Food is about people coming together to have a good time, and Johannesburg’s eclectic eating scene satisfies just about all palettes with a range of foods and dining experiences across its myriad districts and suburbs that would keep the average foodie in foodie heaven for months, if not years.
South Africa’s smallest province, Gauteng, is its richest and the country’s busiest province by far – it seems that no one rests in Gauteng, and the culture is one of urban indulgence and a work hard, play hard mentality. In the Johannesburg metro the nightlife is excellent, with many of the countries hottest bars, restaurants and clubs located here … MORE \ Discover Gauteng \ To find a place to stay visit Gauteng Accommodation or Gauteng Hotels on SA-Venues.com. (Popular searches for accommodation include Johannesburg, Pretoria and Sandton).
When CNN starts to refer to Johannesburg as a ‘hipster hangout’, GQ magazine calls it the ‘cool capital of the southern hemisphere’, and the BBC describes how Johannesburg has changed ‘from no-go to gotta-go’, then you know things are changing.
The perception of Jo’burg as a crime-ridden and turbulent city best avoided has done an about-face.
Only ten years ago the average travel blog suggested, none too subtly, that you use the city of gold merely as a launching pad to head either into the bush, or to the very tip of the country where, it was hoped, the beaches would detract from Johannesburg’s downtown, described as a ‘no-go area of high-rise slums, violent crime and streets filled with trash’.
So, what’s happened to Johannesburg? Continued
Over 50% of the world’s population lives in urban areas – the world’s fastest growing land cover type.
In Europe, North America, South America, Asia and Africa green spaces are on the decline. In Africa this decline is critical – with green spaces occupying less than 10% of land area in South Africa, Nigeria, Egypt, Ghana, Rwanda, Somalia etc.
Despite these statistics, the city of Johannesburg boasts 24% of public green space in the form of parks and gardens. Compared with cities like Berlin (14.4%), Brussels (18.8%), Dubai (2%), London (33%) and Paris (9.5%), the city is positively green.
Here is a list of 9 of Johannesburgs green spaces and parks to which to escape… Continued
Jo’burg can be a nightmare during the Christmas rush.
Which is why we are such fans of the Christmas market scene that makes shopping for gifts such a gentle experience.
November and December are jam-packed with markets flaunting their wares, so take advantage and stock up early. There is a market for almost every week of the lead-up to the 25 December, but don’t leave it ’til the last minute.
Completely landlocked Gauteng may be the smallest of all the provinces, but it delivers a hefty punch of vibrant city life in the form of its dominant city, Johannesburg – the country’s economic powerhouse – and its quieter country cousin, the jacaranda-lined streets of the administrative capital of South Africa, Pretoria Accommodation.
The ‘place of gold’ in the north-east of the country may not have any sea or major river about which to boast, but it is uniquely placed for easy weekend escapes into North West, Limpopo and the Free State provinces. And although small, it has at its heart enough of its own natural attractions to keep visitors content to remain within its borders.
Visit these 10 top natural attractions in Gauteng… Continued
Ansel Adams, the photographer and environmentalist whose black-and-white landscape photographs of the American West are highly regarded, once said, ‘A true photograph need not be explained, nor can it be contained in words.’
Even more beautiful are the words of Yann Arthus-Bertrand who said, ‘The earth is art, the photographer is only a witness.’
Whilst Cape Town’s instagrammers capture the beauty of the landscape – mountains, seas, skies; Johannesburg Instagrammers are having a love affair with the inner city; the grunge of Jozi’s Maboneng, Braamfontein, and Berea. Their pictures, like their city, are intense, introspective, frank and bold.
Here are 15 artists on Instagram that paint a picture of Johannesburg that cannot be contained in words… Continued
Downtown Johannesburg is a dangerous place. In May 1999, not five years after the first democratic government was elected in South Africa, the Guardian published an article entitled: Johannesburg, the most dangerous city on earth? The chilling article gives personal accounts of death by car-jacking, muggings and rapes, and cites frightening statistics about the country’s daily murder and rape rates.
It presents Johannesburg as nothing short of a ‘rough, provisional kind of place’ that has ‘never quite shaken off its arbitrary, squatter-camp beginnings’. (ouch!) It is not a pretty picture.
Johannesburg’s downtown has attracted many illegal immigrants. The CBD, dense with skyscrapers, is also dense with people. If statistics are to be believed 217 000 inner city residents live in 37 000 dwelling units. The threat of vagrancy and crime keeps people away. But. Things are changing.
