Affectionately known as Jo'burg or Jozi, Johannesburg is one of the most vibrant and dynamic cities in South Africa. With its many theatres, museums, fantastic food culture and large shopping malls, there is plenty on offer for the many visitors that flock to this cosmopolitan metropolis each year.
Get a feel for South Africa's turbulent but colourful past by visiting Constitution Hill and the Apartheid Museum. There is the chance to experience life inside Number Four, the prison inside the Old Fort, which once held Nelson Mandela, Mahatma Gandhi and the students of the 1976 Soweto Uprising.
Soweto, the ‘South West Township’, sprawls seemingly endlessly from Johannesburg and appears as a bright, graffitied, tin-roofed village. A tour of South Africa’s most infamous neighbourhood brings the area alive. As one of the most important districts in the country, trips offer the chance to visit the locations of secret underground meetings and walk the streets of nation-defining riots.
A mere 50km away, Pretoria is South Africa’s administrative capital and Gauteng’s second major city. With leafy parks, grand architecture and a more leisurely pace of life. Its jacaranda-lined streets which bloom violet in season, and tours of the Kruger Museum and Church Square, plus the stately beauty of the Union Buildings will delight.
There is plenty of life beyond the bustle of the city, and although the Big Five are in reach, it will be the peace of the bush that offers the biggest contrast. Spend the day seeking out rhinos before retreating to your 5-star luxury lodge, unwinding with a jacuzzi and a sundowner with just the quiet murmur of the surrounding bush to lull you to sleep.