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Things to do in Johannesburg

Things to do in  Johannesburg

Welcome to Johannesburg

South Africa's largest city, Johannesburg, is home to the country's main international airport, and often serves as the gateway for most travelers visiting this southernmost country in Africa. Guided tours offer much to learn about South Africa's often-tumultuous history: Take in a history lesson at the acclaimed Apartheid Museum (followed by a bike tour of the nearby Soweto township); visit the former cell of Nelson Mandela in the Old Fort prison on Constitution Hill; or dig into the cultural history of Johannesburg at Museum Africa. For a stunning view of the cityscape, head to the top of Africa's tallest building, the Carlton Centre; or take a trip back in time to the UNESCO-listed Cradle of Humankind, a short 16 miles (25 kilometers) from the city and easily reached with a full-day tour. For a thrilling day trip, visit the enormous Kruger National Park for a safari tour in search of some of Africa's “Big Five” wildlife. Follow it up with a stop at nearby Pretoria to see the famous Jacaranda trees in bloom, and then continue to Pilanesberg Game Reserve or Sun City resort. Johannesburg is the ideal jumping-off point for further exploration in southern Africa, with regular flights to Cape Town, Durban, and even Botswana.

Top 10 attractions in Johannesburg

#1
Kruger National Park

Kruger National Park

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One of South Africa’s premier attractions, Kruger National Park is famous for the extent and diversity of its wildlife. The “Big Five” of game are all there—lion, elephant, buffalo, rhino, and leopard—and a world-class conservation program means you’ll also encounter wildebeest, giraffes, zebra, big cats of all stripes, and diverse bird species.More
#2
Soweto

Soweto

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For most, Soweto (short for South West Townships) is synonymous with resistance to apartheid, South Africa’s former policy of racial segregation. The township’s complex past is visible in Soweto’s moving museums, historical monuments, and strong traditions.More
#3
Apartheid Museum

Apartheid Museum

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The Apartheid Museum details the injustice, cruelty, and absurdities of white minority rule in South Africa. Apartheid, meaning “separateness” in Afrikaans, was officially in effect from 1948 to 1994, though segregation had been a cornerstone of South African politics since the country’s inception. The museum is dedicated to helping South Africa overcome its oppressive past and look toward the future.More
#4
Constitution Hill

Constitution Hill

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Perhaps nowhere is South Africa’s transition to democracy more vividly apparent than on Constitution Hill. For over a hundred years, buildings here functioned as a much-feared prison complex, holding everyone from common criminals to activists Mahatma Gandhi and Nelson Mandela, even Winston Churchill (briefly) during the Boer War.Since 2004, this site has been home to South Africa’s Constitutional Court, partially built with bricks from one of the old prison buildings, complemented with lighter contemporary elements. Visitors can see the court in session after a tour which takes in Mandela’s cell as well as a permanent exhibition dedicated to Gandhi’s philosophy of non-violent protest.More
#5
Gold Reef City

Gold Reef City

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The Gold Reef City complex is built on the site of an old gold mine, and visitors can still descend into the pits and see how the precious metal is extracted. Those in search of their own windfall should head for the casino, where roulette, baccarat, black jack as well as slot machines are on offer round the clock. First time flutterers and hardened high rollers are well catered for.The theme park component of Gold Reef City offers thrills for all ages, with rides including the Anacaonda, the Tower of Terror and a roller coaster which provides a great view towards central Johannesburg on its exhilarating journey.More
#6
Sun City

Sun City

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Sun City is a resort and entertainment complex located north-west of Johannesburg. One of South Africa's top leisure destinations, the resort complex is conveniently located on the South African Garden Route and next to Pilanesberg National Park. Highlights of Sun City include a casino, spa, water park, and golf courses.More
#7
Mandela House

Mandela House

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The Nelson Mandela National Museum (Mandela House), is dedicated to the preservation of the history, heritage, and legacy of the Mandela family. Former South African president Nelson Mandela and his family lived in this Johannesburg house from 1946 to the 1990s before dedicating it to the Soweto Heritage Trust.More
#8
Hartbeespoort Dam

Hartbeespoort Dam

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Built for irrigation purposes in the 1920s, Hartbeespoort Dam created a reservoir and a recreation hot spot that now draws visitors to what has become a small resort town. Nestled in the Magaliesberg, Hartbeespoort offers a mountain escape complete with scenic views and everything from cruises to paragliding.More
#9
Pilanesberg National Park

Pilanesberg National Park

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Set on the bed of an ancient volcano, Pilanesberg National Park is prized not only for its geological and archeological value but also for its diverse abundance of big game. Tour the park on safari to photograph wildlife and learn about the park’s unique geological formation and evidence of human existence dating back to the Stone Age.More
#10
Aha Lesedi Cultural Village

