Our top sights, highlights and exclusive tips
Johannesburg has a population approaching 6 million and is Africa’s second largest city in a continent known as the “cradle of civilisation.” Learn of a storied past that has shaped the lives of so many city residents as you visit museums that reflect a country’s battle for democracy. In Soweto, a sprawling township born from hardship, embrace a resurgence in freedom showcased through creativity after visiting the home of Nelson Mandela. Indulge the senses in the Maboneng Precinct, a place where art adorns the walls and home to the second largest bookshop on the continent.
Hector Pieterson Museum
The word apartheid translates from Afrikaans to mean separateness, which is perhaps no better represented than in the Apartheid Museum. Prepare yourself for a moving, insightful experience as you learn of the segregation and oppression of African people during this challenging period of South Africa’s history. Be inspired by the fight to end segregation, and the endurance of those who fought for democracy.
Named in memory of a school child killed by police during the 1976 Soweto uprising, the Hector Pieterson Museum gives an insightful look at the origins of the uprisings and ensuing riots. The demonstrations and protests are well represented through testimonies and videos, as well as informative texts that detail the aftermath of the riots. Walking through the museum is a moving experience for anyone visiting this vibrant city.
Translating to mean “place of light”, the Maboneng Precinct has transformed to become a central hub for creativity and urban art. Dozens of public artworks can be found by coffee shops and restaurants that serve up African and international cuisine daily. A colourful neighbourhood with craft distilleries, artisanal bakeries, and art galleries, the Maboneng Precinct invites you to wander a part of a city that’s full of vitality, colour, and light.
Constitution Hill is a living museum that stories a nation’s journey towards democracy. Formally a prison, the building is now the constitutional court of South Africa. Four different sections make up a complex that reflects some of the most challenging moments of the 20th century. Nelson Mandela, Ghandi, and thousands more were imprisoned inside these walls prior to redevelopment. Take a tour and explore a 100-year history.
Despite its notorious past, Soweto is now a thriving township in Johannesburg. Take a tour of former president Nelson Mandela’s home, which offers a fascinating look into a national icon’s life before being elected. Check out Orlando Towers, a power plant that today is a thrill seekers playground with bungee jumping, pendulum jumping, and bridge walks on offer. A booming fashion industry means you can pick some authentic African design to end your stay in of the continents most fascinating cities.
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