16 Dec 2018 - 17 Dec 2018
2 guests - 1 room
over night stay saw very little but its big very big and sprawling in all directions .. good luck to all that follow and venture further
Johannesburg doesn't have a ton to see, but it is a great jumping off point. Lion Park (where you can pet baby lions and cheetahs) and you can also see Nelson Mandela's last house in Johannesburg.
Sprawling Johannesburg feels a bit like Los Angeles with barbed wire and armed guards to replace the aspiring actors. The racial segregation and crime problems in this city are palpable and uncomfortable but this city has important lessons to teach regarding racism, gun control, and urbanization. The Apartheid Museum and Braamfontein were highlights -- we loved the Saturday Neighborgoods market. There are also some very luxurious spaces on the other side of the high walls and razor wire. Unfortunately, there were riots in Soweto during our visit so we weren't able to see it. Security is a major concern here and a guide is highly recommended, especially if you plan to visit the city center. We were told that we would be immediately targeted if we walked in downtown Johannesburg. However, we visited many of the neighborhoods with high crime rates without incident in a car using a local guide. This city has incredible potential and the areas that have successfully integrated are vibrant and interesting. Unfortunately, the risk / reward of a visit keeps it off of my recommended list though non-whites can probably travel more freely.
Understand this, first off: if you know someone in Jo'burg who can show you around, take you to the cool spots and restaurants and parties, you'll have a great time. If, on the other hand, you come on your own, you'll likely find this denucleated, sprawling city with its crime-ridden center and aggressive car culture rather unpleasant. Being lucky, I knew someone here, and found a city with a super-hip music and arts scene, great (and great-value) restaurants, and some of the best parties in the southern hemisphere. Consider staying in Pretoria if you're arriving without a local contact. Otherwise, dive in and have fun in neighborhoods like Rosebank, Greenside, Sandton, and Oaklands. =)