What Is It?

You could easily be forgiven for thinking you'd stumbled into the last century when visiting this magnificent garden, designed by Tim and Liz Steyn. All you need to do is take your friends and family and enjoy this aesthetically pleasing garden, and if you are big on taking snaps for the 'Gram, then be sure to join in. Aren't we all just grateful that winter has finally passed and we can finally experience the city for its beauty and in this beautiful weather. Click here to plan your trip: https://www.thegardener.co.za/johannesburg-garden-club/.

When Is It?

Saturday, 05 October 2019 - Sunday, 06 October 2019.

Where Is It?

34 Pallinghurst Road, Westcliff, Randburg, Johannesburg.

How Much Is It?

Entrance is R50 per person.

For More Information

Visit this website or this Facebook page for more information on this event.

Picassos in the making

Children with an interest in the arts are known to be more open-minded, imaginative and compassionate. Foster a love for the arts in your child by investing in art or drama classes. Or, take them for a day trip to one of Joburg's kid-friendly art galleries or theatre venues. Alternatively, you can treat them to a fun art-inspired activity at home or out in the city.

Drama & Art Classes

Art Zoo Kids 

Art Zoo Kids is based in Sandringham, Johannesburg. This professional art studio instills confidence in children, while teaching them the basic fundamentals of drawing and painting. Kids are also taught about famous artists through interactive applications of their methods. They will encourage creativity and self-expression in your child, so check them out.

Contact them on 083 743 8480 or via email at [email protected]

Lillian Gray Fine Artist & Art School

Lillian Gray established her art school based in Fairland, Randburg in 2016. Their kids art classes teach the fundamentals of art, including line, proportion, shading and shape. The Lillian Gray Art School will help take your child's interest in art from just a hobby, to a fully fledged passion. They will develop all the necessary skills to move on to more advanced classes. Classes work on a four week rotation basis, during which your child is guided through pottery, drawing and painting lessons, as well as larger art projects.

Contact them on 076 828 2448 or via email at [email protected]

Helen O'Grady Drama Academy 

The Helen O'Grady Drama Academy is the largest worldwide drama school of its kind. With numerous school centres around the city, they are the most accessible drama academy in Joburg. They offer classes for kids aged 3 - 18. Enroll your little star in the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy to build their confidence, self esteem, verbal communication, effective social interaction and performance skills.

Contact them on 078 770 5182 or via email at [email protected]

Art and Science

Kid-friendly art galleries

WITS Art Museum

The WITS Art Museum is a free entrance art gallery and museum space in Braamfontein. Kids aged eight and older should be able to appreciate the Pan-African art, sculpture and textile work on display here. The gallery host 10 - 12 temporary exhibitions per year. They also boast an impressive permanent collection of over 12 000 historical and contemporary African artworks. Visit the gallery over the weekend to attend a family talk-about session. This is a one hour informative walk around the gallery. WAM's tour guides break down the concepts of the art on display in a fun way that kids can understand. Afterwards, you and the kids can create your own zany family portrait.

Click here to view upcoming events at the WITS Art Museum.

Contact them on +27 11 717 1365 / 3158 or via email at [email protected]

Arts on Main Maboneng 

Arts on Main is the perfect place to start little ones out on a diet of contemporary, urban art. Bring them by to visit the art galleries and workshops on site, or to just soak up the artsy vibe. Herbert Evans Art Shop has also moved into the building. Pop into to pick up all your art supplies or to get advice on how to start teaching the kids about art.

Afterwards, take a stroll over to the David Krut Bookstore. They stock a range of books about art for kids, as well as activity books which allow young artists to experiment with medium, shape and style.

Newtown Cultural Precinct 

The Newtown Cultural Precinct is the centre of Johannesburg art history. From the photography exhibitions at Museum Africa and the Market Photo Workshop, to the 560 wooden carved busts dotted around the area, there is tons to see here. Take the kids on a heritage tour of Newtown to see all it has to offer. See Museum Africa's extensive collection of San Rock art, the Kippie ‘Morolong’ Moeketsi sculpture just outside the Market Theatre and William Kentridge and Gerhard Marx's Fire Walker. 

Contact Newtown Heritage Trail on 011 336 9190 or click here to book a tour.

WITS Art Museum

WITS Art Museum

Kids Theatre

National Children's Theatre

The National Children's Theatre is an award-winning performing arts centre located in Parktown. They produce interactive musicals for kids all year round, while also offering life skills workshops and holiday programmes. For over 30 years, the NCT has been at the forefront of South African children's theatre in education. So, pay them a visit sometime. They have a number of exciting shows lined up, including Charlotte's Web, Mr Hare Meets Mr Mandela and The Tiger Who Came To Tea. Click here to see more shows coming to the NCT.

Contact them on (011) 484 1584/5 or via email at [email protected]

People's Theatre 

The People's Theatre is a great place to introduce your children to theatre and live performance. They bring audiences only the best in family entertainment, ensuring that everyone leaves with a smile on their face. If you have younger kiddies, start them out learning about the arts here. Shows are interactive and super fun, so the kids are bound to feel the theatre bug nibble. The People's Theatre offer year long memberships, which grants you discounts on tickets and one free birthday month show! Sign your kids up to be members and make going to the theatre a regular outing. There is no better way to instill a love of the arts in them than by roping in the whole family to go on outings.

Contact them on (011) 403-1563 / 2340 or via email at [email protected]

Joburg Theatre

Joburg Theatre is the city's largest theatre complex. Kids just love the opulence and spectacle of this space, with its dark red carpets and glass panel windows. Dress them up in their finest for a trip to the theatre. Although, not required, it makes the event even more special. Kid-friendly shows are usually hosted on the Nelson Mandela Stage, which seats 1 100 people in its auditorium. Take the little ones to see a spectacular ballet or the annual Janice Honeyman Pantomime at Christmas. Make it a yearly traditional and your kids will be theatre buffs in no time.

Contact them on 0861 670 670 or via email at [email protected]

Joburg Theatre

The Nelson Mandela Stage 

A Little Bit About Kensington

The Kensington suburb was established by Max Langermann in 1897 amongst the hilly slopes to the East of the city centre. Roads were laid in 1902, bringing an influx of families into the area. The streets were planted with broad Jacaranda shrubs and leafy oaks, which still line the streets today. Over the course of a century this large Joburg suburb has seen immense change. However, its many landmark monuments and historical sites give the area a feel of nostalgia.

Kensington is the perfect place to stay over for a night, as it borders the inner city and is only a 20-minute drive from OR Tambo International airport. The area boasts great artisan restaurants, antique stores deluxe and above all else a wonderful sense of community.

kensington

Where To Eat

Kensington natives will be the first to tell you to head down to Queen street for a lekker bite to eat. This bustling street is home to a number of restaurants, cafes, antique stores and social hangouts.

The Rusty Lady Bistro

One of our favourite Queen street watering holes is the Rusty Lady. She is a rustic, South African meets Mediterranean bistro with an indomitable spirit. Once a residential home, this restaurant is both perfect for a romantic night out and the place to watch weekend rugby with the boys on the big screen. Ask your waitron for an outdoor table to make the most of the experience.

