Since as early as 1972, city sightseeing buses have offered the tourist an opportunity to see the main attractions of a large city within a day or two. These buses, now known around the world as hop-on hop-off city tours, operate in Johannesburg and this morning you will join the bus in Rosebank for a full day of touring.
As you travel around taking in the sights of Zoo Lake, Constitution Hill, Soweto, the Mining District and the Apartheid Museum, to name a few, you will also learn about this interesting city. The city is known locally by a number of names, Jozi, Joburg or the City of Gold.
Johannesburg has a high elevation and sits at 1,753 metres and is within the area known as the highveld, which sits between 1,500 to 2,100 meters and is a grassland ecosystem covering a vast area. The majority of rain occurs in the summer months from October to April with little to no rain at other times. During winter, the skies are blue and while the temperature does drop, the days are very pleasant and a warm jacket is all that is needed.
Take a walk around Soweto and visit the house that Nelson Mandela lived in before being arrested and spending 27 years in jail. Spend a bit of time talking to locals and getting a feel for this interesting part of Johannesburg. You might wish to have lunch in one of the many shebeens in the area. Shebeen is an Irish word for an illicit bar and it is understood that when the Irish arrived in Johannesburg during the gold rush era they brought the word with them and today, it is in common use throughout South Africa. During the Apartheid era, many un-licensed bars were opened by the indigenous Africans to provide refreshments as well as a meeting place for the community. They continue to do that now.
Vilakazi Street in Soweto is the only street in the world that has been home to two Nobel Peace winners – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Emeritus Desmond Tutu.
Your day will finish up at the Apartheid Museum and this is a fitting end to a full day learning about the history of Johannesburg and meeting some of its colourful inhabitants.
Hope you have had a lekker day – lekker is Afrikaans for fantastic, good or superb