Johannesburg, also known as Jo’burg, Jozi, and E’Goli, the “city of gold,” is the financial and industrial capital of South Africa, with a long history of gold mining. The city is rapidly evolving from an edgy safari stopover to a thriving arts and culture centre. Read about 10 Things to Do in Johannesburg in this article.

In addition to the moving Apartheid Museum and Constitution Hill, there are cutting-edge contemporary galleries. The new Maboneng Precinct, with its hip restaurants, cafés, and art studios, is now one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations.

Here are 10 Things to Do in Johannesburg

Johannesburg Attractions | The Apartheid Museum

The Apartheid Museum graphically depicts the apartheid story through photos, artefacts, newspaper clippings, chilling personal accounts, and film footage. The sights and sounds of apartheid assault visitors as they move through the thought-provoking permanent exhibits on an emotional journey through South Africa’s history.

Paths lead the country from oppression to democracy’s birth. Allow at least two hours, preferably more, for a visit here to get the most out of it. Those interested in learning more about South Africa’s liberation struggle should also visit the Liliesleaf Farm Museum, which was a former headquarters for liberation movement leaders. If you enjoy history, this should be on your list of Things to Do in Johannesburg.

Johannesburg Attractions | Constitution Avenue

Constitution Hill, which overlooks Johannesburg, is a former prison that provides fascinating insight into the history of South Africa. Provocative exhibits can be found at the Number Four museum, the Women’s Gaol museum, and the Old Fort museum. The Fort was once notorious for its harsh treatment of political prisoners, common criminals, and passive resistors; notable former inmates include Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi.

The former Awaiting Trial building is now the Constitutional Court of South Africa, a symbol of liberty that works to protect all South Africans’ rights. Visitors are welcome to observe the judicial process and attend hearings. Guided tours of Constitutional Hill provide valuable insight into its rich history. This is another thing that should be on the list of Things to Do in Johannesburg.

Things to Do in Johannesburg | Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City, located eight kilometres from the city centre, transports visitors back to the days of the gold rush through a series of thrilling theme park rides and historical exhibits. This family-friendly attraction includes replicas of historical buildings and businesses, as well as a tour of a decommissioned shaft of the Crown Mines, one of the world’s richest gold mines.

Children enjoy the trampoline park, ten-pin bowling alley, and thrilling theme-park rides like the twisting and turning Anaconda roller coaster. The park also has rides for small children and a petting zoo.

Activities in Johannesburg | Soweto and Mandela House

Soweto (Southwestern Townships) is located 20 kilometres southwest of Johannesburg and provides visitors with an opportunity to travel to the heart of the liberation struggle. This was a deliberate segregation zone, with black labourers housed far from the city centre, many in tin shacks. It was also the site of the beginnings of the democratic struggle. The 1976 Soweto Uprisings attempted to destabilise the apartheid state and spread it throughout the country. This should be on your list of Johannesburg Things to Do.

Today, the country is full of contrasts. Mansions have sprouted among the shanties, and the democratic government is working to build much-needed infrastructure and green spaces.

Johannesburg Attractions | The Maboneng Police Station

The vibrant Maboneng Precinct is a prime example of a well-executed mixed-use urban renewal project. Maboneng, which means “place of light,” was once a desolate area but is now bustling with activity. Restaurants, cafes, art galleries, shops, hotels, and entertainment venues coexist with residential structures in a harmonious manner.

A popular attraction in town is the weekly Market on Main, which features food from all over the continent. Arts on Main and Revolution House were among the first to convert warehouses into artist studios, galleries, and retail spaces.

Johannesburg Attractions | Sleeping lions at the Lion & Safari Park

The Lion & Safari Park, located less than an hour north of downtown Johannesburg, allows visitors to get up close and personal with some of Africa’s most famous wildlife. The emphasis is on animal interactions. You can feed giraffes, hold a lion cub, and go on a Cheetah Walk.

Self-guided tours are available. However, you can join a guided game drive in the park’s vehicles to see lions, cheetahs, zebras, ostriches, wild dogs, hyenas, and other antelope species. Nighttime feeding tours and river rafting tours are also popular activities. Follow all safety regulations and keep your windows up when driving through the park. If you enjoy seeing wild animals, this is a must-do in Johannesburg.

Humanity’s Origins

The Cradle of Humankind is a UNESCO World Heritage Site and one of the world’s most productive and important paleo-anthropological areas, located about an hour’s drive from Johannesburg. One of the top attractions here are the Sterkfontein stalactitic caves, which consist of six linked underground chambers with a lake at a depth of about 40 metres.

Archaeological excavations in the valley uncovered the skull of a humanoid known as Australopithecus africanus, estimated to be two million years old and known as “Mrs Ples,” and in 1998, scientists discovered a skeleton that dates the presence of early humans in the valley to 3.5 million years ago.

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Things to Do in Johannesburg | Pilanesberg National Park Day Trip

Pilanesberg National Park, a 2.5-hour drive from Johannesburg, is one of the most popular game reserves in South Africa. Africa’s Big Five (lion, leopard, buffalo, elephant, and rhino) can be found here. The park is well-known for its exceptionally diverse ecosystems and wildlife. Because of its location at the crossroads of the lush Lowveld vegetation and the parched Kalahari desert.

In addition to the Big Five, the park is home to African wild dogs, sable antelope, zebras, and more than 300 bird species. Strategically placed photographic hides make close-up photography easier. Another requirement Johannesburg Attractions

Johannesburg Attractions | Pretoria Day Trip

Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa, is about 55 kilometres from Johannesburg. It is well worth a visit because of its impressive collection of historical structures, monuments, and museums. In the spring, the city is awash in the purple hues of jacarandas. It also has lovely parks and gardens.

The Pretoria National Botanic Garden, the Voortrekker Monument, Freedom Park, and the large zoo are all worth visiting. There are also a number of tranquil nature reserves within the city limits. A visit here is highlighted by diverse wildlife and an abundance of birds.0. 

Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens

If you want to get away from the city and reconnect with nature. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens are a peaceful oasis on the outskirts of town. The garden is one of South Africa’s nine national botanical gardens. This particular location provides plenty of space as well as stunning views of red-rock cliffs. The South African National Biodiversity Institute is in charge of it.

The garden’s focal point is the impressive Witpoortjie Waterfall. A river and hiking trails wind through the well-kept gardens, and the falls are surrounded by sprawling fields with plenty of prime picnic spots. Among the highlights are the Cycad Garden, Fern Trail, Succulent Rockery Garden, Birds and Butterfly Garden, and Geological Display Garden.

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