Nicknamed the ‘The City of Gold’ and also referred to as ‘Jozi’ by locals, Johannesburg s a place where people know how to work hard… and play equally as hard! What’s more, its cultural fusion and rich history means that it is full of amazing food, friendly locals and some great nightlife.
There’s so much to explore in Jozi – but here are some top local walking tour picks:
Maboneng Precinct Tour
Main Street Walks runs this fantastic walking tour, which explores the hot, urban neighbourhood of Maboneng. Maboneng, which means ‘Place of Light’, is an artistic and cultural hub on the east side of the Johannesburg CBD.
Filled to the brim with young creatives, visitors can expect to see lots of independent retail stores, restaurants and entertainment venues – as well as loft apartments, offices, film and sound studios, a hotel, hostel, museum and creative factory spaces too.
Mr Bheki Dube, playfully named the ‘Minister of Tourism for Maboneng’, will be your guide, and tours depart at 3pm from Curiocity Backpackers, and runs Tuesdays to Sundays, though private tours can also be arranged.
For all bookings and additional information, please contact Main Street Walks on (011) 614 0163.
The taste of Yeoville
Yeoville is the center of Pan-African culture in Joburg. In this vibrant, little suburb of Johannesburg, Congolese, Ghanian, Mozambican, Ivorian, and Cameroonian immigrants co-exist.
And this mish-mash of culture has resulted in quite an interesting food scene, which offers deletable Central African cuisine… Dlala Nje has found the perfect way to offer this experience to all!
The taste of Yeoville is a three–hour tour (with food and drinks included), which allows guests to take an evening stroll through the heart of Yeoville, Rockey Street, where one can soak up Victorian architecture, rich political heritage and local street life.
Meals are broken up by exploring the vibrant African market exploration, and the night ends at Cameroonian eatery, which boasts some of the best carapau (that is, grilled Portuguese Mackerel) and chips in town.
The tour includes food (vegetarian-friendly, as needed) and a drink, and will take up three hours of your time, with some 3km walked, so be sure to wear comfortable walking shoes.
For more information on prices and available tour dates/times, please email email@example.com.
Naming Jozi Tour
Dig deeper into the history of Johannesburg with this inner-city walking tour run by Past Experiences. On the tour – led by tour guide, Jo Buitendach – you will learn about the names allotted to the streets, buildings and places found here.
As you journey through the city, investigating new and old elements alike, reflect on the mark that a rich and diverse history has left on the city streets.
For more information and tour dates and times, please contact Past Experiences on (083) 701 3046.
Joburg Places – a brilliant initiative courtesy of Gerald Garner (author of Spaces & Places – Johannesburg) – offers visitors the chance to explore Johannesburg, with experienced guides provided to enhance your experience.
Having already taken some 17 000 people on walking tours (and other tour types too!) in the inner city, there’s no question that these tours are a huge hit with both travellers and locals.
Expect to take in the mesmerising inner city, as you enjoy any of Joburg Places’ excellent tours. The monthly Pubs, Bars & Rooftops bus tour is probably the most popular and famous of all the Joburg Places tour, but fortunately, they also offer many great walking tours too, so you won’t miss out whatever you decide to do!
Charlie Moyo leads the daily public walking tours, which may include Marshalltown, City Centre, Maboneng, Fashion District & Little Addis Walking Tours and Constitution Hill Walking Tour options. What’s more, Gerald himself is available for private tour bookings.
For more information on tour availability, dates and pricing, please contact Joburg Places on (082) 894 5216 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joburg Heritage Foundation Tours
No other organisation offers quite as many tours as Johannesburg Heritage Foundation does. Through them, you can enjoy everything from house tours to walking tours and so much more!
This year, for the second quarter, their programme includes the following walking tours/hikes: Three New Blue Plaques for Troyeville’ (26 May), Hidden Parktown (9 June) and even a Heritage Hike – Forgotten Temples, Monuments and Bridges of Klipfontein and Syferfontein (23 June).
All tour guides have incredible access to the city’s most fascinating sites, and are sure to provide all the insight, excitement and learning you may require!
Tour prices, dates and times vary and while tours are generally open to anyone, members receive substantial discounts and are able to attend select, otherwise private tours.
For more information on dates, tours and pricing, please email email@example.com – or book through Computicket.
Sophiatown The Mix
With Sophiatown The Mix (formerly known as Sophiatown Heritage and Culture Centre), visitors can both experience the magic and vibrancy of Sophiatown’s historically key, former heyday, while simultaneously enjoying a taste of Sophiatown as it is today.
Led by expert guides, this amazing interactive experience will combine a visit to the 1930s home of Dr Xuma, along with a fascinating walking tour, taking one through this historic, multicultural suburb.
Visit local points of interest; dance to the beat of Sof’town; or listen to stories from the past, told by one of the resident’s (as you tuck into tea and vetkoek)… There’s so much to enjoy and even more to learn on this wonderful walking tour!
The tour runs Monday – Saturday, between 9am and 4.30pm. (Other times can be arranged privately beforehand.) Guests can head to 71 Toby Street, Sophiatown, corner of Edward Road, off Main Road/Ontdekkers to join up with the guide(s).
For more information on the tour, pricing and availability, please contact (083) 550 7130 (bookings) or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
City Skate Tours
With City Skate Tours – the brainchild of Joburg-born Ayanda Mnyandu and Daniel Monegiake – keen skaters can now take to the streets… and tear them up!
The tour begins outside Curiocity African Design Hostel, Maboneng with a short beginner’s course on how to skateboard. From there, you will be shuttled to Harrison Street, where you can practice your newfound skating skills to your heart’s content.
Enjoy travelling down flat, quiet streets, past Beyers Naude Squre, the Library Gardens (a popular skaters’ hangout in the city), with other stops at Rand Club or Johannesburg Central Magistrate Court.
Another highlight is the halfway stop, Main Street Mining District, where you can get the chance to skateboard on the rooftop, while enjoying stunning city views from up high.
Mnyandu, your self-taught guide, is also conveniently a notable history buff, so the tour is filled with fascinating history and stories from early Joburg.
The tour begins at Curiocity African Design Hostel and ends at Henry Nxumalo Street, Newtown, where a shuttle bus will take you back to Maboneng. The tour runs for some three hours, with skateboards provided, and is strictly permitted for over 18s only. (It’s advisable to bring a backpack and a handy bottle of water.) Tours run on Saturday and Sunday, starting at 10am and 14pm respectively.
For additional information, pricing and availability, please contact Mnyandu on (079) 839 8833, email email@example.com or book at Curiocity African Design Hostels.
Photo credit: www.inyourpocket.com
Roving Bantu Kitchen & Treks
Divided into two parts: the kitchen and the tours, Sifiso Ntuli’s Roving Bantu Kitchen & Treks offers something for every kind of traveller and foodie to enjoy.
The kitchen side of things serves up a limited menu of wholesome afro-soul eats, and is great for all kinds of special occasions (they can host up to 30-40 people).
While the unique tours offer a different type taster: serving up Joburg stories, anecdotes and off-the-beaten-track experiences to boot!
These tours (with a difference) cover Johannesburg and surrounds, with the recommended tour time set at four hours. (Transport is only provided for the tour itself, so transport to and from the tour’s place of departure falls on the attendee.)
Please be advised that prices vary depending on the amount of people booking and package selected.
For additional tour information, dates and times and pricing, please contact The Roving Bantu via their website.