Our favourite item on the menu is the droewors platter starter. This proudly South African snack is the best way to start a meal (you cannot convince us otherwise, so don't even try.) For mains we recommend one of the Rusty Lady's thin-crust wood-fired pizza's. If you have space for pudding, try out their variety of Belgian waffles.

Die Kneipe

Another Kensington favourite is Die Kneipe. This German pub and restaurant is a hive of activity, perched right at the top of Queen street. On Wednesdays they feature live music acts and often give patrons a delicious weekly menu special to feast on with their choice of ice cold beer. Don't expect gourmet dining here, just good old fashioned hearty food. We recommend the pork roast which comes with a variety of veg and roast potatoes.

Jambo African Restaurant

If you are looking for something a little more Joburg authentic, pop into Jambo African Restaurant. This two-storey eatery come club serves up an array of traditional African dishes including, mogoudu (fried tripe), beef isiskopo (boiled cow head parts) and even Durban bunny chow. A section of the restaurant is reserved specifically for coffee lovers, too. They specialise in Kenyan coffee blends, perfect for when you have had a little too much to drink at the bar. 

Bennigan's

Lastly, for an upmarket, family friendly dining experience, visit Bennigan's on Langermann Drive. The Bennigan's family have been in the business of serving up American style steak strips since 1972. Their signature 400g fillet on the bone is a must-try. Otherwise, customise your steak dinner - once you have chosen your cut of premium quality beef, pick your basting sauce or spice crust option. From there, select your adds on such as onion straws, mash potato or straight cut fries. For an extra treat, add a decadent sauce to your meal. We would go for the classic Bearnaise or creamy peppercorn.

Bennigan's also serves up a range of in-house desserts. These American diner inspired puds are the ultimate way to end off a big meal. From the key lime pie to the Mississippi Mud pie, there is something for every kind of sweet tooth.

bennigan's

Where To Shop

Barter Buy Antiques

If you visit only one antique store along Queen street, Barter Buy is the place to go. This seemingly never-ending antique wonderland boats collections from the Georgian, Victorian and Edwardian eras, as well as fine reproduction furniture. Make sure to explore every nook and cranny of the store to find some of the most magnificent treasure troves. There is an upstairs too, which houses a coffee shop and a collection of retro mannequins adorned in the best of yesteryear's fashions.

Eastgate Shopping Mall

We know that not everyone is into antiquing. For a more commercial shopping experience, head out to Eastgate Shopping Centre. As a world-class retail mall with over 300 stores, an IMAX cinema and a large outdoor food court, Eastgate is your one-stop shopping haven.

Fun Activities & Tours

Kensington is a history buffs paradise. This suburb is home to a secluded castle (yes, a castle), a Scottish Horse war memorial, a spooky sanitarium and Johannesburg's oldest public school. There are also lots of fun community activities to take part in, such as open day social bowls at the Kensington Bowling Club and group walks through Rhodes Park.

Scottish horse memorial

Kensington Historical Walks

Walk & Talk Tours offer a self-guided tour through Kensington and its neighbouring suburb Troyeville. You can book for a party of eight or more and Walk & Talk will provide you with a handy route map and electronic guidance. Visit the Scottish War Memorial, which commemorates officers, non-commissioned officers and men killed in action and died of wounds, disease and accident, who were members of the Scottish Horse Regiment, in the South African War (1899 - 1902). The view from the top of Calendonia Hill is worth the hike alone.

Mystery Ghost Bus Tour

For those of you not inclined to hike, take the Mystery Ghost Bus Tour of Johannesburg. The tour passes right through Kensington, stopping off at the old women's sanitarium, the castle and the aptly named Poltergeist House. Passengers board the bus at sundown and travel through the spookiest spots in Joburg, ending the night off in the Braamfontein cemetery at the call of midnight. Are you brave enough?

The October Jacaranda Walk

Finally, for the rest of us easily spooked adventurists, there is an annual Spring walk that takes place along the purple blanket streets of Kensington. The event is organised around early October every year by fitandfunnow.com. Check out their Facebook events page for details on this year's walk.

jacarandas

Restaurants

Kaylee's Eatery

Kaylee's is a vegan eatery that popped up at the Comic Warehouse. And vegans from Bedfordview and surrounds have been flocking there ever since. Kaylee serves up yummy, healthy, nutritious and fresh food that is good for you and the environment. We love their Caesar Bowl, filled with rocket, bacon, avocado, cashew Parmesan, croutons and Caesar dressing. But if you're looking for something a little more hearty, try the Korean BBQ featuring BBQ short rib, marinated cucumber, avocado and micro herbs. One of the best things about this eatery is that you can choose between almond, coconut and soya milk.

Find more information here.

Doppio Zero

This eatery has quickly become one of our favourites, with their delicious fare and freshly baked goods. We love all the vegan options from curries and tofu scrambles to pastas and pizzas. Their menu has a diverse range, offering fare to every vegan palate. This has become a top notch restaurant for dinners of mixed eating habits. Our favourite is the Rainbow Bowl, with a trio of quinoa, buckwheat and pearled couscous, roasted beetroot and tomatoes, chimichurri tofu, avocado, nigella seeds, green hummus and tahini.

Find more information here.

Hudson's The Burger Joint

Hudson's has long been the burger joint for many Bedfordview residence. But they have recently updated their menu to include vegan options. It is also the joint to get a tasty taco, perfect pizza and blissful burgers. They have even included a marvelous milkshake. It is almost impossible to choose one of their five glorious sounding burgers, so we'll just have to keep going back until we've tried them all. But that's ok, because then we get loads of their vegan Panko Crumberd Wings appetiser with garlic mayo, siracha, vacon bits and spring onions. All of this topped off with a creamy and decadent Oreo milkshake.

Find more information here.

restaurant

Stores

Woolworths

This massive retailer has recently launched a new range of plant-based food. Woolworths at Bedford Centre is one of the few branches of this retailer in the east that has a huge variety of the new vegan range. Here, you can get vegan milk, salami, ham, schnitzels, sausages and chocolate among the many other options. The vegan world has been a buzz over Woolworths' vegan biltong for a while now, with many people having trouble finding it. But this branch retails this too, in two flavours. The vegan biltong consists of spiced and dried mushrooms, resulting in a slightly bitter version of the real thing. This treat can be found in the pay queue isle.

Find more information here.

Wellness Warehouse

This health store has several branches across Joburg, including one in Bedfordview. This branch is just down the road from the Doppio Zero and is about five minutes away from the Woolworths at Bedford Square. They sell a range of vegan food but they also stock a variety of vegan and cruelty-free toiletries. Unfortunately, this branch of Wellness Warehouse does not have a Wellness Café, but it is still the go-to for hard-to-find vegan food and beauty products.

Find more information here.

Spar

Herbi Vohr is one of the more popular brands among vegans. This is because they produce delicious alternatives to meat such as biltong, ribs, bacon, chicken, steaks and sandwich slices. However, it has always been a mission to get our hands on it for those of us residing in the east. We would have to flock to the northern suburbs when the craving hits for their ample supply. Step in Spar at Bedford Village. Like some of the other Spar branches in Randburg, this Spar is now a stockist of all things Herbi Vohr, except the biltong. Spar has also always been a great store for browsing and finding oddities, so look around and you may find a few keepers.

