions in distant lands might try to, or might well have, convinced you of.

Those innumerable critics, some of whom I’m sure have never set foot here, and others who live here, but all consider themselves experts on ‘how little the city has to offer’ or ‘how dangerous a city it is’!

You know those I’m talking about!

It’s unfortunately partly true.

There is crime in certain areas.
Levels that are unacceptable in a civilised society.

But . . . when living here, it’s people that form an integral part of our existence, and outsiders are often quick to comment on how warm the people in this city actually are.
That is because people is all we have, and in a nutshell, the city has nothing to offer but itself!

Johannesburg today is a great melting pot of both history and culture, and you’re likely to discover a huge, yummy dollop of Africa!

It’s only during the last 100 plus years that the African powerhouse I know as home has been built into Africa’s only World City.


You should be!

Gautrain high speed train in Johannesburg


Gautrain is a world class high speed train with a limited route

A car in Johannesburg is essential – be it a metered taxi, your own or a service like Uber.

Fast facts about Johannesburg


Where to find what you need in Johannesburg – from 24 hour pharmacies and ATMs (Automated Teller Machine) to Vaccinations and Visas.

OR Tambo International Airport logo homepage link


All overseas flights arrive at Johannesburg’s OR Tambo International Airport.

It is Africa’s biggest and busiest airport, and 25km east of Johannesburg.


I’ll be adding to this website on an ongoing basis, and intend including everything from Jozi’s distant past of ancient history up to what’s happening here this week.

Welcome to my home – Johannesburg, Jo’burg, Jozi, Egoli, Joni or Joeys!

Whilst every attempt will be made to keep the information on this website relevant and up to date, we accept no responsibility for consequences arising from errors or omissions.
* William Kentridge, the internationally acclaimed artist – born and bred in the city, produced his first animated Movie, “Johannesburg, 2nd Greatest City After Paris”, in 1989, as part of a series called ‘Drawings for Projection’.