Aha Lesedi Cultural Village

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Set among the rocky hills and bushland outside Johannesburg, Aha Lesedi, an African lodge and cultural village is made up of traditional homesteads and provides an opportunity to meet people from Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Ndebele, and Basotho origins. Lesedi reflects the diversity of South Africa’s original inhabitants with elements from many tribal cultures.More

Trip ideas

How to Spend 1 Day in Johannesburg

How to Spend 1 Day in Johannesburg

How to Spend 2 Days in Johannesburg

How to Spend 2 Days in Johannesburg

Recent reviews from experiences in Johannesburg

star-5
Very interesting tour
Thomas_H, Dec 2020
Johannesburg Full-Day Tour(Soweto/Jo-Burg & Apartheid Museum)
The guide Pastor was very knowledgeable and friendly, Apartheid museum was fascinating as was the chance to see what life is like in one of the Johannesburg townships although it does also make you feel sad to see some of the poverty these people end
star-5
Very informative
SjaakLondon, Nov 2019
Half Guided Day Tour of Soweto from Apartheid Museum
It was a great way to see a little bit of Johannesburg during a stopover.
star-5
A must do
bigwally2002, Oct 2018
City Sightseeing Hop-On Hop-Off Johannesburg
This was the best way to see Johannesburg it was very informative two thumbs up .
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This is a must if in Johannesburg...
Pamela R, Jun 2017
Cradle of Humankind Tour with a Lion Safari
You get to see so much!
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Can't say enough about Anthony. He...
DONNELL C, Oct 2017
Private Johannesburg Full Day Tour Incl Soweto & Cultural Experience
I would suggest doing your homework before arriving just In case you want to see something else.
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Fantastic tour with Anthony that we...
Juan Pablo R, Nov 2017
Private Johannesburg Full Day Tour Incl Soweto & Cultural Experience
Very knowledgeable, very flexible with the tour itinerary, it was a great way to see the main parts of Johannesburg, our only regret is not having done it earlier during our visit.
star-5
Fantastic day with Jason
Ashley F, Dec 2019
Safari to Pilanesberg the Gem of Africa
I didn’t have high hopes because it had just rained and it’s the middle of the summer but we saw three of the big five, and much more.
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3 Day Classic Kruger National Park Safari
Raymond M, Dec 2019
3 Day Classic Kruger National Park Safari
The drive from Johannesburg took 8 hours including stops so we didn't arrive until 5:00 pm and the sunset drive was departing at 5:30 so there was barely enough time to put your bags in the room before activities begin.
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Excellent Joburg Tour - Really Insightful
Nicole T, Oct 2019
Soweto and Johannesburg & Apartheid Museum
This was a driving tour where he took us through several neighborhoods where you could see the drastic wealth-inequality which was really sad to see but necessary.
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Great day in Soweto & Joburg with Solly
O´Neil A, Aug 2019
Soweto and Johannesburg Guided Day Tour
We recommend this tour as it was well led by Solly and you get to see Johannesburg in a day.
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An Amazing Experience with Balanta Imagine Safaris
Welcome48, Aug 2019
Private 3 Day Kruger Park Safari from Johannesburg
Given another chance to visit South Africa in future, we will certainly avail of their services again - we are sold.
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The Real Soweto
tpabayguy, Aug 2019
The 'Real' Soweto Tour
From the moment we were picked up at our Airbnb by Ishmael we knew we were going to enjoy this trip and where going to see the real way the people of this area of Johannesburg live and the real struggles they deal with everyday.
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A great option for seeing the animals on your trip to Africa!
324courtneyd, Jul 2019
Private 3 Day Kruger Park Safari from Johannesburg
We were very unsure of where we really wanted to visit.
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Our first day in Johannesburg...
kablawyer2, Sep 2017
Private Johannesburg Full Day Tour Incl Soweto & Cultural Experience
SOWETO was also an unforgettable experience, and of course the Apartheid Museum was incredible - we just didn't have enough time there to see everything.
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Wonderful!! Would fly back to South...
Sarah Luo, Jun 2016
Private Johannesburg Full Day Tour Incl Soweto & Cultural Experience
Nelson Mandela is one of my heroes and when I told Anthony that, he drove me through town to see all the Mandela related sites and exhibits in addition to the normal itinerary.
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Awesome! Incredible! Fantastic...
alrob360, Jan 2017
Private Johannesburg Full Day Tour Incl Soweto & Cultural Experience
I explained to Anthony that we wanted to see and interact with the people more than doing tourist stuff.

Frequently Asked Questions

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