Find more information here.

shopping

The first place everyone should visit to learn about South Africa's road to democracy is Constitution Hill. Originally a prison and military fort, it bears testament to our country's difficult past. Today, however, this location is home to our Constitutional Court, which protects the rights of all citizens.

A Brief History Of The Museums

The Old Fort
This museum was the first Johannesburg prison and a military fort. It was built in 1893 on instruction from former president Paul Kruger. Only political and common-law white males were incarcerated here. Nelson Mandela was the only black male prisoner to serve time at The Old Fort as he was regarded as too influential to be placed with black prisoners.

The Women's Jail
The Women's Jail was built in 1910. Here, women would be incarcerated for petty crimes ranging from illegally brewing beer to contravening pass laws. A woman being arrested with her children was hardly a surprise. Noteworthy political prisoners included Barbara Hogan, Fatima Meer, Albertina Sisulu and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Number Four
Number Four is infamously known for birthing some of South Africa's gangs still prevalent in the country today. It was built in 1902 to house black prisoners, and gross human rights violations were a daily occurrence. Noteworthy political prisoners included Robert Sobukwe, Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Luthuli.

The Awaiting Trial Block
This was a prison built in 1928 for black prisoners awaiting trial, as the name suggests. In December 1956, 156 activists were arrested on charges of high treason. However, five years later when the trial ended, all the accused were acquitted.

The Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court was inaugurated at Constitution Hill on 21 March 2004, Human Rights Day. Former president Thabo Mbeki had this to say at the opening: "The court represents the conversion of the negative, hateful energy of colonialism, subjugation and oppression into a positive, hopeful energy for the present and the future; a celebration of the creative potential of our people that has given us an architectural jewel."

Getting Around 

Constitution Hill is a big site and, for the most part, pre-approved access is required. The simplest way to get the most out of exploring this location is by booking a tour on Webtickets. Here you can either book for a Highlights Tour, Full Tour, Night Tour, Art & Justice Tour, Time Travel Tour, Walk with Madiba, or Constitutional Court Tour.

Have you been here before? Rate and review your experience below!

The first place anyone and everyone should visit to learn about South Africa's road to democracy is Constitution Hill, which – as it was a prison and military fort – bears testament to our country's difficult past. Today, however, this location is home to our Constitutional Court, which serves to protect the rights of all citizens.

A Brief History On The Museums

The Old Fort
This museum was the first Johannesburg prison and a military fort. It was built in 1893 on instruction from former president Paul Kruger. Only political and common-law white males were incarcerated here. Nelson Mandela was the only black male prisoner to serve time at The Old Fort as he was regarded as too influential to be placed with black prisoners.

The Women's Jail
The Women's Jail was built in 1910. Here, women would be incarcerated for petty crimes ranging from illegally brewing beer to contravening pass laws. A woman being arrested with her children was hardly a surprise. Noteworthy political prisoners included Barbara Hogan, Fatima Meer, Albertina Sisulu and Winnie Madikizela-Mandela.

Number Four
Number Four is infamously known for birthing some of South Africa's gangs still prevalent in the country today. It was built in 1902 to house black prisoners, and gross human rights violations were a daily occurrence. Noteworthy political prisoners included Robert Sobukwe, Mahatma Gandhi and Albert Luthuli.

The Awaiting Trial Block
This was a prison built in 1928 for black prisoners awaiting trial, as the name suggests. In December 1956, 156 activists were arrested on charges of high treason. However, five years later when the trial ended, all the accused were acquitted.

The Constitutional Court

The Constitutional Court was inaugurated at Constitution Hill on 21 March 2004, Human Rights Day. Former president Thabo Mbeki had this to say at the opening: "The court represents the conversion of the negative, hateful energy of colonialism, subjugation and oppression into a positive, hopeful energy for the present and the future; a celebration of the creative potential of our people that has given us an architectural jewel."

Getting Around 

Constitution Hill is a big site and, for the most part, pre-approved access is required. The simplest way to get the most out of exploring this location is by booking a tour on Webtickets. Here you can either book for a Highlights Tour, Full Tour, Night Tour, Art & Justice Tour, Time Travel Tour, Walk with Madiba, or Constitutional Court Tour.

Have you been here before? Rate and review your experience below!

Zoo Lake

What started out as a part of the farm called Braamfontein eventually turned into what we know today as Zoo Lake. It is as iconic to the city as the Hillbrow tower is to the metropolitan skyline. From paddle boat rides to picnics under mighty oak trees, it's all here. The park includes a restaurant, arts and crafts market and designated braai areas. Bring the family and spend your Sunday with fellow South Africans out in the sun. Zoo Lake is a great spot to take a walk through during spring as all the flowers and trees start to bloom. Take some bread crumbs for the ducks and birds – they'll thank you by making a racket and flapping their wings.

Ludwig’s Roses

Yeah, yeah, it's not quite Joburg but it's totally worth an honourable mention. If you have a love for roses, then you just have to visit Ludwig's Roses out in Pretoria. This farm is the largest rose grower in the country and has been around for almost 40 years. Expect a day out in the country surrounded by loads of beautiful roses of all sizes and colours and enjoy the sweet, floral smell in the air while getting plenty of sunshine. After admiring these stunning flowers, you can head to the Rose Kitchen for a refreshing drink or bite to eat. You can literally take some time to stop and smell the roses at this lovely location.

Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

The gardens are the perfect place to have a picnic, go on a hike or take a leisurely stroll through the vegetation. The area in the Walter Sisulu Botanical Garden is known as the ‘Rocky Highveld Grassland’ and consists of a mosaic of grassland and savanna, with dense bush in kloofs and along streams. The variety of habitats accommodates over 600 naturally occurring plant species. The Botanical Gardens are also famed for their abundance of wildlife, including over 220 bird species. The beautiful waterfalls at the bottom of the garden boasts a breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles that many a visitor spend a great amount of time watching.

Emmarentia Botanical Gardens

The central Joburg contingent, Emmarentia Dam and Botanical Gardens, is the perfect venue for a picnic. You don’t pay an entrance fee and are exposed to a world of beauty and a view of the city which intrinsically forms the ambience of the park. It’s known for the dam on the property and more recently for the big live music shows hosted there. They also offer paddle boat hire and benches skirting the dam. This is the most popular park in central Johannesburg and a must for people who haven’t yet visited. The Emmarentia Botanical Gardens is not one of the eight National Botanic Gardens, it’s run by the Joburg Parks Department, hence the free entrance. Walter Sisulu, on the other hand, is a National Botanic Garden and is therefore run by the South African National Biodiversity Institute.

Leafy Greens Cafe

Head to Muldersdrift and enjoy the farm that Leafy Greens Cafe is built on. The eatery is self-sustaining and grows its own fruit and vegetables alongside a beautiful garden. It's an excellent excuse to grab something to eat and to take a leisurely stroll through the groves and lush gardens at Casalinga, which the eatery shares a property with. It's also an excellent excuse to escape the hustle and bustle of the city – as much as we love our public parks, it's great to get away from it all for a while.

By Shawn Greyling

 

Sunninghill is one of those neighbourhoods where residents rarely have to leave. They've got awesome restaurants, rocking shopping centres and a suburban bliss kind-of thing going on.

