The Alternative City Guide To Johannesburg

However, Johannesburg is much more than the beautiful landmarks, fancy restaurants and cafes that are continually featured on the Instagram accounts of visitors. There is another side to Johannesburg, which is filled with undiscovered restaurants, hit jazz clubs and excellent shopping spots. This is the alternative guide to that side of Johannesburg.

Culture and Heritage

There is no shortage of culture and heritage in the Johannesburg arts scene. The Market Theatre is a legendary Johannesburg space, filled with history and cultural significance, while the Soweto Theatre, managed by Johannesburg City Theatres, is situated in the vibrant cultural precinct of Jabulani. It’s an amazing venue and an architectural gem in its own right.

As for the visual arts, the Bag Factory is a place where you can meet some of the top visual artists in South Africa and buy directly from them. You can also visit the Wits Art Museum in Braamfontein, which also features a vibrant schedule of shows, activities, exhibits and performances. Art Africa in Parkview is another spot that should not be missed as it features art pieces and artisanal creations from across the African continent.

If you want something slightly edgier and more fun, King Kong on the Troyeville border is a happening spot located in an old industrial area. King Kong is a nightclub and performance artist hangout that features amazing views of the city and really fun parties.

Live Music, Jazz Bars and Night Clubs

If you enjoy live music, Johannesburg has a range of highly rated jazz and music clubs. The Orbit Jazz Lounge in Braamfontein is one of the clubs in Johannesburg that is solely dedicated to live music performances and the ambience and acoustics in the club are second to none.

Two other hidden bars that are excellent for settling down with a cool drink and taking in the music are The Bassline’s jazz room, and Kitcheners in Braamfontein. Kitcheners is an especially fun bar because it hosts a wide variety of clientele. In the morning and afternoon, older people visit to order a drink, chat and listen to music. Later on in the evening, students arrive and are noisy, boisterous and excited about hearing new music. The acoustics are not excellent at Kitcheners, but the crowd is almost always enthusiastic and ready to have an extremely good time.

Johannesburg, South Africa, March 29-2018: Long exposure of busy city street with modern buildings in skyline.

Johannesburg, South Africa, March 29-2018: Long exposure of busy city street with modern buildings in skyline.

Casinos and Gambling

Johannesburg is one of the best cities in the world in terms of night life, and this includes casinos and gambling. Gold Reef City Casino, The Marco Polo and Emperors Palace are all extremely glamorous casinos that feature lively, fun casino floors to rival any casino floor in Europe or the Americas.

South Africa also has a vibrant online casino industry, which both residents and tourists can enjoy and take part in. You may not always feel up to visiting a casino, but online casinos can be easily accessed on your tablet, laptop or smartphone, making it much easier to play your favourite game.

There are hundreds of different online casinos that can be enjoyed in South Africa, but it is worth doing your research to find the best online casinos in South Africa as some casinos have better bonus offers, more developed platform security and larger games libraries than others. Regardless of whether you are playing your favourite casino game from the comfort of your own home, in between drinks with friends or before bed, you are sure to enjoy the excitement and fun of an actual casino floor.

Fashion and Shopping

Downtown Johannesburg is one of the best spots for shopping and scoping out the local fashion designers and artisans crafting beautiful pieces. Diagonal Street has a great variety of Shweshwe on offer, along with Basotho blankets. Mai Mai, located down the road from the upscale Maboneng district, is one of the best local markets for fashion. Here, you will find artisans whose families have worked there for generations, perfecting their craft and selling gorgeous wares.

It is an excellent spot to pick up Zulu, Tsonga and Shembe beadwork, and to visit a traditional healer. If you are looking for authentic Johannesburg streetwear, DOPEstore on Commissioner Street is a great urban streetwear spot, along with Thesis in Mofolo Village in Soweto. Both of these stores stock goods from their own designers, along with other local streetwear labels.

Entertainment in the Vaal Triangle

The Vaal Triangle was once the industrial hub of South Africa, however, in recent decades it has become an entertainment and hobby mecca. Joburgers flock to the Vaal over weekends and holidays to indulge in an array of fun activities. From peaceful fishing to intense river rafting, there is always something on the go in the Vaal. Let's take a closer look at what's on offer, shall we?

What Are You Looking For?

