Jozi skyline at sunset

That Jozi Skyline

I have a friend who owns a flat in Hallmark House, a recently renovated building in the center of downtown Joburg. Hallmark House is one of the best places in the city, if not the best place, to view the Jozi skyline.

View of Jozi Skyline from Hallmark House balconyThe view from my friend’s balcony. This friend wishes to remain anonymous, as I’m sure you’ll understand. Otherwise she’d have every photographer in the city trying to bang her door down.

A couple of nights ago, the anonymous friend invited me and a few other friends to photograph the sunset from her 12th-floor balcony.

I’ve taken lots of photos of the Jozi skyline before, from lots of different buildings. In fact I’ve been to Hallmark House multiple times and to this very balcony more than once. But there was something special about this particular night.

I’ve certainly see more dramatic sunsets than this, with crazier clouds and more dramatic colors. But the light on this evening was perfect and so was the city.

City from Hallmark House
View of the city around 5:30 p.m., before the real show started.

It had been cloudy all day with on-and-off thunderstorms — weather conditions that bode well for sunset. As the sun went down behind the buildings, the clouds cleared just enough to put an orange glow across the city and create all kinds of crazy light combinations.

Here’s what happened.

Late afternoon light on the streetLate afternoon light.

View toward HillbrowThe view toward Hillbrow.

Hillbrow Tower from Hallmark HouseHillbrow Tower.

View of Ponte Tower from Hallmark HousePonte Tower and the high-rises of Hillbrow, with the sun shining just so. (You’re welcome, Vodacom.)

Sunset behind the Joburg skylineThis city.

Sunset view of Hillbrow TowerI kept shifting my attention back and forth between the CBD view to the west and the Hillbrow view to the north.

Jozi skyline at sunsetI think this one is my favorite. I love the way the buildings and balconies and cars and and washing lines haphazardly pile up against one another. This is the way Joburg feels.

Life in this city is so complicated and so freaking beautiful, just like this skyline itself. It makes me cry sometimes.

Hillbrow skyline at duskThanks again to the anonymous friend.

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  • Reply dizzylexa February 27, 2018 at 5:03 pm

    Stunning photos and great that the clouds played along.

    • Reply 2summers February 27, 2018 at 5:05 pm


  • Reply CaroJhb February 27, 2018 at 5:17 pm

    Lovely pics thanks. But ‘… if not the best place, to view the Jozi skyline…’ – what about the Carlton Centre?

    • Reply 2summers February 27, 2018 at 6:26 pm

      Well, of course it’s debatable and depends on preference. I love the view from the Carlton Centre too. But it’s very different — really high up so you don’t get the same textures, and also the windows are really dirty, which can work to one’s advantage sometimes but not always. The actual rooftop of the Carlton is great but not normally accessible, of course. But anyway, I love both places!

  • Reply Donald Ferguson February 27, 2018 at 6:28 pm

    Outstanding! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply 2summers February 27, 2018 at 6:53 pm

      Thanks for reading!

  • Reply richard lindsley February 27, 2018 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Heather,
    Thank you for the article and great photos. Memories !
    Can you tell me what the foreground building is on the 4th photo (the black edged one) ? It’s stunning!
    best wishes

    • Reply 2summers February 27, 2018 at 7:11 pm

      Hi Richard, I’m not sure what that building it’s called. But it’s on Siemert St. (near Joe Slovo Drive) and it’s recently been redeveloped by Propertuity (the company that invented the Maboneng Precinct, which also developed Hallmark House). I think they have they’re offices there now.

  • Reply RBB February 27, 2018 at 8:14 pm

    I know what you mean about the city sometimes being so beautiful you wanna cry. I’ve lived here my whole life, and sometimes I just can’t get over how gorgeous it is, how vibrant the colours are, especially after the rain, how amazing the summer skies are in the late afternoon – not to mention those lightning displays! Thanks for sharing.

    • Reply 2summers February 27, 2018 at 8:36 pm

      Right on. Exactly 🙂

  • Reply autumnashbough February 28, 2018 at 2:19 am

    You can’t have gorgeous sunsets without a few clouds (oh, God, I am now officially a saccharine inspirational poster in a doctor’s office).

    Los Angeles usually has mono-cloud (the marine layer) or no clouds. I love it when I get clouds before sunset. So pretty. But you gotta have something the foreground to make a “wow” picture like that last one of yours. Just stunning.

  • Reply Jaina February 28, 2018 at 2:40 pm

    Damn that’s a gorgeous skyline. The golden hour light is just beautiful!

  • Reply Eva Melusine Thieme February 28, 2018 at 4:43 pm

    Wow. Just beautiful.

    • Reply 2summers February 28, 2018 at 4:47 pm

      Thanks 🙂

  • Reply Tumi March 1, 2018 at 4:52 pm

    The second one from the bottom is stunning!!! It’s literally covered in gold dust.

    • Reply 2summers March 1, 2018 at 6:45 pm

      I guess that’s how this city got its nickname 😍

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