Exotic combinations of landscapes, people, history and culture offer the traveller an elite and rousing experience. Nature has worked a special delight on the South African landscape. Johannesburg in South Africa is the second largest city in Africa, with more than 3 million people calling this bustling metropolis home. It's known for Soweto Township, a sprawling jumble of African workers’ houses that was once home to Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu.
Johannesburg, more commonly known as Jo’burg or Jozi, is a rapidly changing city and the vibrant heart of South Africa. After almost 20 years of decline and decay, the city is now looking optimistically towards the future. It offers visitors an experience as unique and diverse as the city itself. Whether you are on business or simply want to relax and unwind for a few days, the city of Johannesburg has everything you’re looking for and more.
Johannesburg is the place to go to mix big-city culture, shopping, dining and nightlife with outdoor adventures, up-close wildlife encounters and visits to historical sites. Explore caves and nature reserves, or visit a traditional village by day, then enjoy dinner at a hip cafe or five-star restaurant. And if you're a shopper, bring an extra, empty suitcase. With malls, open-air markets and places that blend the two, you'll find plenty of unique souvenirs. The best part about this city is they don’t have their rainy season. Anytime it can happen so you have to be prepared for this time.
How to Reach?
By Plane: There is no direct operational flight to South Africa. The best route however is via Dubai. There is a plethora of indirect flights operating from major cities of India to O.R. Tambo International Airport in Johannesburg.
And also tourists travelling from neighbouring countries of South Africa can avail bus services. There are no international rail services; however, there are cruise services available to St. Helena.
What to See?
Pilanesberg National Park
Among Southern Africa’s fascinating game reserves, Pilanesberg National Park is possibly the most accessible. Situated in the ecologically rich transition zone between the Kalahari and the Lowveld, this vast area promises thrilling big game viewing in a malaria free environment.
Pilanesberg National Park exists in a transition zone between the dryness of the Kalahari and the wet Lowveld vegetation. This rich transitional zone attracts an incredible variety of game animals, flora and fauna. Virtually all of the animal species native to southern Africa can be found here, including the Big 5 i.e. (African lion, African elephant, Cape buffalo, African leopard, and White/Black rhinoceros).
Bakubung Bush Lodge
Bakubung Bush Lodge is a luxurious 4-star hotel conveniently located only 4.7km (3mi) from the centre of Pilanesberg. Pilanesberg National Park is not far from the hotel. The relaxed rooms feature satellite TV, free (limited) Internet access, and tea and coffeemaking equipment. All have direct access to shared patios or balconies with scenic views. Minibars are available on request. Dining facilities at Bakubung Bush Lodge include a restaurant and a cafeteria. There is also room service available. The hotel boasts a 24-hour front desk service. A currency exchange facility is also available. Public areas at Bakubung Bush Lodge are comfortably air-conditioned.
The Palace of the Lost City
Inspired by the myth of a lost African kingdom, The Palace of the Lost City hotel is set on the highest ground at Sun City, ensuring that its grand proportions and graceful towers are visible from across the resort. The Palace’s setting is enchanting. The main dining area overlooks the intricately decorated Grand Pool, which is circled with plush loungers to soak up the sunshine while efficient waiters attend to you. The setting, service and ambience at The Palace of the Lost City conspire to treat you like royalty from happy arrival to reluctant departure.
Chameleon Village has the most distinctive and comprehensive African market in Africa featuring curios, antiques and artefacts from all corners of the African continent. Products are available for the serious collector and casual shopper. The highest standards are maintained. A visit to the Market is a most pleasant and vibrant experience so be sure to do the traditional bargaining with the many enthusiastic vendors.
The Cradle of Humankind
The Fossil Hominid Sites of Sterkfontein, Swartkrans, Kromdraai and Environs, known as the Cradle of Humankind, were declared a World Heritage Site. It covers an area of over 47 000 hectares of privately owned land north west of Johannesburg and is home to over 17 000 residents. The area is of outstanding universal value, because it contains a complex of palaeo-anthropological sites, which have yielded some of the most valuable evidence, world-wide, of the origins of modern humans, hence its name “Cradle of Humankind”.
Tucked away in the leafy suburb of Rivonia, Johannesburg is Liliesleaf. Once the nerve centre of the liberation movement and an award-winning heritage sites, where the journey to democracy in South Africa is honoured. Liliesleaf has always been a place of dialogue. In the early 1960s, when the property was the headquarters for covert, underground activities and a safe house for many leading figures of the liberation movement, debates on political and military policy and strategy were commonplace.
Satyagraha House, commonly known as Gandhi House, is a museum and guest house located in Johannesburg. The house belonged to Mahatma Gandhi: he lived and worked there between 1908 and 1909. One hundred years ago, Mohandas Gandhi lived in this house in Johannesburg. Today, the Satyagraha House is both a museum and a guest house. It is a unique way to immerse you in the privacy of a man and the history of a country.
What to Eat?
The cuisine of South Africa is particularly called "rainbow cuisine", as it has had a range of multicultural sources and stages. South African food tends to be fairly regional, although an omnipresent love of meat unites the country. Seafood along the coast is exceptional and usually very good worth. Some are the famed South-African cuisine, you must try are Biltong & droewors, Boerewors, Cape Malay curry, Malva pudding, Chakalaka & pap, Bunny chow, Amarula Don Pedro, Bobotie Bobotie and Melktert. South Africa is a major player in the international market and produces a wide range of excellent wines but there are a number of other wine regions dotted around the country. South Africa also produces a range of good beer. Major names include Black Label, Castle and Amstel.
What to Shop?
Shopping in South Africa is a very popular past time for South Africans. International guests are often fascinated to goods that are proudly South African. With gold and diamonds being among our most-famed resources, buying ornaments and gemstones in South Africa is often high on the international visitor's shopping list. Colourful ornaments and carvings, representing a myriad of South African and African cultures, are also popular purchases and include wooden and soft stone carvings, beading, weaving, pottery and basket ware. Articles imaginatively made of ostrich eggshell, wire and recycled goods are sought after. Antiques can be found in the big cities as well as the smaller country towns. The Big 5 artificial signs could be stick on any items like pencils. Stickers, pillow, soft toys, key chains, bottle openers or even you can get the door hangings with unique designs.