Outdoor & Adventure



The Aquadome at Emerald Resort and Casino is an indoor water park and adventure centre. Bring the kids along to have a day of fun in the water. The Aquadome is climate controlled so you can splash about all year round. Plus, there are pools and slides to accommodate both young and old. Whether you're looking for a laidback lazy river experience or an adrenalin-filled slip and slide, the Aquadome has it all. Be sure to book a day out on your next trip to the Vaal Triangle to spend at the Aquadome. It might just be the highlight of your stay.

Visit the Aquadome.

Adventure Golf

Nothing beats a day of competitive putt-putt with the kids. The 18-hole course at Emerald Resort and Casino is sure to challenge both you and the little ones. The animal kingdom-themed course takes you on a journey through Ancient Egypt, making the outing even more fun. The course is only open from Friday to Sunday, so be sure to bring the kiddies along over a weekend. It's family-friendly fun at its very best!

Visit Adventure Golf at Emerald Resort and Casino.

Pins Bowling Alley

Emerald Resort and Casino is undoubtedly the home of family-friendly entertainment in the Vaal Triangle. Visit Pins Bowling Alley situated at the casino to have a good, old-fashioned game of ten-pin bowling with the kids. You can also let them have their fun while you play a game of pool and watch your favourite sports team go for the win at Pins Bar. Either way you're sure to have a grand tine at Pins Bowling Alley.

Visit Pins Bowling Alley.

Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site 

If you and your family have an interest in science, history or geography, this is the place to visit while you explore the Vaal Triangle. The Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site is the oldest impact crater found on Earth to date. It is also the largest meteorite impact site discovered by geologists! If you are the type of parent who likes to teach and learn as you explore with your family, this is a definite must-visit site on your travels through the Vaal Triangle. Who knows, you might just discover something groundbreaking.

Visit the Vredefort Dome World Heritage Site. 

Sylviavale Heritage Village

Travel back to a simpler time by visiting Sylviavale Heritage Village in Vanderbijlpark. This vintage village is home to a number of tenants, including Windmills Restaurant and the Rotary Club Bookshop. Bring the family to Sylviavale Heritage Village on a Friday night for the best pizza in town, live bands and a nifty craft market. This quaint village is without a doubt one of the best family-friendly venues to visit while you're in the Vaal Trianlge, so don't miss out.

Visit Sylviavale Heritage Village.

entertainment in Vaal Triangle

Sylviavale Heritage Village.


Emerald Casino

Epic thrills await you at Emerald Casino. Come and play your hand at the casino's 22 prestigious Roulette, Blackjack, Poker, and Baccarat tables alongside more than 385 slots. Emerald Casino is where dreams are made, so don't miss your opportunity to win big. Celebrate your good fortune at High Stakes Restaurant afterwards, where you can dine on premium steaks and an exquisite wine menu. All in all, your night spent at Emerald Casino is set to be one for the books.

Visit Emerald Casino.

Gas Monkey Pub & Grill

Cocktails on tap, signature burgers and great entertainment. That's what Gas Monkey Pub & Grill has to offer. One of the anchor restaurants at Emerald Resort & Casino, this biker-bar style pub is the place to be on a Friday night out in the Vaal. Come and enjoy their famous Monkey Juice - an alcoholic slushie known for its potency and flavour. If it's a party you're looking for, it's one you'll get at Gas Monkey Pub & Grill, so come prepared to have a great time!

Visit Gas Monkey Pub & Grill. 

Outdoor & Adventure 

River Fishing

There are tons of fishing spots along the Vaal River. One of the best places to cast a line is Emerald Resort & Casino. Here you can test your patience and endurance as you also enjoy the serene outdoors. This is a wonderful spot to bring the whole family for a day out in nature. Set up a picnic along the banks of the river and let the little ones have a go at reeling in your catch of the day. The Vaal River boasts a diverse offering of fish species, including carp, yellow fish, muddies, grass carps and catfish. How many do you think you could catch?

Explore River Fishing at Emerald Resort & Casino.

Wall Climb

If you're in the mood for a real physical challenge, get yourself harnessed up to climb the 8m high rock wall at Emerald Resort & Casino. There are four different routes you can attempt to scale the wall, ranging from beginner to advanced difficulty. Come and test your strength, agility and perseverance here. It's a great challenge for kids and adults, so get the whole family to give it a try. You might be surprised at who reaches the top of the wall first!

Visit the Wall Climb at Emerald Resort & Casino.