Eat In Sunninghill

Bosco Ristorane Italiano

Traditional Italian. That's Bosco Ristorante Italiano in a nutshell. This restaurant sports classic Italian entries that read as if Ezra Pound wrote the menu: finely sliced prosciutto crudo served with slices of fresh melon; grilled strips of beef with a mushroom, port, cream, and garlic sauce...  the list goes on and on. Patrons can also expect the usual Italiano suspects such as wood-fire oven pizzas, hearty pastas and antipasti. To add a splash of culture to the mix, Bosco's founder, Hanlee Louw, often ditches her administrative duties to entertain the crowd with her soprano and coloratura disciplines of singing. May we add that Hanlee's performance goes well with a bottle or three of bubbly... as do most things in life.

Details: http://www.boscos.co.za/

Curry Dheli

A trip to Sunninghill wouldn't be complete without popping into the Curry Dheli. Situated around the corner and down the road from ESKOM's head office, this little gem stocks spices from the orient, as well as fresh rotis. They also build the most beautiful burgers. The service at the Curry Dheli is excellent and for those who don't want to trek all the way to the shop, you take advantage of their online store, complete with a chat bot. Though this spot is not your usual sit-down restaurant, it is a highlight when it comes to exploring the culinary side of Sunninghill. Also, if you're within a 3Km radius of the Curry Delhi, you can order your favourite takeaway through UberEats.

Details: https://www.currydelhi.com/

Sunninghill

Beach Blanket Bohemia

Known for its laid-back and relaxed vibe, Beach Blanket Bohemia is an all-round feast-and-fun type of hangout. With live music, big screen TVs showcasing sports, and a menu made up of bistro style eats, this Sunninghill based restaurant has it going on. With a name like Beach Blanket Bohemia one can expect burgers, pizzas and hot dogs with a Portuguese twist.

Details: http://beachblanketbohemia.co.za/

Luca's Ristorante Italiano

It's always a breath of fresh air when a restaurant sticks to their own food philosophy. Luca's Ristorante Italiano's credo comes in three parts: authenticity mixed with inspiration from Italy and cooked in family tradition. These noble pursuits become very evident when scrolling through the menu.

Details: http://www.lucasristorante.co.za/

sunninghill

Shop In Sunninghill

Chilli Lane Shopping Centre

One of the key traits that make Sunninghill such an appealing neighbourhood is the fact that its shopping centres are so accommodating. One of our  top "Stunninghill" shopping destinations is the Chilli Lane Shopping Centre. With anchor tenants such as Woolworths, Pick n Pay and Virgin Active it offers a well-rounded shopping experience. The retail complex also has a car wash and an art gallery – to toss some diversity into the pot, and restaurants include Doppio Zero, Ocean Basket and Nando's, to name a few.

Details: https://chillilane.co.za/

Sunninghill Village Shopping Centre

With a list of 75 cherry-picked tenants, Sunninghill Village Shopping Centre adds flair to the neighbourhood. Possessing speciality stores such as a costume shop, Kodak centre and tattoo parlour, variety knows no bounds. Commercial tenants include a glossary of doctors, accountants and learning centres. Sunninghill Village Shopping Centre is also home to the bistro Beach Blanket Bohemia – a great spot to grab some pub grub and watch live music.

Details: http://shopsunninghill.co.za/

sunninghill

Hang In Sunninghill

Sunninghill Park

The beautiful suburb of Sunninghill features a community park complete with playground equipment and a few benches dotted under trees. The park is not totally fenced off, so, while dogs are allowed, it's suggested they are kept on a leash.

Details:  http://www.jhbcityparks.com/

Sunninghill

By Shawn Greyling

Eat

Fussy Vegan

Run by a very fussy vegan with a love for food and animal activism, the Fussy Vegan in Blairgowrie has become the go-to spot for great vegan meals. Food choices include vegan mac n cheese, toasted tofu mayo (which is highly addictive), lasagna and a host of other hearty plates. The coffee also scores two thumbs up from us and is frothed with almond or soy milk. The Fussy Vegan acts as a popular takeaway spot next to the Caltex on Jan Smuts Avenue and can become quite busy during lunch hours.

Details: https://www.facebook.com/TheFussyVegan/

J's Diner

For quite some time now J’s Diner has been the talk of Blairgowrie with its tender peri-peri chicken and authentic décor and design. We all love good Portuguese food, right? Be sure to grab a table and a drink and get lost in J’s awesome menu. You will not be disappointed – not by a long shot. From gourmet burgers to classic dishes from Lisbon, it’s all here. What are you waiting for? Go get your prawn on!

Details: https://www.facebook.com/Js-Diner-455607101238940/

Patisserie de Paris

The owner of Patisserie de Paris, Paul, studied classic French cuisine in the south of France and brought fancy bistro food to Blairgowrie. The kitchen is big on sourcing top-quality ingredients and crafting artisan breads, adding a much fuller flavour to this authentic experience. The menu brags items such as croque monsieur, as well as a burger topped with camembert and preserved fig. And once you’ve filled up on proper food, you’ll have the strength to go inside and eyeball the cake selection. Was I charmed? Quite. Was I happy with my meal? Certainly. Am I going to return at some point with a little wheelbarrow to relieve Paul of his pastries and cheeses? You guessed it.

Details: http://www.patisseriedeparis.co.za/

Shop

Fruit, Flower, & Nut Market

Fancy some micro-greens? Or perhaps some Mediterranean spices? The Fruit, Flower, & Nut Market on the corner of Fir and Conrad is one of Blairgowrie's most treasured hidden gems. This fruit and veg market specialises in – as the name states – a wide variety of fruit and nuts at discounted prices.

Details: 2 Fir Cnr, Blairgowrie, Johannesburg, 2194, 011 789 3229

Randview Shopping Centre

We've all driven past the Randview Shopping Centre without knowing what's it called. That big old grey and red building with the wooden facade and clock tower on the corner of Jan Smuts and Republic is filled with hidden gems. Here you can purchase everything from cheap electronics to bao buns and dried ramen.

Details: 511 Jan Smuts Ave & Republic Rd, Randburg, Johannesburg, 2194, 011 074 8783

Do

Delta Park

Known for its Parks Runs, picnic spots and being a doggy haven, Delta Park offers 104 hectares of grass and woodlands. It also has an array of picnic benches and safe parking. Over weekends the park is frequented by mountain bike riders, runners and even horse riders and acts as an excellent lookout point, with Sandton in all its glory to the north, and the City of Johannesburg to the south-west.

Details: http://www.jhbcityparks.com/index.php/list-of-parks-mainmenu-39/36-delta-park

Source: Liz At Lancaster Guesthouse

By Shawn Greyling

Where To Eat In Krugersdorp North

Viljoen Street in Krugersdorp North has turned into what folks like to call Little Linden. There are an ample amount of little coffee shops, cafes and restaurants that can take it to the streets when it comes to good food.

Cultiv 8 Cafe

Those of us who stay up late and wake up late often don’t feel like a bowl of bran flakes and low-fat milk first thing in the morning, but it’s all good because Cultiv8 café has got us covered. The eatery serves breakfast until 12:00 and the selection is the reason why we love brunch so much. My personal favourite would be the shashuka – a Tunisian-Arabic breakfast dish which consists of two eggs poached in a spicy tomato sauce cooked with green chili, onion and topped off with a pinch of cumin. This is served with chorizo sausage. To complete and complement your morning meal I suggest that you order a cappuccino.

