Last February, I took myself to Johannesburg, South Africa. Since I was already on the continent, I asked a few of my African friends which places they recommended me to visit while there.
Johannesburg, Joburg, Jozi – was one of the most common responses from them all.
This city is filled with history, liveliness, and future developments that the locals hope will improve its economy.
Friend, you would not believe all the things that I was able to do and the areas I was able to explore!
Friday & Saturday
After my arrival, I was taken to the apartment that I rented on airbnb.com in the Maboneng district.
It had all the amenities that a solo traveler like me would need in a studio apartment.
Shower, oven, refrigerator, microwave, TV, and Internet – even though it had a weak signal. That actually turned out to be a good thing because it made me set out to explore the city sooner rather than later.
After settling in, I decided to explore my surroundings and whaddya know?! Right around the corner from my Airbnb was a hair salon and since my hair was getting a bit dusty, it was time to change it up.
Afterwards, I had dinner at a meat shop that was also a burger joint and went back to the Airbnb to relax for the evening.
After searching online for things to do in Johannesburg, South Africa, I found a list of places that I thought would be interesting to see and decided to explore the city further, outside of the Maboneng neighborhood, over the next few days.
Growing up as a preacher’s kid, whenever my family traveled, we’d find a Church to go to. Even now, in my 30s as I travel the world, I continue this family tradition.
I’ve been to churches in France, Norway, the Bahamas, Vietnam, Kenya, Ghana, Zimbabwe, and of course, China.
Now, I had the opportunity of finding an international church in South Africa. I arrived early and was welcomed with warm smiles and loving embraces. The praise and worship set was bananas! The singers and musicians were hitting all the right chords and notes and displayed a level of pure joy and happiness in their presentation.
After the sermon was over, the congregation began to clear out as the church members prepared for the service to begin.
As I exited the sanctuary, I was greeted again by a wonderful couple in leadership and offered coffee and snacks in the visitors’ area. As we talked, I discovered that they’d both spent some time in the United States and we shared a few things in common! We exchanged WhatsApp details and have remained in contact to this day.
That Sunday service was an experience that I have yet to forget.
As I walked around, I noticed that there were several sightseeing buses transporting tourists around the city.
I googled the name of the touring company that I saw on the buses and discovered City Sightseeing South Africa. There was a hub not too far from where the church was so I made my way there.
Tours I Took on Sunday & Monday
I purchased a combo ticket that was a 2-day Hop On/Hop Off tour since I had the rest of the day and all day on Monday to explore.
Some of the places I went to were:
- Constitution Hill
- The 50th Floor of the Carlton Center
- Gold Reef City Casino (first time ever!)
- The historic SOWETO
- visited Mandela’s house
- toured the Hector Pietersen Museum
- went to the iconic Orlando Towers
- The Apartheid Museum where I was “chosen” to enter the “Whites Only” section
There were so many other things that I did as well and can be experienced by watching my Joburg Vlog.
Overall, I thoroughly enjoyed my adventure in Johannesburg, South Africa and I look forward to the opportunity to return in safer – non-COVID – conditions.