Do’s and Don’ts when travelling to Johannesburg
Sometimes known as Egoli ‘the city of gold,’ as it was the original mining town back in the days of the South African gold rush, and affectionately just known by the locals as ‘Jozi,’ Johannesburg is vibrant, exciting and has a wealth of unforgettable experiences to offer the traveller.
This is one of the subsections of our series on ‘Do’s and Don’ts when travelling to South Africa’. In that article, we promised to unpack some of the do’s and don’ts when travelling to South Africa’s three main tourist cities of Johannesburg, Cape Town and Durban, so this one is all about the country’s commercial capital, Johannesburg.
Jozi also boasts the suburb of Sandton, which they say is the richest square mile in Southern Africa. If you take the popular Gautrain from the airport, this will probably be your first stop. DO investigate one of the finest shopping areas in the world here and at nearby Hyde park, with all the main international brands in store, but as tourists, also DO be aware that crime in Johannesburg can be on every street corner if you are just oblivious to it.
What to watch out for
DON’T carry a lot of cash on you and be adorned with jewellery, as Johannesburg, like most big cities in the world has plenty of petty theft and tourists are always a target. This does not mean that you can’t have a great time here as long as you stick to basic rules of security and DO ask your Hotel concierge where and when it is safest to travel. They will always be able to assist in any good hotel, and this is a good reason to stay in hotels as opposed to a B and B or Airbnb.
Where you DON’T go to
Many areas in the heart of the city, like Hillbrow, are no-go zones and not unlike Harlem in New York you would avoid areas like this and any part of the main city at night if unaccompanied.
This also applies to most township areas, although it is quite safe to go to Soweto at most times of the day – but again we would suggest being accompanied by some sort of accredited tour guide if you were not familiar with the area. Once again, when in doubt DO ask – DON’T assume.
Just a PS here – If you have a hire car – DO watch out for potholes in the road! This is quite a problem in Johannesburg and your car can get severely damaged so DO drive on the left-hand side of the road and DO watch where you’re going!
Where you DO go to
The inner city (accompanied and at the right time) – The city is teeming with a vibrant culture and a lot to do like theatres and beer tours etc.
Gold Reef City – This is an amusement park and entertainment area that pays homage to the days of the gold rush and is loads of fun for the whole family.
The Apartheid Museum – For serious history buffs and all those who want to be reminded of the dark era of apartheid – lest we forget!
The Cradle of Humankind – Said to be one of the most important sites for us humans, this is a fascinating paleoanthropological site found 50km northwest of Johannesburg and great to visit.
Hartbeespoort Dam – Very close to Johannesburg, here one can enjoy water sports, a cable car ride, a zoo on the water and all kinds of other recreational activities.
Sun City – The iconic casino and golf resort that boasts the magnificent Palace of the lost city, the valley of the waves and endless activities for every member of the family.
Pretoria – The neighbouring city, Pretoria is the administrative capital and boasts a wealth of things to do and places to see – DO plan to stay a few nights here!
There are many more too – the details of which will be revealed in future feature articles – so watch this space!
DON’’T be bamboozled by cheap accommodation!
DON’T think that a self-catering B and B or Airbnb are automatically your best option when it comes to accommodation. Rather opt for the security and comfort of one of the excellent ANEW groups’ hotels and resorts in the area.
When visiting nearby Pretoria book at ANEW Hotel Capital right in the CBD of Pretoria or head to Hatfield in the heart of one of Pretoria’s best-known suburbs. If you’re looking to stay just outside the Pretoria CBD, head over to ANEW Hotel Centurion.
DON’T lose out on excellent deals in all these hotels and our self-catering or long-stay apartments offering luxurious accommodation at affordable prices. DO book today to come and enjoy our sublime service and amazing amenities. Jozi is waiting to welcome you – what are you waiting for?