In May I will be spending 4 days in Johannesburg. What are the must sees for the time I have?
Posted on Feb 04, 2011
Cape Town is great, but your time is in Jo'burg, so I'll put forward a couple of ideas that are there. I'd spend time in Soweto and see what it means to live in the townships (much more varied an diverse than one might think - with shanty towns and many middle-upper class communities, too. Museums like the Hector Pieterson tell the story of the uprising of students being forced to learn Afrikaans and as part of the anti-apartheid movement, the Mandel House is nearby (but I didn't find it very interesting). See the Freedom Charter in Kliptown and learn its history which put forward, the core principles of the ANC, many of which were ultimately incorporated into the new South African Constitution.
Posted Feb 05, 2011Add a comment
Take a look at this link to South Africa on Gordon's Travel Guide. We are the largest and oldest (1998) adventure and active travel site on the web. We cover 87 categories of adventure and activity in 178 countries. This link takes you to the 63 tours that include South Africa. Not that you want one of these specific tours but their itineraries provide a lot of ideas and food for thought.
Hope this helps. Feel free to visit us on Facebook too. If you do go to this link to the GTG Fan page and give us a "Like" if you are pleased. This way you can hear about new trips and future deals through Facebook.
Feel free to contact me here if you have other questions.
Posted Feb 06, 2011Add a comment
I'd say that you need to drive down to Cape Point. It takes a good day if you take your time, but if you're only there for 4 days you can rush it to a half a day or less. I'd stop at Bolders Bay to see the penguin colony (at least to me that's a must!), also there's a restaurant who's name I can't remember but it's about halfway there and I'm sure if you ask the locals about a restaurant you have to go to on the way you'll find it. You have to take it all the way to the end, it's absolutely beautiful! Also, spend some time exploring Long Street during the day and night. Great restaurants, jazz clubs, a farmers market. If you can make it out I'd also go to the vineyards of Stellenbosch, but that's a more time consuming trip. If you want to check out some cool neighborhoods, Woodstock and Observation are some pretty progressive places. Of course, the beaches, and you can't go wrong trying to do a game drive. Also, there's a town a bit outside called Hermanus where you can do whale watching as well as check out a cool little town. 4 days isn't much, but there's plenty to do. If you want to catch the spirit of cape town, just relax, take it slow and enjoy the night life. It's not about what you do if you miss the people on the way!
Posted Feb 04, 2011Add a comment
I spent almost a month in Joburg a couple of years ago. The Apartheid Museum <http://www.apartheidmuseum.org/> is very moving. The Lion Park <http://www.lion-park.com/> was amazing! We got to spend some time with several cubs in an enclosed area. Tip: GET THERE EARLY if you want to spend time with the cubs. Do that first and then the drive around the park.
Posted Feb 08, 2011Add a comment
Dawn, Thanks for the information. Did you visit or hear anything about the cheetah park? What I've read about it sounds interesting. With only 4 days I will have more of a problem of what I'm not going to do than anything. I see you have Mt Kilaminjaro on your to do list. I didn't climb it but I did get to the starting point. We spent several days in the Arusha area. Loved it. Thanks. Talk to you later. Mark
Posted on Feb 08, 2011
Don't know about the cheetah park. I don't think you can go wrong with it though. 4 days isn't much, but you could probably combine a few things if they're in the same general area. As I recall, the Lion Park was a 1/2 day excursion. And you can definitely combine the Apartheid Museum with a trip to Soweto. I wish I could recommend a tour guide or group, but we had a terrible experience with the one our work colleague recommended. He was an absolute racist and all he could talk about was "Apartheid, the good ole days...". We didn't get to go to Soweto because we had him turn around and take us back to our hotel we were so disgusted. If you haven't already, check out TripAdvisor for recommendations on things to do in Joburg. I've had really good luck with some tours and guides that I found there.
Yeah, Kilaminjaro is on my bucket list. but it's a couple of years off. I have a friend in Cairo (not good at the moment...) and will have a friend in Tel Aviv next year. So those are my next two trips.
It sounds like you're an experience traveler. There some safety concerns you should be aware of, though. If you're driving or being driven, put all of your belongings (backpacks, purse, computer bags, etc.) in the boot of the car. There are a lot of smash & grabs at intersections. If something is out of sight, you're less likely to be a target. Also, use ATMs that indoors in safe places (hotels, malls). On the street ATMs are prime targets and the muggers will do more than just hold you up. The muggings in SA are extremely violent.
That said, you will love SA! I met so many lovely people and saw and did amazing things. Have a great trip!
Posted on Feb 09, 2011
The Melville neighbourhood in JoBurg is really cool. There are lots of great restaurants, cafes, bars, etc. I've heard the Johannesburg Zoo is really cool, though I've never been there. I'd also check out the Market Theatre--I've heard there are a lot of great plays there right now.
Posted Feb 09, 2011Add a comment
I think the advice about the Lion Park is good - there is another alternative if you are doing car hire called The Farm: http://www.farminn.co.za/index.html. I will be honest that I have not personally been there but it comes highly recommended from South African friends and will probably be on the to-do list for my own 4-day trip to Joburg in June. Agree also that Soweto tour, although it may seem touristy, is a must.
Posted Feb 10, 2011Add a comment
I was in JoBurg for the same amount of time a in 2009. A couple musts are the Apartheid Museum and a tour of Soweto with a stop at the Hector Pieterson Museum. I stayed at guest house in Melville and enjoyed walking to the bars and restaurants in the neighborhood.
Posted Feb 10, 2011Add a comment
I agree with Phil Li...I'll add that an experience in SA is not complete without visiting Jo'burg and Soweto...it's there that strongly believe that you get a good sense of the new South Africa. Understandably, a lot of people are drawn to Cape Town because of it coastal beauty, but you got to do Jo'burg.
Posted Jun 13, 2011Add a comment