I recently spent two days with Joburg Tourism exploring different places around town with a small group of lady bloggers/influencers. It was a strange time to embark on this journey, right as the city plunged into a third covid wave, but the event was planned weeks earlier and I really wanted to go through with it. I’ve been socially distanced from my own city for the past 18 months and felt eager to reacquaint myself.
I’m really glad I participated in this trip. Most of the places we went were places I’ve visited before, but I felt like I was seeing everything with new eyes after holing up at home for so long. I also experienced a couple of interesting new places.
Here are some pictures of the highlights.
I’ve raved about the Wilds again and again on this blog already. But I beseech you: If you haven’t been to this amazing park in the past couple of years, please go. It’s spectacular and getting better all the time.
Again, I have been to and blogged about Alexandra many times. But I had never done a tour with Maboneng Township Arts Experience and I was finally able to do that this time.
Olives and Plates
Olives and Plates is a local restaurant and catering company. I have been to their coffee shop at the Wits Art Museum but didn’t know about their beautiful, super upscale café at the Embassy building in Sandhurst. I almost never go to fancy restaurants these days so this was a treat.
The Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory
I don’t think many Joburgers know there is a small museum, the Nelson Mandela Centre of Memory, at the Nelson Mandela Foundation offices in Houghton. The museum doesn’t seem to do much advertising and visitors must book in advance. But it’s really worthwhile. The museum is only three rooms, one of which is Mandela’s former office, and includes lots of great photographs and artefacts from Mandela’s life and career.
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
I’ve been to the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden in Roodepoort many times, but it had been a couple of years and I had forgotten just how pretty it is. One of ten national botanical gardens in South Africa, Walter Sisulu is massive park best known for its huge waterfall and resident pair of Verreaux eagles. Early winter, when the aloes are in full bloom, is a great time to visit Walter Sisulu.
I’ve been wanting to check out the Honeydew Mazes, also northwest of Joburg in the West Rand, for years. I was a little disappointed when we first got there and learned that the “Maize Maze” — a maze cut into a corn field — is only open in summer (that’s when corn grows, duh), and we would be exploring the “Elemental Maze” instead.
The Elemental Maze is huge and built out of indigenous reeds (check out an aerial photo on the website). We broke into teams and spent more than an hour wandering through the maze and looking for clues to help us answer the series of riddles we were given at the start. It was actually so much fun and I highly recommend it.
Acrobranch is an “Adventure Park” in Melrose (there are also eight more locations around the country) with a series of treetop ziplining and ropes courses. I blogged about Acrobranch once before a few years ago, but again, I’d forgotten how much fun (and also how terrifying) it is.
I managed to shoot a few photos while I was up in the trees and I’m pleased with the way they came out.
SAN Deck at the Sandton Sun
We finished our second day with a lovely dinner on SAN Deck, the roof of the Sandton Sun Hotel, which is one of the best outdoor spots in Sandton.
Thanks so much to Joburg Tourism for organizing a really fun two days. Be safe out there, everyone.
I had never been to Alexandra prior this tour and had not even heard about the Maboneng township art experience I enjoyed the little bit we got to explore, I hope to go back when everything is open again for the full experience. San Deck is funny with their photography policy. It’s always lovely to disappear into the crevices of this city exploring it.
Great meeting you, friend. Hope to see you again soon. x
I wish everyone who is told to avoid Jo’burg when they come to South Africa and only go to CapeTown could see this. I love Joeys – thank you for sharing some new places with all of us!
Girl, I hear you. Thanks for reading!
So they leave riddles to help you through the maze? Like a precursor to an escape room (only way better because it’s outdoors).
Sorry I fell into a jet lag rabbit hole and only saw this now. Yes! Exactly! I’ve never had any desire to do an escape room — the idea of it never appealed to me, even before covid — but this was definitely a much less claustrophobic outdoor version of that.
Great post and more places to add to my I love Joburg list. Do you remember how we laughed at Acrobranch on that first blogger trip with SA Tourism way back in 2015. I was stiff and sore for days and I think we did the kids route. Lol so much fun.
I actually wasn’t there for that part(I was late). Actobranch is apparently very popular for blogger trips 🙂