About This Website

Explore The  Real  Johannesburg

Something about this website

I’ve written “About this website” to give you some insight into why it came about!

Although all my official documents have my name as Adrian, one of my sisters took it upon herself to give me the nickname of one of the characters in a book she had out of the school library at the time of my birth.
I’ve lived with ‘Wiggie’ ever since, and if called Adrian, it’s either the taxman or a policeman calling!

The travel passion-bug bit at a fairly young age.
Whilst still at school, trains were my main modes of travel – both locally, and into neighbouring Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) and Portuguese East Africa (Moçambique), but after school, and time spent doing my compulsory military training (meteorologist in the Air Force), I became a real free spirit.
The allure of the open road was just too much to ignore, and hitch-hiking, throughout Southern Africa, gave me that freedom!
Victoria Falls became a ‘ritualised’, annual pilgrimage!

But with time, and like a lot of my friends, it was London that seduced me.

I lived there, and loved it, for a few years, and used that faraway city as a base to explore, and sometimes work in, Europe.

It was once London was behind me,  that Southern Africa became my playground!

There wasn’t a place I didn’t want to explore, and no place was too remote or too difficult to get to.
The more diverse the culture, the more determined I was!

My modes of transport, in addition to hitch-hiking, included anything that would get me to where I wanted to go, and included most of the more common ones such as bicycle, motorbike, train, plane, bus, car,

 Our Land Rover Defender behind a Pachypodium namaquanum (halfmens = half plant, half human) in the Richtersveld in Namibia

ferry and 4×4 and a couple of the less common ones such as a guard’s van (caboose), a makoro, a number of huge intercontinental trucks and a dhow!!

Another of our Land Rover Defender in front of a giant, and ancient, Baobab [Adansonia digitata] tree in the Mapungubwe National Park in South Africa

Through the years I explored every corner of South Africa, traveled fairly extensively throughout Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe, Malawi, Mocambique and Swaziland and did a lot of motor bike trips through Lesotho.
On occasion I headed further north into Africa.

Married in 1995, my wife Pam, who like me loves what Africa has to offer, and I still do a lot of travelling to those remote parts of Southern Africa.

The way we did it for years was a far more refined, and trusty, 1994 200Tdi Land Rover Defender, kitted out with every necessary (and unnecessary?) after market accessory, as our standard means of transport – as well as our food pantry and our rooftop accommodation.

Sadly the ‘Landy’, as well as my two motorbikes, were sold at the start of Covid, and we now travel in a more sedate and luxurious Toyota Prado!

Closer to home, I’ve always been fascinated by Johannesburg, where I was born, and where I’ve lived most of my life – bar a few odd years in ‘exile’, and took every opportunity to venture off and discover something new in this beguiling city!

It’s all these travel experiences that have really enriched my life, and I cannot help myself when anyone asks for help or suggestions!

As a result I became addicted to, and spent far too much time on, internet travel forums, suggesting and arranging itineraries for people wanting to visit Southern Africa.

What I did learn though, when dealing with them, was how little people knew of Johannesburg, and how reluctant, unwilling and hesitant they were to set foot here.

I travelled through the city with absolute abandon, and it was because of this, that I felt I needed to put up a website and let people hear the truth about the real Johannesburg.

I haven’t been totally true to myself, as I’d like to suggest alternate ways to explore, and more off-the-wall places to visit, but I am aware of peoples reluctance and the innate danger they perceive the city to have.

Pam and I both have a passion for Africa’s wildlife and the so desperately needed conservation issues that confront the continent.

On top of everything else, we both do voluntary work in our National Parks – both hands on and raising funds to help these issues.

The photo on the right is me with two anaesthetised brown hyenas being fitted with satellite collars to track their movements.

We’ve been fortunate to get involved in, and go places in our National Parks, that would not normally be open to the general public, and it’s given us an opportunity to really get to know these parks.

That's a photo of me with two anaesthetised brown hyenas being fitted with satellite collars to track their movements in Mokala National Park.

I was involved in the film industry before I turned to tourism, and amongst numerous others, worked on an Emmy Award nominated, as well as an Oscar Award winning movie – both filmed in South Africa.

But it was due to the allure of travel, that I changed direction, and plunged into the the world of tourism.
I started by taking groups into the Kruger National Park – specifically for birding, in 2003.
Since those early days I’ve taken numerous individuals, families and groups on tours and safaris to the Kruger National Park.
I’ve taken them to the private reserves and lodges to the west, that form Greater Kruger and taken tours and safaris to Pilanesberg National Park – the closest park to Johannesburg.
I’ve also been busy taking tours closer to home – Johannesburg and its environs and Soweto.

My tours of Soweto are in depth and interactive and you experience the “REAL” Soweto – as a local and not as a tourist!
I use a number of local guides to walk you through the areas they live in and know intimately.
We visit homes, shebeens and traditional eateries . . . as well as historical sites.

“Wiggie thanks a million. You’re the best!”

“Wiggie was a brilliant host – very friendly and knowledgeable and happy to answer my incessant questions . . “

“. . . thanks to Wiggie, he was absolutely great! Full of knowledge, so friendly and outgoing, he made the experience all the better”

“Wiggie was amazing! It was more like a fun road trip with friends. Wiggie was very knowledgeable and provided lots of information and history of Joburg and the Park. He was professional, funny, and such a gentleman”

“. . . special thanks to Wiggie, who did a great job, an exemplary tour guide. He was infomative, attentive and very customer focused”

 

My contact E-mail address is info@whyjoburg.co.za

Travel safe, sleep warm and have fun.

Hamba kahle!
Wiggie.

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