River Rafting with Tapimanzi Adventures

Calling all adrenalin junkies and thrill seekers. Tapimanzi Adventures in Three Rivers, Vereeniging is the place to be this weekend/holiday season. They offer a range of exhilarating outdoor activities to get your blood pumping. Their top attraction is white river rafting - a daring and challenging activity for even the bravest outdoorsman. Join Tapimanzi Adventures for team-building days, birthdays and family vacations. You won't regret it for a minute.

Visit Tapimanzi Adventures.


Golf is the past time of choice in the Vaal Triangle. With numerous award-winning courses situated in the area you'll be spoilt for choice. Take your pick from the area's top three golf courses - Maccauvlei Golf Course in Vereeniging, Vaal de Grace Golf Course in Parys and Emfuleni Golf Course in Vanderbijlpark. Or, give all three a try! You'll certainly leave the Vaal Triangle with a better handicap than you arrived with.

Explore Golfing in the Vaal Triangle. 

River Cruises

End off your tour of the Vaal Triangle by embarking on a leisurely boat cruise across the Vaal River. There are numerous boating companies that offer luxury trips across the river. On board you can enjoy fine dining dinners, cocktail parties and private events. The Vaal River Meander Wine Route takes place annually along the tranquil waters of the Vaal River. Book yourself a spot and come and learn all about wine tasting, pairings and palate cleansers.

Explore River Cruises in the Vaal Triangle. 

The Vaal River Meander Wine Route

Why Playing LuckyNumbers Is So Popular

Lotto is betting on the result of the official lottery draw like SA lotto, SA Powerball and several other lotto draws available, when you are betting on lotto, you must pick the numbers that you think will be drawn and if those numbers are drawn, you will win yourself prizes. Lucky Numbers on the other hand is betting not on the actual lotto, but rather you will be betting on the outcome of the lottery draw. It is important to note that Lucky Numbers betting is hugely reliant on Lotto draws.

Despite the fact that punters may not truly understand what lucky numbers are, the popularity of lucky numbers in South Africa is amazing and that is the reason why almost all bookmakers in South Africa like Hollywoodbets Lucky Numbers and several others are offering this product. This article seeks to investigate what really makes LuckyNumbers so popular.

Opportunity To Bet On International Lotteries

If you are into betting, you will understand that it is very difficult to bet on international lotteries like the US Powerball, Megamillions and other popular international lotteries, that is where lucky numbers come in because they give you an opportunity to bet on those lotteries in a way. While it is true that when you are betting on Lucky Numbers, you wouldn't be betting on the actual lotto, at least you get the feel of betting on these lotteries.

More Betting Markets

When you bet on lucky numbers, you will have access of a number of betting markets because with lotto, you just have to predict the numbers to be drawn and you will win prizes based on the amount of numbers you would have guessed correctly, however, with lucky numbers, there are several betting markets namely; (these vary with the draw):

Set Odds

Very few people want to share money and that is the reason why people enjoy betting on lucky numbers because unlike most lotteries which are parimutuel, lucky numbers payouts are not determined by how many people win because lucky numbers uses fixed odds and therefore the payout is fixed.


With most South African bookmakers, you will be able to place a Lucky Numbers bet for as low as R1 and this is great especially considering the financial challenges people are facing at the moment. As a result people are opting to bet on the cheaper option than betting on lotto draws even if lotto draws offer huge potential payouts.

Here's Why You Need To Visit The Turffontein Racecourse

Did You Know It’s a Heritage Site?

Yeah, we didn't know this interesting bit of information either! The Turffontein Racecourse, one of Joburg's best-hidden gems, is in fact, a confirmed heritage site! This track owes its history to the early days of the thriving Gold Rush in 1886, as well as the popularity of horse racing among a new elite crowd and hopeful settlers who moved to Johannesburg to cash in on the newfound wealth in the area. In July 2016, Turffontein Racecourse was declared a heritage site by the Johannesburg Heritage Foundation. And as for the proof, you can go have a look at the Blue Plaque which is proudly displayed outside the main entrance to the racecourse. How interesting is that?

The Thrill of the Race, Of Course!

Just like any other sport, the thrill, excitement and adrenaline boost of the competition adds to the entire experience that comes along with a day at the races. Other than the entertaining events that the racecourse hosts (which we'll get into shortly), Turffontein Racecourse is also regarded as a major horse race training centre. Many horses use the facilities daily to prepare for their gallop down the stretch. Turffontein Racecourse boasts two tracks and it also has a straight course that hosts some of the biggest sprint races of the year. Some of the major races to look forward to at the Turffontein Racecourse include the annual Gauteng SANSUI Summer Cup, Champions Day, as well as the annual Triple Crown Series.

