Discovering the streets of Johannesburg
I had been looking forward to visiting the city of Johannesburg and its surroundings for a long time. Although it is a slightly less conventional trip, it's one full of history and culture that I would advise everyone to take. Make sure you have a lot of energy when you go because there are a thousand things to visit.
Explore Johannesburg, South Africa in 3 days
On the first day we went to Soweto, one of the most famous urban areas in Johannesburg. It is a middle-class neighbourhood where the majority of the population live. This neighborhood is well known because it is where Nelson Mandela lived.
Nelson Mandela's home
We went to visit Nelson Mandela's house. The house isn't too big and it's situated in the neighborhood of Soweto. The house has an interesting history inside which you can understand more about Nelson Mandela and his experience during the apartheid.
After visiting Nelson Mandela's house, we tasted some typical food. A local type of bread stuffed with various things like chicken, egg and sausage. We then went to the market in the center of Soweto to get a better idea of the various cultures within South Africa after which, we visited one of the most cosmopolitan parts of the city.
Kwa Mai Mai Market
Day 2 started by going to visit the traditional market called Kwa Mai Mai market. This is a marketplace where they sell articles related to the different cultures in South Africa (especially Zulu, one of the most important tribes in the country). Amongst the different items you'll find traditional medicines, clothing and more. This is one of the most famous markets in the city where you can find these types of things.
Typical Food (Barbecue)
From there we went next door to eat in an outdoor patio with beach bars. There they make a kind of barbecue meat and serve it with a grain similar to couscous.
Afterward, we took the car and headed towards Diepsloot. This is one of the neighborhoods on the outskirts of the city where communities with fewer resources live. This neighborhood is divided into different numbered sections and many people from other countries go to live there looking for a better life.
Road trip to Dinokeng Game Reserve
On the last day we took a 2-hour drive to the Dinokeng Game Reserve for a short safari.
Dinokeng Game Reserve
In this reserve you can find elephants, lions, rhinos, buffalos, and leopards. It was about a 2 1/2 hour safari and we only got to see antelopes and reptiles so we were a little disappointed. Despite this, it was still an exciting and enriching experience overall filled with natural beauty.
Pretoria, the capital of South Africa
On our way back to the city, we went through Pretoria which is the capital of South Africa. We passed by Union Square which is the building where the president works.
Before you travel
- I recommend wearing comfortable shoes that allow you to walk long distances as you can go to a thousand places.
- It is advisable to be vaccinated against the following diseases: Typhus, Hepatitis A and B, Yellow Fever, Rabies, and Influenza.
- I recommend hiring a guide to take you to different places and tell you historical facts and funny anecdotes. It is also important because they know the less safe areas of the city.