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Experience the Energy of Johannesburg

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Most travelers to South Africa skip over Johannesburg. But they are making an error. First of all, Joburg is the cultural and commercial heart of South Africa. It has so much energy, and so much is happening there. I think it is the richest part of the country. Here are some of the places that I have been drawn to. But of course it is the people that really make it great.
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Orlando West, Soweto, 1804, South Africa
Wedged between the houses of Desmond Tutu and Nelson Mandela, Sakhumzi's is a restaurant started out of the childhoom home of Sakhumzi himself. Located on Vilakazi St in the country's wealthiest township, Sakhumzi started the restaurant in 2001...
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7 George Ave, Rivonia, Sandton, 2128, South Africa
This farm was home to the newly created military arm of the ANC. Its raid in 1963 led to the arrest of many ANC leaders and ultimately life prison sentences. Although Nelson Mandela was not captured in the raid, the evidence garnered there lead to...
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R347, Muldersdrift, 1739, South Africa
I was here in winter (July) when things were not so green (as you can see), but it was still a delightful place to relax and enjoy a sunny afternoon. Nirox runs a artists in residence program as well as displays sculptures from a featured artist...
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Soweto, South Africa
Located across from Sakhumzi Restaurant and adjacent to Thali's Snack Bar I encountered wall art that captures the spirit of the people of Soweto and all of the once segregated townships. Walk up the street and you'll encounter vendors, dancers...
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Forest Town, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
Designed by Herbert Baker, a British architect who did work all over the world but probably best known for his work in South Afica, including the Union Buildings in Pretoria and St. John's College in Joburg (most surprisingly, he worked with...
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44 Stanley Ave, Milpark, Johannesburg, 2092, South Africa
A very good spot to have breakfast or lunch. Run by very nice proprietors Claudia and Remko, both big travelers themselves. On a nice day you can eat outside, and it has a small indoor area as well. It is situated at 44 Stanley, a really pleasant...
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Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
Next door to (and associated with) the Everard Read Gallery (probably the oldest in Joburg) is this beautiful gallery. You definitely want to stop by to check out the art and the architecture. If you are lucky, you might even get to meet Mark...
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264 Fox St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
A fun thing to do on a Sunday in Johannesburg. Some small vendors have lots of good food and drink. It attracts a fun, young crowd, and there are some great places to hang out and enjoy the day, whether in the plaza of Arts on Main with the olive...
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1, 116 Greenway, Greenside, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
There are several shops in the trendy Parkhurst neighborhood that caught my eye. We were there with Jo'burg trend spotter Craig Jacobs who showed us the way. Essential Life was the first place we stopped. Here is a description from their website:...
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Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
Located across the street from each other and owned by the captivating Mark Read, Circa and Everard Read are two of Africa's leading art galleries. Circa's impressive circular structure is art in itself. In addition, you should check out the...
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90 De Korte St, Johannesburg, 2017, South Africa
Perched at the highest point in Braamfontein, Randlords is a rooftop bar and lounge with a great 360 degree view of the entire Joburg area. Open only for private events, if you get a chance, definitely check it out.
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Forest Town, Johannesburg, 2193, South Africa
Throughout the four-day event, you’ll have an opportunity to get up close and personal with some of Johannesburg’s talented artists, historians, chefs, and designers. Choose from these exclusively curated, one-of-a-kind experiences, including this...
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264 Fox St &, Berea Rd, Maboneng, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa
A collection of art galleries, artists’ studios, restaurants, and shops, Arts on Main functions as a hub for Johannesburg’s creative community, bringing people together to share ideas, beverages, and each other’s company. Every...
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17 4th Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa
This is the rooftop at a wonderful small hotel in Houghton between the golf course and the new mosque just off the M1. It was the home of Edgar and Aaron, and thankfully they have decided to share it with guests. They recently bought the house...
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70 Juta St, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
70 Juta is a cool little design area with little shops and a nice cafe where you can grab a sandwich and cup of coffee at Post Cafe and relax in the courtyard.
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11 Kotze St, Johannesburg, 2017, South Africa
The court is housed in a beautiful building atop Constitution Hill. Outside is the old jail, the new Flame of Democracy, and the even newer bust of Ghandi (he was jailed here 4 times). Inside, the art is incredible. Worth the trip just for it.
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Wits Art Museum Cnr Jorissen and, Bertha St, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
I got a sneek preview today of the new facility for WAM (the art museum of the University of the Witwatersrand). The opening gala is this Wednesday. A great space with the best collection of African art. they have over 10,000 pieces, about 300 of...
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Ferreiras Dorp, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
This Impala Stampede sculpture was originally donated by the Oppenheimer. It was vandalized many years ago at its original location in Oppenheimer Park, but has been repaired and moved to this spot on Main Street, a beautiful pedestrian mall,...
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39 Kerk St, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
Walking through the CBD, I was delighted to come upon this buzzing shopping area. The street has been turned into a mall, with a covered area, where vendors can set up to sell all kinds of things. Haircuts are one of the favorites. There are nice...
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Westgate, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
I had been fascinated by the bus system started in Curitiba, Brazil many, many years ago. The idea is to recreate the advantages of train transport such as elevated covered stations, no-stair entry, dedicated routes and so on, but saving capital...
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8287 Khumalo Rd, Orlando West, Johannesburg, 1804, South Africa
While in Johannesburg, we visited the Hector Pieterson Museum. When we came outside from viewing the displays, our guide pointed out a woman who was walking around the area. It turned out that she was Hector Pieterson's sister who appears on the...
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Fashion District, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
Cool little park in the heart of the CBD. Originally the home of the Impala Stampede sculpture that is now on the Main Street pedestrian mall, and donated by the founder of Anglo American and De Beers. The park struggled In the CBD's down years,...
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Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Rd, Ormonde, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
Outside the back of the Apartheid Museum, they have a beautiful patch of Highveld with a pretty good view of the Joburg skyline. Of course, you also get the roller coaster from Gold Reef City...
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Fashion District, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
A modest, three-story building in the Ferreirasdorp area of Johannesburg, Chancellor House once contained the first black law firm in South Africa, opened by Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo at the height of Apartheid. It was here that the two...
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73 Juta St, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
Fun place to drink, eat and hang out with locals on a beautiful Saturday in Joburg.