Turffontein Racecourse

It’s Where Lady Luck Waits

Feeling lucky? Then why not see if Lady Luck is on your side by placing a few bets on the racehorses in hopes you have the winning filly or stallion. There's nothing more thrilling than placing a bet and scoring a few bucks for winning. Just keep in mind: gambling is addictive, so if you place a bet, do so responsibly! And if you're a newbie on the horse racing scene and have no idea how the betting works, don't worry, Turffontein Racecourse has laid it all out for you on their site. Here, they inform you of the various types of bets you can place so that the next time you spend a day at the races, you'll be sure to impress.

Exciting Events Galore

The Turffontein Racecourse, in partnership with Racing It's A Rush, always has amazing and adrenaline-filled events taking to the tracks throughout the year! You can expect live horse racing that'll have you buzzing and on your feet all day, great live entertainment, refreshing drinks at the beer gardens, designated kiddies entertainment areas where the little ones can play to their heart's content, sometimes even lucky draws on special event days and lots of delicious food.

To keep "on track" with the latest events taking place at the Turffontein Racecourse, visit


Fun Days Out For The Whole Family

Other than the thrills of horse racing, the Turffontein Racecourse also caters to the younger visitors to ensure that they're also thoroughly entertained while you enjoy the action on the track. The racecourse is child-friendly and offers a play area for the little ones, making it a fun day out for the whole family. Kiddies entertainment is also featured at their events.

Stunning Views Of The City

As if there wasn't enough reason to visit Turffontein Racecourse, we found another unexpected one - for some of the best skyline views of our beloved Joburg, this is the place to be. The views make for the perfect backdrop to all the excitement, action, adrenaline and entertainment out on the track.

Turffontein Racecourse

It's The Whole Package!

The Turffontein Racecourse is literally the whole package. The location is ideal as it's central and has easy access to the major road networks. It makes the perfect function venue (weddings, launches, year-end parties, cocktail parties, banquets, pageants, exhibitions, board meetings, conferencing and seminars) complete with experienced and focused coordinators. And in case you were wondering about parking, there's TONS of FREE parking!

For More Information

For more information about the Turffontein Racecourse, visit or visit their Facebook page.

To keep up to date with the latest happenings, events, and actions on the track, follow Racing. It's A Rush on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube.

Turffontein Racecourse

New South African Online Casino:

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We look at casinos through the eyes of South African players,” said Williams.  “The most important thing for our players is the opportunity to play in the local Rand (ZAR) currency. Obviously, they also want to know that they can make deposits and withdraw winnings easily and safely.  But before we recommend an online casino to our players, we make sure that it ticks all the right boxes on our criteria list.

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Exploring The Emerald Resort & Casino

Just a mere hour's drive from Joburg, located in a magnificent private estate, Emerald Resort & Casino offers guests a tranquil and luxurious escape, complete with plenty of exciting gaming, resort experiences and entertainment, perfect for all ages. There's something for everyone. Unwind and relax with a pamper session at the Emerald Spa. Indulge in a delicious meal at the High Stakes or Emerald Hotel Restaurant. Explore and enjoy the many entertainment activities the resort has to offer. And why not try your luck at their onsite casino?

What Are You Looking For? 

Hotels & Accommodation
Family Entertainment
Spa Facility
Conference Venues
Contact Details


High Stakes 

For a gourmet culinary experience, visit the High Stakes restaurant. This restaurant offers an impeccable selection of fine wines, a menu that caters for all discerning tastes, excellent service, and an elegant atmosphere. Situated just off the casino floor, High Stakes restaurant is strictly for guests over the age of 18. This is the restaurant that's perfect for making any occasion extra special.

Visit High Stakes restaurant.

Emerald Hotel Restaurant

At the exquisite Emerald Hotel Restaurant, guests can enjoy the stunning bushveld views while dining on a range of delectable dishes – from hearty breakfast buffets to room-service meals – all made with the ultimate care while catering to different tastes. Also, be sure not to miss their delicious Sunday buffet lunches served between 12:30 - 15:30.

Visit Emerald Hotel Restaurant.


Whether you're looking to dine for business or leisure, Cappello aims to bring their guests the most vibrant scene and delicious cuisine in town. What could be more relaxing, trendy and luxurious than a sofa, a refreshing drink and great music? Indulge in you choice of succulent dishes from their menu, tasty cocktails and premium brands, all accompanied by great music and a vibey ambiance.

