South Africa is known for both its achievements and its atrocities. In Jo’burg the Apartheid Museum is a good place to start. Next door, Gold Reef City Theme Park delves into the Johannesburg of the gold rush days. Here you can discover what it was like to live here in the late 1800s. You can also take a trip down into a gold mine and learn about the hardships miners had to endure while searching for the precious mineral. A trip into Soweto will open your eyes to the way a good portion of Jo’burgers live, struggling to make ends meet. You can walk down the street where two Nobel Peace laureates lived (Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu) or visit the Hector Pieterson Museum for insight into the era when students took a stand against the oppressive apartheid government. Travel into the culture-rich Newtown area for a bit of art from Museum Africa or a bit of a stage act at the Market Theatre. A few blocks over is the original China Town, where the majority of Chinese immigrants used to live. Walk a couple streets up to Chancellor House, which was Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo’s law office, the first black law office in the country.
Johannesburg has a good range of annual festivals covering food, music, arts, and culture. Ram Fest, Jo’burg Day, In The City, and the Joy of Jazz are some of the top music festivals, usually headlined by top international acts. Foodies can partake in the Taste of Jo’burg, the Good Food & Wine Show, Jozi Craft Beer Festival, and the FNB Whisky Festival. Other cultural offerings include SA Fashion Week, the Photo & Film Expo, Arts Alive, and the Jo’burg City Festival.