Once in Joburg exploded onto the Jozi scene at the end of 2016, as the first *poshtel, identified under the umbrella company Once Travel, with sister hotel Once in Cape Town. A poshtel - AKA a posh hostel - combines the luxuries of a boutique hotel with the energy and excitement of a backpackers hostel! It's a unique concept and is definitely something you need to check out if you're looking to experience the best of Joburg. And with the launch of their brand-new “Once Business” concept, it's a new space where you can do it all - sleep, eat, work and explore.
This hybrid accommodation concept boasts both private double and twin standard rooms, and four-bed multi-share dorms, all with en suite bathrooms. All rooms offer basic luxuries such as hair conditioner, crisp white linen, flat screen TVs (privates only), safety deposit box and block out curtains. As for the multi-share rooms, they provide a more budget-friendly option for the solo traveller or a group of friends look for adventure. Costs start from R190 per person*.
Let's move onto the facilities! This includes a cinema room, small conference and meeting rooms, co-working space, communal entertainment area, large open kitchen, free Wi-Fi, free on-site parking, a restaurant and bar, laundry service, bike hire and 24-hour reception. Breakfast is included at the on-site restaurant and bar called The Immigrant.
Once in Joburg is centrally located in trendy downtown Braamfontein. The Braamfontein precinct is up and coming, offering inner-city goers endless options of co-working spaces, art galleries, museums, designer boutiques, vintage shopping, nightlife hot spots, farmer’s markets and so much more.
The dynamic team curates a variety of experiences to showcase the best of our bustling city. Join in on local adventures such as the Braam By Bike tour which is curated, owned and led by Zodwa, a local Sowetan. She will take you around the neighbourhood on a bicycle, uncovering street art, culture, history and cuisine. It's an absolute must! Try a traditional beer brewing experience (umqomboti) set in a family home in Soweto, or attend their monthly First Thursdays with live DJs and film screenings.
There's also daily free walking tours, graffiti walks, yoga classes and pub crawls leave from reception – locals are more than welcome to join in! Let's not forget to mention, an artist exchange is offered where a large blank canvas in every room is painted by an artist, both local and international, in exchange for accommodation. It brings people from different parts of the world together to share stories and experiences, as well as culture, music and art. How unique!
If you're a virtuoso, then make sure you hop on an overland truck with Once in Joburg and go on a musical journey to the coolest events around the country, such as AfrikaBurn (Africa’s version of Burning Man: Karoo - April), Bushfire Festival (Swaziland - May), Rocking The Daisies (Darling – September), OppiKoppi (Limpopo – October), and Afropunk which will be returning to Constitution Hill for NYE 2018 – a stones throw from Once in Joburg. Join the festivities: you’re never alone and never without a local.
For bookings or more information about Once In Joburg, call 087 057 2638 or visit www.once.travel.
Here at Joburg.co.za HQ, we’re determined to explore every single part of the city in order to unearth all those hidden gems it has to offer. Taking a tour is one of the very best ways we’ve found! But don’t wait until your out-of-town guests arrive – take the family for a Joburg experience-with-a-difference!
So, if you’re keen to join our #NoRegrets2018 movement and try brand new experiences this year, then keep reading for ideas! We’ll be writing more detailed reviews on each of these in the weeks to come!
Johannesburg City Tour
This is SUCH a fun day out for families, couples and those who tasked with entertaining overseas guests. City Sightseeing takes you on a one-day circular route past Joburg’s top 20 attractions including Constitution Hill, The Apartheid Museum and SAB World of Beer. TIP: Hop on at their ticket office at The Zone in Rosebank. You have probably figured out that with 20 attractions, one day won't cut it...guess you have a few weekend activities lined up now!
This is definitely one of our favourites and includes a number of daily tours at around R300 with JoburgPlaces. Choose between the City Centre Walking Tour, Marshalltown Walking Tour, Maboneng Walking Tour and Fashion District & Little Addis (Ethiopian Quarter) Walking Tour. You can also pre-book for one of their popular Pubs, Bars & Rooftops Bus Tours, which we can’t wait to try in 2018!
If you’re looking for something completely out of the ordinary, then you’ll be spoilt for choice with the variety of offerings from the Past Experiences group. The I Love Shopping Tour is a must for those looking for fabric, beautiful bags and traditional African couture, with other options including the Spicy Fordsburg Tour, Joburg Inner City Taster Tour, Jozi's Chinatown, Jozi Inner City Pub Crawl and Graffiti Walks!
Mainstreetwalks is best known for their Kwa Mai-Mai Traditional Healers Market (one of the oldest markets in Joburg and housing over 176 market stalls filled with traditional medicines, beaded artefacts, walking sticks and craft works), this company also offers an Inner City Urban Hiking Tour and Collectors Treasury Book Tour.
If walking is not your thing, why not cycle your way around a South African Township with Alexandra Tours instead? Your local guide will take you past various heritage sites (including Nelson Mandela’s house and a shebeen) while also providing opportunities to meet people, taste various foods, and experience a genuine “behind-the-scenes” glimpse of township life.
Written by Shelli NT
If you were looking for a truly interesting - and possibly strange place to visit - look no further than the Kwa-Khaya Lendaba or Credo Mutwa Cultural Village in Central Western Jabavu, Soweto. Created by renowned author, artist and traditional healer, Credo Mutwa, the cultural village offers an outdoor museum celebrating African art, culture, and folklore.
In order to understand the meaning of the site, you have to know about its maker. Vusamazulu Credo Mutwa is known as the “awakener of the Zulus” and was appointed to Mutwa during his initiation as a sangoma. Mutwa means ‘little bush man’, and Credo means ‘I believe’. He has become a figure of international prominence for his beliefs in extraterrestrials, claiming that he has been a victim of an alien abduction.
The cultural village itself seems a prolific manifestation of Mutwa’s beliefs and prophecies and the site is filled with sculptures and symbols relating to Mutwa’s teachings, in the endeavour of reawakening Africa's traditional beliefs and rituals. It is a unique and almost eerie place to visit.
The sign at the entrance reads: “Kwa-Khaya Lendaba, the home of the story. Enter in peace." This place is no mere museum or tourist attraction, it is a holy place where African cultures, religions, and indigenous sciences are recorded and preserved in picture form. All visitors are expected to respect the grounds, as they would any other place of religion. All liars, fools and skeptics must please keep out. A curse lasting seven years shall befall on all who destroy any part of this place.”
So enter at your own peril. We can promise you, it will be an experience to remember.
Where Is It?
991 Bochabela Street, Central Western Jabavu, Soweto.
Have you ever been to Kwa-Khaya Lendaba Cultural Village? Tell us about it in the comments section below!