Find more information here here.

Beginnings

The eatery’s menu sings like Edith Piaf and the plating of the food is as quirky and cute as Zooey Deschanel circa 2008. In recent times, the restaurant has grown in popularity thanks to brides-to-be and has hosted an ample amount of kitchen teas. But wedding bells aside, Beginnings is a great place to take ouma for an eggs benedict and a spot of tea ... or that pretty girl you've been meaning to ask out. All the ingredients are fresh and the pastries fluffy. In fact, Beginnings can go head-on with any fancy pastry place and rise victorious without even breaking a sweat.

Find more information here.

Krugersdorp North

Where To Shop In Krugersdorp North

Krugersdorp North is filled with gems galore! Other than the mall, there's something for everyone the further you drive down Viljoen Street.

Keywest Shopping Centre

What used to be a dam and flea market a couple of hundred years ago (not really, more like two decades) has evolved into one of the top shopping and entertainment destinations in the West Rand. Today Keywest Shopping Centre boasts great restaurants, major retail stores, and even a free concrete skatepark. There's ample parking, a big Spur, and cool spots to chill along the banks of the dam.

Find more information here.

Food Lovers Market

Nothing comes close to walking into Food Lovers Market with a fist full of grocery money and an urge to spend every last cent of it. AT the FLM (that's what all the cool kids are calling it) in Krugersdorp North, you can expect the usual fresh produce with an added bonus: the cheese section. Oh my! The cheese section is where all great dishes are born. From a good mature cheddar to something more robust parmesano (you need to read that in your best Massimo Bottura voice), this rendition of our favourite greengrocer has got you covered. The shop often runs specials on fruit, veg, and cheese.

Find more information here.

FORA Book Shop

Lads & ladies, take one tip from us: there is nothing sexier than someone who reads. Get your fill of pre-loved novellas and manuscripts at the FORA Book Shop on 4th Street. What's cool about this shop is that all the profit goes to help the FORA (Friends Of Rescued Animals). As an added bonus, FORA also runs a charity shop right across the road where you will be buying all your books from now on. So, go grab a couple of Tolstoy's, a handful of Stevie Kings', and maybe a yoga book for fun. Our furry friends will thank you.

Find more information here.

krugersdorp north

Must Visit In Krugersdorp North

Our next entry is so special that it deserves a category of its own. Make a plan and get yourself to Krugersdorp ASAP.

The Rabbit Hole Hotel

Feel like taking a trip to Wonderland? Then follow Alice to the Rabbit Hole Hotel on Viljoen Street. Enjoy excellent food in a charmingly surreal setting where colourful design combined with attention to the functional requirements of visitors are met without even breaking a sweat… yes, that was supposed to rhyme. Each room is decorated to a different theme and explodes with vibrancy and quirkiness. The Rabbit Hole Restaurant is a popular spot for diners to relax, kick back, and have a beautiful bite to eat. Patrons can expect big burgers, massive slices of cake, mojitos that kick like a mule, and the best BBQ chicken wings this side of Joburg.

Find more information here.

rabbit hole hotel

Eat

Motherland

Let’s be honest, the best place to start is Motherland. This is not an option – just go with it. Whether popping in for a takeaway cappuccino, having a meeting, doing some work on your laptop, grabbing a bite to eat or needing some extreme comfort in the form of a Dictator (Espresso with condensed milk) - Motherland’s loyalty card might soon be your best friend. (Hint: Buy coffee for a friend and pin the voucher to the dedicated board in the entryway. Take a photo and send to your friend. Bask in inner smugness.)

Glenda's

Still a firm favourite despite having been there countless amounts of time, Glenda’s never fails to disappoint when it comes to seasonal flavours, a constantly changing menu, sumptuous décor and a tempting takeaway patisserie counter. Breakfast, brunch, lunch and dinner are all excellent options, depending on your budget, as you really can’t go wrong! (Hint: try their bar snacks as a less “spendy” alternative – their Maple Bacon Popcorn, Crispy Chicken Wings, Sweet Potato Fries and Cheesy Choux Puffs are reason enough to visit.)

Winehouse At 10 Bompas

If you haven’t yet paid a visit to this phenomenal eatery, then best you make plans to visit in the next few months. The menu is limited enough to avoid “decision-based fatigue,” but wide enough to ensure you are still spoilt for choice, their wine tasting evenings are incredibly popular and the service is top notch. (Hint: Those wanting the ultimate splurge can book a degustation 9-course tasting menu with optional wine pairing – does anyone have an anniversary coming up?)

DW-Eleven-13

This award-winning restaurant is still one of the best places to go for an outstanding meal or special occasion. DW-Eleven-13 source the best fresh and sustainable produce in order to create exploratory and innovative dishes that linger in the mind long after they have left your taste buds. If you’re after quality, you simply can’t go wrong with this venue.

Fournos

Fournos has the best croissants, amazing coffee, superb everything – you know it’s good by the number of repeat visitors (including ourselves!) Let’s move on.

dunkeld

Shop

Firehouse

It is impossible to walk out of Firehouse empty-handed - their wide selection of gorgeous decor items, soft furnishings, glassware and crockery will have you browsing for ages. Their range of French table linen is reason enough to visit, and you’ll always be able to find a gift for that special someone (even if that special someone is yourself! (Hint: They offer the most superb gift wrapping service – it’s worth waiting a few minutes to have it done!)

Dunkeld Fruit & Flowers

While their fruit and veg offering is superb, it’s the flowers that keep us coming back week after week. Not only are they very well-priced, incredibly fresh and last far longer than most other flower suppliers we’ve tried, but they also offer on-site flower arranging on a “please tip” basis. Hands down the best place to get a ready-made bouquet or custom arrangement. We’re big fans of Dunkeld Fruit & Flowers.

Hayley Joy

Offering exquisite designer clothing for plus-size women, this Dunkeld store and online shop has changed the way curvier women shop. Not only are the prices incredibly competitive, but the styles are flattering and designed to celebrate your shape. (Hint: The online shop is great from a convenience perspective, but the store itself is so worth the visit and has a wider variety.)

Fisherman's Deli
You may have driven past it, but have you ever been inside this upmarket delicatessen (that has been there since 1981!) The winner of numerous “Best of Joburg” awards and featuring a variety of fresh and frozen fish and seafood, as well as freshly-prepared sushi, the store also offers regular specials that make Fisherman's Deli well worth a visit.

Play

Color Cafe

This Color Cafe is ALWAYS a hit with kids and offers both ceramic painting and mosaicing. The coffee is good, the service is personal and attentive (without being stifling), and moms and dads can get involved (if they can resist the urge to take over and make everything “perfect". (Hint: groups of friends can also get together and make a kitchen tea, farewell, baby shower, birthday gift or teacher's gift.)

Sport

The Sweat Shop

If you’re looking for advice on running shoes, this is the spot to visit. The staff is incredibly insightful, knowledgeable and practical without being pushy or trying to up-sell at every opportunity. The range is varied and includes running gear and accessories.

