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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
Nestled in the suburb of Rivonia, Liliesleaf once served as the headquarters of the ANC and a safe house for leaders like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu, Ahmed Kathrada, and Denis Goldberg, who met here to strategize under the common goal of...
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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
One of the best ideas to ever come my way is the notion of the Breakfast Duo from Salvation Café at 44 Stanley. It's meant to be for those people who can't choose between all the awesome options available to them on the menu. Like me. So...
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Jellicoe Ave, Rosebank, Johannesburg, 2196, South Africa
In recent years, Johannesburg has become a haven for contemporary artists working in South Africa. Rosebank, the neighborhood next to the affluent suburb of Sandton, even features a Miami-esque Design District with galleries, restaurants, and...
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264 Fox St, City and Suburban, Johannesburg, 2000, South Africa
Joburg's artsy set convenes on the hip Maboneng Precinct, a four-block stretch of the city in what was once a very sketchy area. On Sundays, Market on Main is the place to be, with live musicians, dozens of food stalls, eclectic galleries, and...
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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
If you're lucky enough to live in a place as magical as South Africa, you get some amazing sunrises & sunsets most mornings & evenings. What's great about living in Johannesburg is that you get to experience the magic while overlooking an amazing...
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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 one another’s company. Every...
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17 4th Ave, Houghton Estate, Johannesburg, 2198, South Africa
The tony suburb of Houghton, whose best-known resident was Nelson Mandela, is home to leafy lanes lined with stately estates. Not too far from the Mandela family manse is the Residence, a stylish boutique property that lives up to its name,...
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70 Juta St, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
Breakfasts are little godsends after a big night out, and Post at 70 Juta Street in Braamfontein is just the place to revitalise after a big night out and before working on your weekend party habits again. The Big Bomber is a drink combination of...
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11 Kotze St, Johannesburg, 2017, South Africa
A living museum in the heart of Johannesburg, Constitution Hill was built on the 100-acre site of a century-old prison complex, where the leaders of every major South African liberation group—from Nelson Mandela to Mahatma Gandhi—were...
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Wits Art Museum Cnr Jorissen and, Bertha St, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
An amazingly curated museum, the Wits Art Museum, fondly referred to as WAM, hosts a stunning collection of contemporary and traditional African art. It's located in a bright and airy space and feels relatively undiscovered. My favorite piece was...
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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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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
Well-designed and full of fascinating information, the Hector Pieterson Museum details the charged events surrounding June 16, 1976, when high school students staged a peaceful march against the use of Afrikaans as the main language in black...
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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
Opened in 2001, the Apartheid Museum powerfully—and extensively—documents the rise and fall of racial segregation in South Africa. Constructed on a 16-acre plot of land, the museum features a unique design—as you head through the...
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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
This semi-outdoor market on Juta Street in Joburg's Braamfontein neighbourhood is fun fun fun. Eat oysters from Namibia, drink craft beer from South Africa, and devour paella, gelato, cheeses, chocolate...a food lover's paradise! Open on...