As a born and bred Joburger who now resides in London, it’s tough for me to feel like a tourist in Joburg…though I think it would be fun to explore Joburg like a tourist would!
There is a lot going on in Joburg that tourists may appreciate. There is also a lot going on just out of Joburg that is pretty cool as well – Sun City, Hartbeespoort Dam and the Cradle of Humankind are my favourites but for this post, I’ll stick to stuff that I would recommend for a tourist in Joburg and it’s immediate surrounds.
There is enough stuff to do and see in Joburg that would take up the better part of a month but to cover it all would be too much work so here are my highlights:
Play Golf!!! Play lots and lots of golf !!! Joburg has a whole heap of excellent courses and you could easily play a different quality course every day for month and still not cover all the courses! Also, coming in with foreign currency, Joburg and golfing in Joburg is very cheap compared to other golf destinations. The value for money is excellent and far better than anything the UK has to offer – plus the weather is brilliant
Eat, eat and eat!!! There are some awesome junk food places in Joburg – you would struggle to satisfy a more refined pallet but for junk food, Joburg is awesome. Akhalwayas, Nandos (which originated in Rosettenville, Joburg and NOT Portugal) and breakfast at Wimpy in Fordsburg are my favourites. Prawns at Pigalle also go down well!
Check out Soweto. With it’s proud history, Soweto is a must see for any tourist in Joburg. I’m told there are tours of Soweto, which as a former local doesn’t make sense to me but I think they would be pretty interesting and definitely help out the local economy. Make sure you get a drink at a local shebeen, just don’t “puza” too much!
Check out a Joburg sunrise and sunset. They are amazing and one of the things I miss most about Joburg. Views from the M1 (between the Jan Smuts and 1st Avenue off-ramps) and M2 (Between the Booysens and Rissik Street) motorways are amazing as are the views from Sylvia’s Pass and Northcliff Hill. Remember to only go to these view points in a large group…in true Joburg style, “it’s not very safe”!
Check out Gold Reef City – worth checking out for a few hours if you have time to kill and gives you good insight into Joburg’s mining past.
If you’re in luck there may be a Chiefs v Pirates game going on. Locally known as the Soweto Derby – You must go to the game!!! Even if you don’t like football/soccer, the experience and atmosphere at the Soweto Derby is insane. You will enjoy every part of the experience, from parking your car and walking to the stadium right to the final whistle. You can even snack on “runners” (barbecued chicken feet) at the stadium – yum/ewww
Shop!!! With the Rand being a weaker currency against the USD and GBP, Joburg can be quite a cheap city. Take advantage at many of the shopping centres littered around Joburg – my favourites are Sandton City, Rosebank Mall, EastGate and Melrose Arch.
Lastly, give out your change!!! Don’t be cheap!!! Joburg is a relatively inexpensive city for a tourist. Those R2.00 and R5.00 coins jingling in your pocket may be worth very little in your local currency but means a whole lot to the bloke begging at the traffic lights and the car guard watching over your rental car. It could be the difference between them having food to eat that day or not – even better would be buying them a boerie roll or a take-away meal from the closest fast food joint.
Joburg is an awesome city and being a Tourist in Joburg can be a lot of fun.