Dunkeld Cycles

Whether shopping for something new, looking for advice or need assistance with bike repairs or servicing, Dunkeld Cycles has people traveling from all over Joburg as a result of their excellent reputation and track record.

Shop For The Birds

Who knew that BirdLife South Africa had a shop? This is the perfect spot to pick up bird feeders, ceramic nest cups, seed and suet blocks, birding books, field guides, branded t-shirts, caps, cards, keyrings, posters, car magnets and stickers, gift vouchers and more!

Pamper

Sorbet Dry Bar

It’s quite baffling that many people have yet to hear of this clever concept – a hair salon that only offers blow-dries (and a limited variety of treatments) - no cuts or colour treatments. Simply book your hour slot and have a relaxing blow dry for around R180 and you’re good to go! You’ll find the Sorbet Dry Bar Dunkeld branch next to Motherland.

Victoria Yards

Called the "new Maboneng," Victoria Yards in Lorentzville/Bez Valley launched in 2018. This 30 000m² of industrial space is home to many established and up-and-coming artists. One of the most prominent tenants is photographer Roger Ballen. There will also be an art gallery, as well as a craft brewery.

What Makes This Place Different?

Victoria Yards is an inner-city landscape completely different to anything Joburg currently offers. An eco-system where tenants thrive as a community, Victoria Yards presents a uniquely integrated urban complex. It is as much about social development as it is about commercial enterprise. This development is spearheaded by Brian Green, part-owner of Group 44 (the developers behind 44 Stanley in Milpark and 107 Bree Street in Cape Town). To Brian, this is a "dream project." The idea is to involve the local community in the project by way of vegetable gardens, skills upliftment programmes and job creation.

Where Is It?

Victoria Yards is across the road from the Nando's global office, a couple of blocks away from Ellis Park Stadium and a stone's throw from Joburg's very own China Town, in Cyrildene.

Physical Address: 24 Victoria Road, Lorentzville, Johannesburg.

For more information, click here.

 

By Shawn Greyling

Shopping

Nelson Mandela Square

A tourist attraction and home to the most exclusive stores and restaurants in the city, Nelson Mandela Square has everything you need for the perfect shopping experience. Start off by taking a stroll through their collection of shops, which includes Corthay Paris, Fabiani, Factorie and Forever 21, to pick up a few in vogue pieces to add to your wardrobe. Then end off your shopping spree with an afternoon dining on the square at Hard Rock Café, Tasha’s or Trumps.

Sandton City

A visit to Sandton is not complete without experiencing the shopping haven of Sandton City. Just a stone’s throw from Nelson Mandela Square, Sandton City has just about everything you could ever need – and want – all under one roof. Spend the day finding the latest fashion trends at Zara and H&M, purchasing the best makeup on the market from Edgars and Urban Decay, lunching at JB’s Corner or Walnut Grove, and spotting a few local celebs.

Hyde Park Corner

From sophisticated international fashion brands to fantastic dining options and speciality stores, Hyde Park Corner boasts a reputation for being the centre of luxury. Shoppers can expect a retail experience like no other, complete with over 500 of the globe’s foremost international brands and 130 iconic stores. You can also catch the latest blockbusters at their Nu-Metro cinema or delve into your favourite author’s latest novel while grabbing a cappuccino at the Social Kitchen in Exclusive Books.

Eat

If you're into fancy feasts and fine dining, then Sandton is the place for you. As the richest square mile in Africa, there's good food to be found around every corner.

Pappas On The Square

Everybody loves a classic. Sinatra singing Fly Me To The Moon, Sean Connery as James Bond in an Aston Martin from the 60s. You might not find any Sinatra or Connery or DB5s at Pappas On The Square in Sandton, but you will find that elusive quality found in the mainstay of what makes a classic. Their authentic Greek food is amazing. We suggest the lamb shank – the meat just falls off the bone.

The Bull Run

A butcher and restaurant combo, The Bull Run is conveniently located opposite the JSE (Johannesburg Stock Exchange) and a stone's throw from the Sandton CBD. It has fast built up a reputation as the business lunch or dinner restaurant of choice and serves perfectly matured South African beef.

Tashas

Nelson Mandela Square, Hyde Park, Melrose – there’s no problem finding a tashas in Sandton. This is just the restaurant if you want to tuck into something simple, fresh and comforting. Stop by for breakfast to start off your day on a good note, pick up a sarmie for lunch, or get together with the girls for some coffee and scrumptious desserts.

Café Del Sol Botanico

You don’t need to be outdoors to reconnect with nature. Complete with shades of green, aubergine, grey and white, Café del Sol Botanico brings nature indoors, making it a unique spot to grab an early lunch, a few cocktails or a fantastic meal. Their menu has a selection of colourful salads, comforting pasta, Italian classics, including risotto and gnocchi, and cheesy pizzas.

Sleeping Out In Sandton

Book yourself into one of the many luxurious hotels and suites in Sandton. The beds are soft, the views beautiful and the service stellar. Here are some of our favourite places to crash in Sandton.

Michelangelo Hotel

Known as one of the most popular hotels in Africa, the Michelangelo Hotel offers 242 suites and rooms, along with world-class facilities including conferencing space, in a magnificent setting. You can also look forward to easy access to some of Africa's finest shops, restaurants, cinemas and the theatre at Nelson Mandela Square.

DAVINCI Hotel

Guests can expect to receive world-class service at the DAVINCI Hotel and Suites at Nelson Mandela Square. The hotel features an immaculate infinity pool with cushioned loungers, and a full-service spa and a gym. The hotel's rooms have contemporary white and black décor, a wall-mounted flat-screen TV, and tea and coffee making facilities are provided in the room together with a mini bar. The DaVinci hotel also has an exclusive whisky, wine and cigar lounge.

The Maslow

If you're looking for luxurious accommodation with free WiFi and a swimming pool at a good price, then look no further than The Maslow. The hotel features contemporary decor, carpeted floors and is furnished with warm colours. Each room has a panoramic view of the city as an added bonus.

Entertainment

From the stage to the dance floor and everything in between, Sandton is not just a pretty sight to see but a great place to find entertainment. Here are some of the coolest places to check out when you're in town again.

A&G Theatre On The Square

Who would have thought that Sandton would be the place to go if you enjoy the stage? The Theatre on the Square is located on the northeastern corner of Nelson Mandela Square. There are a few low-price previews prior to the official opening of each new show, so keep your eyes glued to their official site to see what's cracking at the Theatre On The Square.

Taboo Night Club

Porches, Jaguars and Hummers line the pavement outside the Taboo Night Club. Beautiful people can be found inside having the time of their lives, donning designer outfits and sipping martinis. The atmosphere is altogether fun, and the décor is second to none, with red and black wallpaper, red lighting and white leather couches all over the place. It's the kind of place celebrities and politicians go to blow off some steam.

Maxim Lounge

Looking for the perfect whisky bar? Then head to the newly launched Maxim Lounge in Sandton. Maxim has collaborated with Scotch whisky stalwarts, Johnnie Walker, so the barmen's uniforms are branded with the iconic striding main motif on the cuffs and chest. Needless to say that the Maxim Lounge serves some of the most exclusive and rare whiskies in the world.