Fast forward to 2014 and news articles now convey Jo’burg’s downtown as ‘less dodgy’. They describe an urban renaissance transforming the city’s once-feared streets into welcoming urban spaces. One of the major contributors to this renaissance is the Maboneng Precinct.
Here are 10 Reasons Downtown Johannesburg’s Maboneng Precinct is the Place to Live, Eat and Visit… Continued
The Magaliesberg is on the back stoeps of both Pretoria Accommodation and Johannesburg. The mountain range, once known as the Kashan Mountains, is said to be 100 times older even than Everest. It extends from Rustenburg in the west, to the Bronkhorstspruit Dam just east of Pretoria – a montage of deep gullies, impressive kloofs, clear mountain streams, pools and waterfalls, well wooded slopes, rocky outcrops and a series of sheer quartzite cliffs.
A weekend’s break in the Magaliesberg takes little more than a phone call and a bag on the back seat. But we’ve made it easier for you by designing 4 day trips in the Magaliesberg that include a little of this and a little of that (something for everyone, in other words). You can either choose one day trip and do it as is (we’ve tried to keep each day in a particular geographical area), or you can mix and match attractions until you have the perfect day for your friends and family… Continued
Johannesburg – dynamic, edgy; as electric as the storms that brew on hot summer’s evenings. It sprawls as wide as the eye can see; it demands that you live life to the full.
Here are 20 things Jo’burgers love about their city … Continued
Jozi’s bustling nightlife has so much by way of eclectic and vibey restaurants, pubs, and clubs that making a choice is difficult.
We make it easy for you – Here is our guide on Where to drink in Jozi – top 15 bars, pubs, clubs and restaurants …
There is a whole sector of society that is of the opinion that a visit to Johannesburg is tantamount to suicide. Most people fly through Jo’burg on their way elsewhere. For reasons that on the face of it appear completely sensible. But for the most part are not true. Johannesburg has an edge. It is tough, vigorous and beautiful and most people who live there love their city and will defend its skyline, its insistent energy and its people.
Visual art in public spaces can be big or small. It can loom overhead, forcing you to squint into the sun to see it, or it can scream for attention from beneath your feet on the pavement. There are no rules about how it must look, what medium it should use, or what shape it should take.
What it must do is play with expectation, heighten awareness, spark debate, shift the way you think, celebrate imagination, and make art accessible to everyone. In Johannesburg much of the city’s public art is concentrated in the Newtown Cultural Precinct. Continued
Our guide to help you find hotels in Pretoria, depending on why you’re visiting …
Pretoria: more demure and Afrikaans than Jo’burg, but with a buzz of its own thanks to the energy of thousands of university students that give the city a certain charm, and the jacaranda trees (over 60 000 of them) that bloom during October and November turning the city into a mauve carpet (and gum your windscreen wipers for the season).
Pretoria is just up the road from Johannesburg (give it a few more years and the two will merge into something of a metropolis) and steeped in history. The site of Nelson Mandela’s presidential inauguration, the City of Pretoria functions as the country’s administrative capital, is home to the Union Buildings and is sometimes referred to as Tshwane, although a fiercely contested name change has yet to happen… Continued
Jo’burg has been described as South Africa’s heartbeat. It is also regarded as risky and travel alerts warn about crime in the city. It’s true. There is crime. But it’s overstated and largely sensationalised by the media.
Those who live in Jo’burg will soon set you straight about where to go and when. We say it’s all about perspective, really. But checking in with a local or two is probably essential.
Jozi is thrilling. It’s the continent’s most cosmopolitan city, an intense weave of culture, history and play, and the vigour of South Africa’s economy.
To leave it off your itinerary is to miss an essential South African experience.
Gauteng has a distinctly drier climate than the coastal provinces. It does not suffer from humidity, thanks to its higher altitude. Summers are hot and sunny and winters are cool to cold; each season bringing with it its own appeal and magic.
Summer days average between 26 and 30 degrees Celsius in the epicentre of Gauteng, Johannesburg. Winters are chilly, with icy mornings that warm up to about 15 degrees at lunchtime. However, due to the mountainous topography, temperatures throughout Gauteng can differ quite dramatically. For example, Pretoria Accommodation, which is only a short drive from Johannesburg, averages three or four degrees warmer than the City of Gold. Continued