Jo-burg

14 01 2012

After Mauritius we decided to stay in Johannesburg, South Africa for a few days to enjoy city life and stock up on anything we needed in Gabon.  We’ve been through the airport in Jo-burg more times than I can remember but had never actually ventured into the city.  You see, out of anywhere in SA, Johannesburg seems to have the worst reputation and it isn’t much of a tourist destination.  People are much more likely to head off to Cape Town, on safari to Kruger or even up to Durban.  Regardless, we didn’t want to have to buy another flight to Cape Town just to shop.

We researched the safest and most convenient areas ahead of time as Johannesburg certainly isn’t a place where you want to wander around blindly.  We settled on Rosebank which worked out perfectly as we easily got there using the Guatrain, a clean & safe high speed train that goes right to the airport.  Rosebank is home to a few nice hotels, a shopping mall and many restaurants so it was really easy for us to do all that we needed to do.  We did venture to Melrose and Sandton, both similar to Rosebank but because of our short time there and our big shopping lists, we didn’t do much else.  I had really hoped to get to the apartheid museum but we ran out of time.

Hanging with Mr Mandela at Sandton

Calgary has cows, Johannesburg has rhinos

Yummy breakfast at Tasha's Cafe every morning

Look at all the fresh fruit - I was in heaven!

We did have a really nice time in Johannesburg and while I originally thought 3 days would be too much, I actually wished we had a bit more time.  As I said before, I would have really liked to visit the Apartheid Museum and others recommended a township tour.  Maybe next time.

A note about security…

Joe and I didn’t feel particularly unsafe but we didn’t feel particularly comfortable either.  We were fairly cautious about everything we did.  I’m quite happy we had so many restaurants at our disposal in Rosebank because I wouldn’t have wanted to wander very far at night.  Joe asked his 20-something hairdresser about security and she cautioned that even in the nice areas, it’s not safe to go anywhere alone at night, not even to your car.  (Especially as a woman.)  It’s not a city you can walk around and explore because you don’t want to risk wandering into the wrong neighbourhood.  That being said, we checked with the hotel ahead of time before venturing out and had no problems.  Like we’d already experienced in SA, the people are nice and welcoming and we really did enjoy our stay.

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3 responses

14 01 2012
Courtney Mara

OMG … The fresh fruit looks amazing! I miss passion fruit!

Courtney Mara
http://CourtneyMara.com

16 01 2012
Ghafla!Guy

That fruit is quite something! Gulp! I once read somewhere that Johannesburg has one of the highest crime rates in the world. Safe travels!

20 01 2012
Why You NEED to Visit South Africa « Into West Africa

[…] visit South Africa, we fall more and more in love with it.  (Read about it here, here, here & here.)  Yes, it certainly has it’s issues and I know there would be downfalls to living there […]

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