Visit Cappello.

View more Emerald Resort & Casino restaurants.

Emerald Resort & Casino Sunday Buffet

Hotels & Accommodation

Emerald Hotel

For a luxurious escape away from the hustle and bustle of the city, the four-star Emerald Hotel is just the place to help you unwind and relax. The hotel boasts 77 rooms and suites, offering spacious comfort, free Wi-Fi and all the amenities and adventures the resort has in store. And for every night booked at the hotel, you'll receive complimentary access to the Aquadome. Guests also have access to their onsite gym facilities whilst enjoying their stay at the Emerald Hotel.

Visit Emerald Hotel.

Bush Lodges

Hidden away in a natural setting, guests can also enjoy accommodation in Emerald Resort & Casino's one- or two-bedroom safari lodges on a semi-self-catering basis. Also, for your entertainment, adventure awaits just outside the door! All of the resorts activities are all within walking distance. Also, every night booked in one of these stylish lodges, you'll receive complimentary access to the Aquadome.

Visit Emerald's Bush Lodges.

River Resort Chalets

The beautiful, self-catering River Resort Chalets at Emerald Resort & Casino provide guests with two, four and six sleeper accommodation – perfect for weekend getaways or longer stays with loved ones. The chalets offer easy access to a range of adventures available on the property, including boat launching facilities, fishing and access to a private swimming pool. And for every night booked in one of these chalets, you'll receive complimentary access to the Aquadome.

Visit Emerald's River Resort Chalets.

View more Emerald Resort & Casino accommodation options.

Emerald Resort & Casino


From 22 high stakes table games including Blackjack, Poker and Roulette to more than 430 slots ready and waiting for you to try your luck, the Emerald Casino offers plenty of gaming entertainment on their floor. Emerald's generous Rewards programme allows gamers to earn points to spend on discounted hospitality and resort experiences. Also, Diamond and Gold cardholders enjoy exclusive access to the opulent Privé offering regular entertainment, promotions and cocktail events.

Visit Emerald Casino.

Family Entertainment


No need to wait for summer. You can take a dip in the pool every day of the year, no matter whether it's hot or cold outside! The Aquadome offers guests an indoor, climate-controlled water world, providing plenty of entertainment for both young and old. There are pools to suit everyone, whether you just want to unwind or have a splashing good time. Slip down the waterslide and explore their shipwreck, or just take a relaxing drift along their lazy river.

Visit the Aquadome.

Animal World 

Grab the family and head to Animal World for a wildlife adventure! Here, you'll encounter many different species of animals, birds and reptiles while also enjoy a bit of fresh air and sunshine. Be sure to keep a look out for hippos, flamingos, iguanas, antelope, monkeys, lions, snakes and much more. Click here to fins out more about their games drives.

Visit Animal World. 

Adventure Golf

Have some fun while getting a little competitive with family and friends at Emerald's Adventure Golf Course. This  18-hole putt putt course is suitable for visitors of all ages. Everyone will certainly enjoy the Animal Kingdom-themed course that also has ancient Egyptian features. Score cards, pencils, putters and balls are all available for hire at the Adventure Golf kiosk.

Visit Emerald Adventure Golf course.

View more Emerald Resort & Casino entertainment experiences.


Spa Facility

For the ultimate relaxation, rejuvenation and pampering, guests can visit the indulgent Emerald Spa. They offer a truly tranquil experience in a soothing, natural setting complete with wonderful treatments for adults of all ages. Their highly trained therapists will ensure you enjoy your experience, all you have to do is select your choice from their menu of treatment options and packages, that offer everything from facials and manicures to hot stone and aromatherapy massages.

Visit the Emerald Spa.

Spa experience

Conference Venues

From fairytale weddings and extravagant parties to team building and business meetings, Emerald Resort & Casino is the only venue in the Vaal area with the facilities and expertise to host events of up to 3000 delegates. Other than space to host your events and meetings, their riverside estate offers a range of accommodation options as well as team-building activities and resort entertainment to ensure your and your guests' visit is a memorable one. Their banqueting experts are always available to assist in tailoring a package specifically for your requirements.

View Emerald Resort & Casino's conferencing offers.

Wedding Expo

Contact Details



Tel: 016 982 8000

Address: 777 Frikkie Meyer Boulevard, Vanderbijlpark, Vaal Triangle, South Africa

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