SHOP AND DINE WITH A DIFFERENCE
Next, head to 27 Boxes at Melville for a unique shopping and dining experience. Built out of re-purposed shipping containers, 27 Boxes is not any ordinary mall. Developed to be an eco-friendly space, it is the proud home of Johannesburg’s small and artisanal businesses. Step into the space and inhale the heady aromas of freshly baked breads and brewed coffee. Indulge your inner carnivore with mouth-watering burgers, satiate your sweet tooth with homemade ice cream, and wash it all down with some of the best craft beers you can find. Pick up a t-shirt or two, some old-school vinyl records, and unique art pieces as mementos. Then, rest your weary feet and relax at the beautifully landscaped park before you leave for your next destination.
Interior of restaurant constructed out of used shipping containers
27 Boxes at Melville
Left: Interior of restaurant constructed out of used shipping containers Right:
Excavation site at the Sterkfontein Caves
TRAVEL BACK IN TIME
Ever wondered about the evolution of Man? A visit to the Cradle of Humankind may offer some answers. This UNESCO World Heritage site, made up of 15 excavation sites, is home to 40 percent of the world’s human fossils. Begin your exploration at Maropeng Visitor Centre for a glimpse into life that existed millions of years before us. Then, explore the world-famous Sterkfontein Caves for a closer look at fossils from that era. Take a walk on the wild side and observe South African fauna at nature reserves including the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve and Bushbabies Monkey Sanctuary. From horseback riding to hot air ballooning there are many more activities to choose from at Maropeng. Plan ahead for the best experience.
‘Journeys’ multicultural exhibit at The Apartheid Museum
Nelson Mandela Square
Left: ‘Journeys’ multicultural exhibit at The Apartheid Museum Right: Nelson Mandela Square
VISIT THE APARTHEID MUSEUM
A visit to Johannesburg is not complete without a pit stop at the Apartheid Museum. The first of its kind in the world, it is as much a reminder of the blight in South African history, as it is a celebration of its triumph. Be prepared for a deeply emotional experience as you explore 22 exhibits presenting authentic and chilling insights into the era of segregation. Hugely popular is the Mandela Exhibition, a chronicle of how South Africa’s greatest son lead the country through hardship and into a new era of democracy. Mandela’s spirit and resilience continues to be celebrated in the form of a larger-than-life bronze statue at the nearby Nelson Mandela Square. Take a stroll to the square for a superb selection of shopping and dining options.
African jazz band performing in Braamfontein
SOAK IN THE NIGHTLIFE AT BRAAMFONTEIN DISTRICT
End your evening at this vibrant cultural hub, once a rundown business district that was revamped into a Soho-style neighbourhood. Locally known as ‘Braamies’, this hipster capital is chock-a-block with young creative types who come here to enjoy the great museums, cool street art and exciting nightlife. It is also a well-known platform for many budding South African talents to show off their artistic chops. Best explored on foot, start your evening at The Orbit to take in a live jazz performance. This is also the place to be for poetry and comedy nights. Pick up the pace at The Bassline and enjoy some Reggae and Indie music. Dance the night away to some catchy Afro-beats at Kitchener’s Carvery Bar, a century-old bar that boasts original fittings and has reputation for keeping its dance floor exciting and electric.
Pilanesburg National Park
Left: Pilanesburg National Park Right: Pretoria
DAY 2 ONWARDS
CREATE MORE HAPPY MEMORIES
Make more memories in Johannesburg and visit the world renowned Pilanesberg National Park. Catch sight of the country’s famous Big 5 – lions, leopards, buffaloes, elephants, and rhinos. Experience the unique flora and fauna of the park located in a volcano crater, and look out for signs of civilisation that existed for over 1300 million years. Or, take a walk through the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Gardens and feel at one with nature. This 300-hectare garden is home to over 600 plant species, 220 bird species, and many more small reptiles and mammals. Another must-visit is Pretoria, the administrative capital of South Africa. From horseback riding to museum visits, there is plenty to do there, and remember to check out the Hatfield Market for some handcrafted mementos to take home with you.