Johannesburg City
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Things to do in Johannesburg for a memorable vacation

Johannesburg is South Africa’s most sought after destination in recent years. Due to its location and popularity, it serves as a transit point to a lot of places around it like Cape Town, Mozambique, Durban, Namibia, Victoria Falls, and the Okavango Delta. Johannesburg has a lot of things to do. Let’s go find them!

Historical museums and sites

The history of South Africa is long and rich in culture. Most of us are aware of the sad history of apartheid (South Africa’s policy of dividing the whites and blacks) in addition to which the country has a rich prehistoric and colonial history.

The Nelson Mandela National Museum

The very famous Nelson Mandela National Museum is situated at the home of activist Nelson Mandela. He had lived there before being imprisoned. People around that town will help you as a tourist guide and take you to different parts of the home. You can also visit and see the things that were once owned by Nelson Mandela. The museum is situated in Soweto township and is a great place to visit in South Africa.

Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum, Johannesburg
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Apartheid Museum is one other great attractions for tourists visiting ‘Joburg’. It was mainly dedicated to the history of South African establishment in those days. This museum speaks about racial discrimination among the whites and the blacks and how they were segregated into different areas, maintained very limited contact with each other, and how the law was advantageous to the whites. This law remained for 50 years and was abolished with the collective efforts of Nelson Mandela and President F.W. de Klerk in 1994.

Hector Pieterson Museum

Hector Pieterson Museum is dedicated to a young boy who was shot dead during the Soweto students riots in 1976. The riots started after the apartheid government proposed to change the main language of instruction in schools to Afrikaans.

Though the museum majorly focuses on what happened on that particular day and how instrumental it was in South Africa’s change from the oppressive apartheid regime to democracy, it also tells people the story of South Africa’s rich history and is a must-visit for people who love history.

Pamper yourself at a spa

South Africa Spa
Image Credits: Unsplash

Often known as a world-class business hub and tourism hub, Joburg is also home to some of Africa’s finest hotels and spas. It is a perfect place for you to unwind and relax. Some of the famous spas include:

The Always-Upstairs Day Spa

Set on the banks of River Vaal, It is located less than an hour’s drive from the city of Joburg. This Spa gives you a unique experience with a secluded setting amidst nature and tranquil waters. At the ‘Always-Upstairs Day Spa’, you can choose from an exotic list of signature spa treatments that have been uniquely created to uplift, revitalize, and recharge your mind and the body. You can also relax on the deck overlooking the beautiful river sipping on a refreshing drink.

Camelot Spas

Camelot Spas offer a different kind of experience and are available at different locations for your convenience. People can enjoy spa treatments that exceed the usual daily skincare offered by most spas. Camelot Spa therapists are trained to a wide range of equipment and specialized products available at the spa. Some of the advanced therapies include seaweed mud treatments, thalassotherapy, hydrotherapy, and slimming treatments for both men and women.

Hang out with majestic animals

South Africa's National Park
Image Credits: Unsplash

Go on a Safari

Pilanesberg National Park is one of the best places to see all the Big 5 – Lion, leopard, rhinoceros, elephant, and Cape buffalo. Pilanesberg National Park is about a 2.5-hour drive from Joburg and we recommend you to stay in any of their special lodges if you don’t have Kruger in your itinerary. This park offers a very similar kind of experience like in Kruger at a much cheaper price. You can take part in game drives arranged by the lodge to have a closer look at the animals in their natural habitat.

Johannesburg Zoo

Situated in the leafy northern suburbs of Johannesburg, This zoo was founded in 1904. This zoo also has night tours called ‘Zoo Snooze’ and gives people to spend the night inside the zoo. Johannesburg Zoo is also home to the Big 5 and it is a perfect place to spend time with your kids.

Lion & Safari Park

A 45-minute drive from Johannesburg, the lion & safari park offers exciting, safe, and fun ways to view pet lions. Yes, you heard it right, The park allows people to pet the lions and walk with them. Make sure to prebook the experiences to avoid disappointments. This park offers a wide range of walking tours and Safari tours. If you have your own car rented, they let you self-drive without any guides into the animal territory.

Suggested read: Awesome Native Animals You Must See In South Africa

Go shopping

Nelson Mandela Square, Johannesburg
Image Credits: Wikimedia Commons

Johannesburg consists of one of the largest shopping avenues in South Africa. Some famous places Include Sandton City, Nelson Mandela Square, Oriental Plaza, and the Rosebank Flea Market. Make sure you pay your visit to the Cradle of Humankind, home to the bones of ancestors which are 20,00,000 years old.

Sandton City Shopping Centre

Sandton City is South Africa’s richest square mile containing upmarket apartments, opulent hotels, and bustling shopping malls. It has more than 300 shops and you can buy anything from traditional African bead craft to Gucci handbags. Consisting of a string of five-star hotels, Sandton City is a haven for those who enjoy finer things in their life.

Rosebank Flea Market

The very famous Rosebank Flea Market is open every Sunday and features some of the best handmade African arts and crafts from across South Africa. In the evenings you can enjoy music and entertainment on the streets and try to catch the sunset here as it offers amazing views.

We hope you are all ready to include Johannesburg in your itinerary for the next trip to South Africa. Choose and customize itineraries to South Africa and plan the vacation the way you want it to be with Pickyourtrail. Happy Planning!!

Srinivasan