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3 weeks in South Africa - should we include Johannesburg

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3 weeks in South Africa - should we include Johannesburg

We are spending roughly 11 nights visiting safari lodges, and will spend the remaining approximately 9 nights visiting durban, and driving from port elizabeth to cape town.

We will be flying into JHB and then on to Durban to pick up a rented car for the 3 weeks. I have heard that it is good to spend a night in JHB after the 24 hours of traveling (from the US). Do you suggest that? And if so, should we spend 2 or 3 nights there to visit JHB, or focus our time in the Durban and Cape Town areas....we can't see everything:)

Johannesburg, South...
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1. Re: 3 weeks in South Africa - should we include Johannesburg

I think you should definitely spend more than one night in Johannesburg. There a number of interesting things to see, in, and near Johannesburg. Here is a short list, in addition to which,Johannesburg has a large number of World class hotels and restaurants:

What to do in, and near Johannesburg


Soccer, rugby, cricket, athletics, at one of our superb stadiums


Bungee jumping at the Soweto Towers


Soweto tour

City Tour Hop on Hop Off Bus

Lesedi Cultural Village

Performing arts

Ballet, plays, at one of our superb theatres,

in down town, or Soweto, or in some of the “entertainment complexes”, like Monte Casino, etc

Fine art

Outdoor sculptures

Von Brandis Statue

Miners Monument

George Harrison Statue

Scottish soldier

Oppenheimer fountain

Brenda Fassie

Kippie Moeketsi


Johannesburg Art Gallery Larger than the National gallery in Cape Town. Contains works by dutch masters, henry Moore, Auguste rodin, Picasso, and many local artists

Wits (University) Art Gallery

a treasure trove of African art displayed in a bright, airy, climate controlled environment.

The Origins Centre ( Rock Art)

Constitutional Court gallery

Numerous Private galleries

Artists under the sun


First weekend of every month


Johannesburg Philharmonic Orchestra (usually perform at Linder Auditorium)

Standard Bank International Jazz Festival August

Jazz on the Lake free, at zoo lake in September

The Bassline Jazz club, in Newtown

The Coca Cola Dome

Other outdoor concerts at various venues, like the Zoo, or Botanical Gardens


World class malls:

Sandton Rosebank, East, North, South Westgate, Cresta, Maponya

African Craft Market Rosebank 7days

Market on Main Sundays

Neighbourgoods market Braamfontein Saturdays

Rooftop Market, Rosebank Sundays

Bryanston Organic Market

Design Centre: Arts on Main

Cambanos for African Curios, tanzanite, diamonds ( in Midrand)


Small but excellent Johannesburg Zoo

Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, at Emmarentia Lake

Melville Koppies (when open)

National Botanical Gardens, Roodepoort, AND Pretoria

Lion Park

Rhino and Lion Park

Crocodile farm

Krugersdorp Game Reserve


AECI Dynamite Factory Museum.

Museum Africa, which incorporates:

Bensusan Museum of photography, and the Africana Museum.

World of Beer

Sci Bono Discovery Centre (Science Museum)

Workers museum

Apartheid Museum

Hector Pieterson Memorial and Museum

Gold Reef City Gold Mining Museum (and theme park)

James Hall museum of Transport

It is largest transport museum in Africa

National Museum of Military history

Amongst others, contains aircraft found nowhere else in the world

Origins Centre, covering Human evoluton and bushman art

Bernberg Museum of Costume

Adler Museum of Medicine. At Wits University

History of the health sciences in Southern Africa, with special reference to Gauteng.

Johannesburg Holocaust & Genocide Museum.( coming soon)

Gambling and shows

Monte Casino and theatre

Gold Reef City Casino and theatre

Emperor's Palace Casino and theatre


Cradle of Humankind (Sterkfontein & Maropeng)

Has yielded more hominid fossils than anywhere else on earth

South African Airways Museum Germiston

Elephant sanctuary Hartbeespoort

Monkey Sanctuary Hartbeespoort

Cheetah research centre Hartbeespoort

First place, world wide here cheetah were successfully bred for re introduction to the wild.

Also African Wild dog

Petra Diamond Mine


South African Air Force Museum

Jan Smuts House

Melrose House

Paul Kruger House

Sammy Marks House

Church Square

Heroes Acre

For the Australians…….. Breaker Morant’s Grave

Transvaal Museum of Natural History

National Cultural Museum

Union Buildings and gardens

South African Mint Midrand

Police Museum

Voortrekker Monument

Tswaaing Meteorite Crater

Pilanesberg ……

Malaria Free, big 5 Game reserve only 2 hours by road from Johannesburg

Sun City

Largest Buddhist temple in Southern Hemisphere Bronkhorstspruit

Largest Mosque in Southern Hemisphere Midrand

Enjoy your visit

Randburg, Gauteng...
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2. Re: 3 weeks in South Africa - should we include Johannesburg

Johannesburg is well worth visiting. The most popular tours for a full day is the township tour to Soweto in the morning with lunch at the famous Wandies restaurant (African cuisine) and then Apartheid Museum in the afternoon. Then there is the World Heritage site where more than half the fossils of bipedal species have and are still being discovered at the Cradle of Humankind. This half day tour of Sterkfontein caves has an amazing museum which displays fossils found at the numerous sites. Learn about the origins of the human family. Combine this with a tour to the cultural village of Lesedi which has a programme of African dancing, singing and delicious AFrican food. You also visit the 5 villages of African tribes. I recommend a minimum of 2 days in Johannesburg and best place to stay in Sandton which is very safe, huge selection of top quality restaurants to eat and places to walk around, especially the Nelson Mandela Square. Here you are centrally situated in a very nice area. You can also visit the Diamond Mine just outside of Pretoria which has the ONLY underground of a diamond mine in the world. you can also buy diamonds there... If your visit falls on a Saturday, i recomend a visit to the Neighborgoods Market which is is downtown Joburg in a hugely upgraded area, and perhaps afternoon drive through downtown Johannesburg and see the city sights.

Lyn - Owner - Thorntree Tours and Safaris

3. Re: 3 weeks in South Africa - should we include Johannesburg

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