Go Outside

James and Ethel Gray Park

With some of the best sunrises and lovely views of the city, James and Ethel Gray Park is a small park ideal for early morning running sessions, walks with your beloved four-legged companions, or a relaxed stroll.

Sandton Central Park

Right in the heart of the hustle and bustle of Sandton’s financial district is the small yet beautiful Sandton Central Park. Not only does it give business people a place to relax during their lunch hour, but it’s also a lovely spot for dog walking, playing a few rounds of soccer or having a picnic with the family over the weekend.

Check out this cool drone footage shot by our homies P3 Drones:

By Shawn Greyling and Kim Brown

Have we left out any of your favourite spots in Sandton? Then let us know all about it in the comments section below. Also, sharing is caring, so show some love by posting this on social media for us. 

What Was It?

We, Joburg.co.za, hosted our very first Insta-Walk and where we invited you to join us. Since we love exploring our city so much and sharing our finds with you, we thought we should bring you along to explore this beautiful city with us. And there was no better time, with the changing of the seasons, to launch our first Insta-Walk, as there were so many stunning autumn colours waiting to be caught on camera. We requested that you bring your cameras from DSLRs to Instax and Film. All shutterbug favorites were welcome and wanted!

We had so much fun taking images, sharing them on Instagram with the hashtags #ExploreJoburg #ExploreJoburgAutumn #ExploreEmmarentia and your image will be featured on our Instagram page. We also asked you to Share and tag us in your images on Instagram with the tags #ExploreJoburg and #ExploreJoburgAutumn.

This walk was the first of many, so tell your friends and your friends' friends – the more, the merrier. Everyone is welcome, from kids to grandpas and grandmas. 

When Was It?

Saturday, 6 May 2017 at 16:30.

Where Was It?

Emmarentia Dam, Emmarentia, Johannesburg, at the Shakespeare Rose Garden.

How Much Is It?

Free!

For More Information

For more information on this Insta-Walk, call 087 470 0592, or email [email protected] or [email protected].

Save the date and join us for this creative autumn walk. Be sure to follow us on Instagram!

Maboneng City Cyclists

If you love the inner-city or you've yet to explore it, join the Maboneng City Cyclists. You get to be part of casual fun rides with other cyclists and discover hidden gems at your own pace. It's not a cycling competition but a chilled social group. Get to know more about them.

Instabikerides

Meet and mingle with new people by joining Instabikerides. Every month you get the opportunity to explore cityscapes and capture photos of stunning scenery in our urban jungle, for free. Besides, who doesn't want an Instagrammable photo taken of them next to their bike? Don't miss out, join the cool kids and be part of something interesting.

The Whippet Cycling Co

The Whippet Cycling Co is a bicycle store situated in the Maboneng Precinct. They specialise in custom-built, steel-frame bicycles, as well as a wide selection of second-hand and vintage bicycle components. They are involved in several social and biking events throughout the year, so keep up to date with them on their social media pages.

Bicycle Stokvel

Want to join a cycling group incorporating music, art, food, and of course cycling? Then you're in luck because Bicycle Stokvel does just that, as well as functioning as a creative hub to share knowledge about the different crafts mentioned above. So not only are you meeting, mingling and exploring the city with awesome folks, you're also learning from and with them. Win-win!

Curiocity Hostels

Curiosity may have killed the cat but you know what they say, satisfaction bought it back! Check into this hostel and be part of their organised bike rides, among other activities. The biggest upside to this is you get to explore the city with not just new people but visitors from overseas too. Talk about exposure right? Get involved with Curiocity Hostels. 

By Cleopatra Shava

Know other bike experiences in the city not mentioned above? Let us know below!

Dining Out

Café Del Sol Botanico

Café Del Sol Botanico is quite a mouthful, in name and taste. The indoor plants and nature-themed décor gives it the feel of a greenhouse. From seafood starters to pasta mains woven with a quaint Italian theme, the flavours just explode in your mouth. They pride themselves on their sauces and so they should! It’s hard to believe that this rolling pin lined kitchen doesn’t open to the streets of Florence. I lost count of the number of pages in the wine menu simply because of the large selection. (I promise that’s the reason!) South African, Italian, international, by the bottle, by the glass, sparkling, red or white – no matter your preference, Café Del Sol can cater to your needs.

Melt Chocolaterie

Then for the sweet tooth, there is Melt Chocolaterie in Nicolway. Confectionaries laid out behind glass displays to tempt you. The mere thought of this dessert parlour has somehow made my jeans a little tight around the waist! It has the feeling of a little French café and it doesn’t only specialise in desserts. They have beautiful gourmet open sandwiches which leave you with just enough space for a sweet treat. Open until 5pm, you can stop by after a hard day at the office to treat yourself.

Social on Main

Social on Main is satisfying as both bar and restaurant. It has the perfect atmosphere to enjoy incredible cocktails, local craft beers and South African wine. They’ve added a quirky taste wheel to the cocktail menu which helps guide you in the right direction if you’re unsure of what your drink vibes are. Their long bench seating is perfect for functions and parties. Social on Main offers street style food which is bite-sized and the perfect accompaniment for a beverage.

dining out

Entertainment

Jozi X

This park offers everything an adrenaline junkie is looking for. They offer adrenaline pumping activities for everyone between the ages of 4 and 75. These activities include nerf wars, target shooting, parkour, zorbing, mini ninjas, bubble soccer, off road karting, mountain boarding, obstacle courses, action world, bag jumping and slip and slides. They also offer birthday parties, team building and school outings.

Bryanston Organic Market 

Bryanston Organic Market is great for foodies and the outdoor shopping experience. Stalls offer the freshest and purest produce for you to take home and whip up a storm with. Especially in these summer months who could say no to a fresh strawberry daiquiri whilst getting all the health benefits of organic fruit with no colourants, flavourings or preservatives? That’s my kind of diet!

More than fresh produce, the Organic market is comprised of stalls suitable for anything you could possibly want. Delis and bakeries stock homemade sourdough bread, pastries and cakes for something a little more indulgent. They have coffees to get your week off to a kicking start and Italian cheeses for the refined palette. Perfect for those with not enough time to cook dinner daily – there is even a stall that offers home-cooked pre-prepared meals with a vegetarian option.

retail

Overnight Stay

Little Tuscany Boutique Hotel

This beautiful hotel on Queens Road offers five different types of rooms, from a standard room to an executive suite, depending on your budget and how luxurious you want your stay to be. The rooms are decorated in subtle shades of beige with pops of burgundy that just give off the feel of elegance. Suites here have beautiful views of the surrounding greenery, making sure a stay here is sure to leave you feeling relaxed and refreshed.

City Lodge Hotel

This hotel was built on a lush nursery and offers many amenities such as a fitness room, meeting room, bar, laundry and swimming pool. They offer 122 rooms that have air-con, desks with lighting, in-suite bathrooms, tea and coffee making facilities, electronic safe and TV with DSTV and M-NET. They also have rooms available that have been designed for the needs of the physically disabled.

hotel

Have you been to Bryanston recently? Let us know if we've left out your favourite spots. Do us a solid and share this article on social media - that way we can keep bringing you cool stuff. 

 Soweto shows off an authentic history which tells the story of the Apartheid era. 

