Known as the City of Gold, Johannesburg offers a sparkling blend of lush green spaces, fascinating history and excellent shopping and dining. The surrounding World Heritage Site, ‘Cradle of Humankind’, is thought to be the home of humanity, where many of the world’s oldest human fossils were discovered.
Strengthened by the gold rush of the late 19th century, ‘Jo’burg’ has emerged from the struggles of apartheid as a vibrant metropolis bathed in almost year-round sunshine. Enter the gateway to South Africa on stopovers or longer holidays in Johannesburg and explore some of the deepest mines in the world. Go on an exhilarating safari adventure or indulge in some retail therapy at luxury malls and bustling open-air markets. Sit back with a glass of chilled South African wine and soak up the buzzing atmosphere in bohemian Melville. Then tuck into succulent meat cooked in traditional ‘braai’ style, or experience lavish dining at a 5 star restaurant.
Driving itineraries we recommend from Johannesburg
Explore the fantastic nature, history and more around Jo’burg
On longer Johannesburg holidays, the 6-7 hour Panorama Route from the city is well worth the drive. On the Drakensberg escarpment in Mpumalanga, the aptly-named God’s Window is a vision of scenic splendour. See the awe-inspiring Blyde River Canyon and the dramatic trio of dolomite domes known as the Three Rondavels. Then journey a further 90 minutes to Kruger National Park, and look out for the ‘Big 5’ animals on an exhilarating safari adventure in this spectacular game reserve.
Hire a car in Johannesburg and drive the 2-3 hour journey to vibrant Sun City, known as the ‘Las Vegas’ of South Africa. Enjoy a relaxing round of golf or choose from a variety of other sports. Try your luck at the glittering casinos, take in a show or make a splash at one of the world’s greatest water parks, Valley of Waves. Spot the amazing beasts, birds and rare species to be found at the Madikwe or Pilanesberg nature reserves – both malaria-free. The drive from Sun City to Madikwe takes approximately 2 hours, with a 4-hour return journey to Johannesburg.