On Saturday morning, I hosted a jacaranda walk through Rosebank with Johannesburg In your Pocket and the Radisson RED Johannesburg.

Jacaranda outside the Radisson RED hotel
One of the best purple clouds in Rosebank is right outside the Radisson RED, where our jacaranda walk began. In case you’re wondering, that angel wing installation is called “The Mundane and the Magical” and was created by artist Usha Seejarim.

The jacaranda blossoms aren’t peaking yet in most of Joburg’s inner suburbs. There’s some speculation this could be an off-year or, more worryingly, that Joburg’s jacarandas might finally be reaching the end of their life spans. But my unfounded panic last year — which turned out to be a great jacaranda year despite a late-ish start — taught me not to count the jacarandas out too soon.

But luckily the Rosebank jacarandas are slightly ahead of the surrounding neighborhoods. There were plenty of purple flowers to admire on Saturday, and I think the trees will continue to fill out for the next week or two.

Looking down Rosebank’s Jellicoe Avenue, a particularly nice jacaranda street because the trees are planted on both sides of the street and also in the center median strip.
Jellicoe jacarandas
Another look down Jellicoe.

Saturday’s walk had a 20-person limit and it filled up quickly; there were a lot of people who weren’t able to sign up in time. But if you want to plan your own jacaranda walk in Rosebank, these pictures might help. I’ll describe the route we walked as I share them.

Our walk took place from 7:00 to 9:00 a.m., but for best results I recommend walking in the late afternoon between about 4:00 and 6:00 p.m. Morning walks are tricky because the sun rises very early at this time of year, and the light quickly becomes harsh.

Walking down Jellicoe Avenue
We started at the corner of Oxford Road and Jellicoe Avenue and proceeded down Jellicoe to Jan Smuts Avenue. (Note: Jellicoe can be quite busy traffic-wise on weekday afternoons so that’s something to consider.)
Jacarandas in front of Rosebank Primary School
Photographing jacaranda petals in front of Rosebank Primary School on Jellicoe. I like the jacaranda in the middle because it’s flanked by a beautiful green and yellow fever tree, also in bloom at this time of year.
White jacaranda on Jellicoe Avenue
Look carefully as you walk down Jellicoe: There are two rare, white jacaranda trees along the median strip. They’re not the most impressive jacaranda trees in town but exciting to spot nonetheless. Congratulations to walker Caroline Talotta, mother of Joburg legend Josef Talotta, who was the first person to spot the white jacarandas during our walk. As a reward for this accomplishment, Caroline gets to choose a place in Joburg — anywhere she wants, as long as I haven’t blogged about it before — for me to blog about.
Heather on a jacaranda walk in Rosebank
Hang a right on Keyes Avenue, almost at the end of Jellicoe, and you’ll find this desolate parking lot with a massive, lone jacaranda blooming in the middle. Sometimes the big solo trees bloom faster and fuller than the trees that are packed in close together with other trees. (Photo: Iga Motylska)
Jellicoe Avenue sing and jacarandas
A rather boring sign made pretty by jacarandas. The lovely Circa Gallery is peaking out through the blooms.

We turned left on Keyes Avenue, past the Keyes Art Mile on the right, then hung another left on Tyrwhitt Avenue. We walked two blocks up Tyrwhitt to Bath Avenue, turned left again, and headed back toward Jellicoe.

Jacarandas on Tyrwhitt Avenue in Rosebank
Tyrwhitt is another great jacaranda street and also has some really pretty art deco buildings.
Iga with the jacarandas on Bath Ave
Iga admires a jacaranda on Bath Avenue.
Jacaranda and taxi
I like contrasting jacarandas with brightly colored taxis.
Low-hanging jacaranda petals
Low-hanging jacaranda petals — great for shallow depth-of-field shots — on Bath Ave.

Back on Jellicoe, we turned right and walked one block up to Craddock Avenue, where we turned left. There’s a construction site on Craddock with an unexpectedly nice view of a row of jacarandas in front of the Radisson.

Monde on Craddock Avenue
Monde spotted our group taking photos and asked what we were doing. When I told him, he asked to be photographed. It’s my favorite shot from the morning.

We finished our walk with coffee on the Radisson rooftop.

Jacaranda views from the Radisson rooftop
Looking down on Jellicoe from the 7th-floor rooftop bar at the Radisson.

And that was our walk. You can easily do this walk on your own, but just be aware of your surroundings and mindful of valuables. I scouted the route alone the day before the walk and had no issues, but it’s best to go with one or two other people, just to be safe.

One more important note: Johannesburg In Your Pocket is hosting a jacaranda photography contest, as they do every year, and they are giving away some really great hotel stays as prizes. You can find all the details of the contest here — I highly recommend entering.

Thanks to all my jacaranda walkers for the fun morning on Saturday. And keep an eye out for blooming jacarandas all over Joburg (and Pretoria) this coming weekend. I think they’re going to look spectacular after the week’s impending rain.

Jacaranda walkers in Rosebank

My Saturday morning walk was a partnership with Johannesburg In Your Pocket. Opinions expressed are mine.

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