Vilakazi Street Instagram

Where To Eat

Knowing where to eat in Soweto shouldn’t be a challenge at all. Here, you will find traditional meals that display true township culture. From the famous shisa nyama, buffets, soul food, kota’s to even sidewalk street vendors selling everything from tripe, to the famous "inyama yenhlokho" (pig and cow heads… it’s not as bad as it sounds), you'll basically get a gourmet meal around every corner to tantalise your tastebuds. And do not forget the traditional beer, "umqombothi" too. Don't forget the traditional beer, "umqombothi." Here is our Culinary Guide To Soweto's Best Restaurants for all you newcomers.

What To Do

Culture & History

Soweto has developed an authentic urban lifestyle. That's why it is a must visit for tourists who are looking for more than just nature, sea and the big five. Vilakazi Street in Orlando is one of the most famous streets in the area, with a history that still displays a large part of Soweto’s culture. Here, you will find the house that Nelson Mandela and his family lived in from 1946 to the 1990s. This house is now a museum, attracting thousands of tourists each month, both local and international.

The Hector Pieterson Museum is also found on this street. This heritage venue shows off the memorial site of the 1976 Soweto Uprising.

The Walter Sisulu Square, based in the heart of Kliptown is also a must visit. This is mzansi’s first township entertainment explosion centre, consisting of outlets suitable for local traders and hosting all sorts of events that attract both the locals and tourists.

And for sporting fanatics, what would a visit to Soweto be without experiencing the vibe and atmosphere of the famous Soweto Derby? This is usually the biggest soccer derby in the country with two rival teams, Kaizer Chiefs and Orlando Pirates, going head-to-head. Here, you get to experience and be part of a true and authentic sporting vibe – don’t forget your earplugs and a Vuvuzela.

Kaizer-Chiefs-vs-Orlando-Pirates

Night Life, Festivals & Shopping

There is always a place to party in Soweto. Whether you are looking for a simple laid back environment in the ghetto, a club or bar, a social night market, a township shebeen, or even literally hanging at the Orlando Towers; there’s a place to suit your mood and lifestyle.

You can also check out the recently introduced Soweto Street Culture Festival on Vilakazi Street, the annual Soweto Wine Festival, The Locrate Market, the famous Fashion Week or even the Soweto Market – there’s something to keep the whole family entertained.

For a more familiar shopping/mall experience, visit Maponya Mall in Pimville. You will find everything here, from popular shops, restaurants, gyms and churches. So, whether you prefer going on a shopping spree, or having a chilled, laid-back day at one of the bars or even working out – Soweto is the place to be.

Orlando Towers

Getting Around

Getting around Soweto has never been easier. With every location being a few kilometres from each other, one can easily catch a local mini-van taxi (who will not charge you more than R10). They will take you to the Bara Taxi Rank where you can get transport to any location of your choice. If taxis aren’t your choice of travel, there is always the Rea Vaya bus service. This bus links Johannesburg CBD and Braamfontein with Soweto, making it a convenient way not only to travel within Soweto, but outside of the township too.

Being such an iconic township and a city on its own, Soweto is a major point of interest independently. If you haven't yet made your way down there and soaked up the culture, vibe, traditions and history... best you do so soon. You don't know what you're missing!

Have you been here? Share with your thoughts and views with us below. 

We Know How to Hustle.

Just because you don’t have a job doesn’t mean your bank balance becomes stagnant. From wheeling and dealing photocopiers and water coolers on the side to writing articles as a freelancer, Joburgers know how to make money – that’s what the city’s built on, right?

We Eat Deadlines for Brunch.

Because Johannesburg ticks to its own clock we tend to work a lot faster. You need that report by 11? We’ll have it done by nine. We’ve been taught from a very young age that if you stand still for long enough someone else will take your place in line.

We Think Everyone Outside of Joburg Drive Too Slow.

Have you ever been on holiday in the Eastern Cape and every single person on the road has never made use of their car’s third gear? Yup. That’s us, right. Just because the speed limit is 40 doesn’t mean we have to stick to it, right? Life is happening and ya’ll need to move, move, move.

We Think Everyone Inside of Joburg Drive too Fast.

Joburg is filled with a bunch of maniacs on the road. Just because the speed limit is 80 doesn’t mean you have to drive 220. But it’s okay if we do it because we really need to get to the pub...

We Know How to Drink – But is That a Good Thing?

Phuza Thursday was born in Joburg. That much is a fact. The working class in this town only need half an excuse to go out and drink. Oh it’s karaoke night? Let’s go have a drink! Oh, You’ve had a bad day at the office! Let’s go have a drink. As fun as it may seem to sing Celine Dion at the top of your lungs whilst under the influence every Thursday for the past eight years kind of boils down to, you having a problem... besides, they call us JOLburgers for a reason.

By Shawn Greyling

What makes you a Joburger? Let us know in the comments section below. Found this useful? Then show a buddy on social media and help us make Joburg proud. 

Mark Valentine of Amatuli Artefacts has it tough. When I asked him what his business focus was he answered simply, “I’m a collector, and I’ve turned my hobby into my business.” He started some 20 years ago and has developed his passion from acquiring African artworks to collecting from all over the world. This means that he travels extensively, and he will shortly be leaving for a trip into outer Mongolia. He keeps extending his boundaries in search of the original and the unusual, and avoids Trade Fairs because “then you end up with the same things as everyone else!”

He has recently moved his business premises from Bramley to Kramerville, where he has two large showrooms fronting a spacious warehouse. I picked my way between and over a vast collection of different items that included carved giraffes, crocodiles and fish, wall hangings, grass baskets, unique and attractive benches, arrows, spears and knobkerries, carved figures and masks, horns and wooden antelope heads, large mirrors, wooden flasks and casks, jewellery, beadwork, pictures and a whole lot more. One of my favourites was the dugout canoes which fascinated me. I wondered what my family would say if they found one in the pool, filled with lush green plants shading some drinks and snacks!

Mark says that their business is split almost half and half between local and international outlets, with a small percentage of individual buyers. They send out between 200 and 300 items every day and their business has continued to flourish recently despite the general economic downturn.

amatuli artefacts

What appealed to me so much was that I was not looking at curios that were mass produced in a factory somewhere for the tourist trade. Many of the items that I studied seemed to bear the imprint of the person who made them. They told a story of culture, beliefs, craftsmanship or rugged usefulness. There was something of life about many of them, a life that involved individuals with their hopes and fears, pains and joys. Spears were for hunting or defence, not for show, and on some the rough shafts bore the stains of use. Arrows looked as if they had known flight and impact. Small figures had a symbolic meaning. Heavy, carved round stones were for protecting the grain bins, and small pipes were for smoking. Behind each was a person, many knowing poverty and hardship, who were making their own way along the journey of life. I would never meet them, but a part of their life had impacted mine and needed to be respected.

If you are interested in history, people, Africa and unusual crafts and items you will take pleasure in wandering round. And if you are fortunate enough to find Mark there you will enjoy talking to him and hearing some of his stories. For those looking for something different to put in their homes or offices, something that has a story behind it, you might well find it here.

Keep your eyes on Kramerville. Mark tells me that a local version of 44 Stanley Road is being planned!

Some things only empty the wallet – others extend the mind and spirit.