Jozi's Cultural Highlights and the Apartheid Legacy
Collected by Justin Lee, AFAR Local Expert
South Africa is known as much for its achievements as well as its atrocities. Visit some of these places to learn a bit more about Johannesburg's history and its involvement in the formation of modern South Africa.
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...
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...
Yale Road &, Enoch Sontonga Ave, Johannesburg, 2050, South Africa
Housed in Johannesburg’s historically significant University of Witwatersrand, the Origins Centre details the history of humankind through displays, artwork, and more. Touring the interactive exhibits, either with a guide or a headset, will...
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...
Vilakazi St, Orlando West, Soweto, 1804, South Africa
Vilakazi is perhaps the most famous street in Soweto—or all of Johannesburg, for that matter. It’s the only street in the world to have produced two Nobel Prize winners—His Excellency Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela and The Most...
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...
Northern Pkwy & Data Cres, Ormonde 99-Ir, Johannesburg, 2159, South Africa
225 meters below the surface of the earth, visitors make their way through dim passageways that miners in the late 1800s had navigated in search of gold. The tour guide 'jokingly' points out that if for some reason we get stuck down there, the...
Scibono Discovery Centre, Miriam Makeba Street, corner of President Street, Newtown, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
On the western edge of downtown Johannesburg, a neighborhood named Newtown has emerged as the city’s cultural heart. Once a gritty industrial center, Newtown is now a gathering place for South African writers, artists, and musicians. Begin your...
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 safehouse 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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