Travelbuddies translating

Visiting Johannesburg in three days

Travelbuddieslifestyle at Hennops Hiking trailiTravelbuddieslifestyle at Hennops Hiking traili

Johannesburg, Joburg, Jozi or Egoli (meaning place of gold) as its often referred to, once produced forty percent of the world’s gold. It is the capital of the Gauteng province and the biggest city in South Africa. Since I was born and raised in Johannesburg, I often get enquiries about where to go and what to see on a short city visit to Johannesburg.

Johannesburg is not really known as a holiday destination like Cape Town or Kwa-Zulu Natal, and therefore most travellers only visit Johannesburg when in-transit or for business. For this reason, I decided to give you my recommendations for a two-to-three-day short visit to Johannesburg.

My top 5 suggestions for a short city break in Johannesburg

1.) Montecasino Bird Park

Travelbuddieslifestyle in JohannesburgTravelbuddieslifestyle at the Montecasino Bird Park

The Montecasino bird park and wildlife park in Fourways, Johannesburg is the only bird park of its kind in Africa. Visitors can stroll along elevated wooden walkways to explore walk-through aviaries with over 60 species of colourful birds including some rather rare and unique species reptiles, and small mammals. It is not only a great outing for bird enthusiast but also for keen gardeners, like me, who enjoy getting inspiration from beautifully maintained gardens. The park hosts the largest and most unique collection of Cycads in the world with more than 750 plants from 37 different species. During my visit in October 2021, I was filled with wonder watching the Eastern White Pelicans getting ready for breeding. You can view this incredible footage on our @travelbuddies_lifestyle Instagram reel page.   

2.) Lion and Safari Park

Travelbuddieslifestyle at the Montecasino Bird Park

The lion and safari park near Hartebeespoort is usually the first outing I give my international guests. I particular enjoy this experience with them because it is a self-drive through 1000 hectares of wilderness reserve to introduce them to lion, cheetah, wild dogs and other wildlife such as Giraffe, Zebra, Springbok and Impalas. The park also offers photographic tours for those Instagram moments (available on request), guided bush walks, interactions with Lion cubs, a Giraffe feeding or even a full-grown big cat interaction. Over weekends adventure seekers can enjoy the reserve’s mountain bike trails ranging from an easy 8kms ride to a more challenging 20kms ride. There are no entrance fee and visitors only pay for their selected activities. For more information about their rates please click here. The park has a casual restaurant that serves light meals and a super gift shop stocked with locally sourced African arts and crafts, jewellery, clothing and home-wares.


3.) 44 Stanley

Travelbuddies at 44 StanleyTravelbuddies and 44 StanleyTravelbuddies and 44 Stanley

I have featured 44 Stanley Avenue, Milpark (Braamfontein Werf), previously on our Instagram page because it is the perfect place to introduce international visitors to downtown Johannesburg’s mix of urbanism and cultural expressionism. For me, 44 Stanley is the Joburg version of Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town, but on a much smaller scale. Just like Old Biscuit Mill, this former 1930s industrial complex was transformed into a trendy creative space with art galleries, fashion designers, and independent boutiques. The are many restaurants (with some interesting names) to enjoy a great meal such as Bean there coffee company, Bioscope, Chocoloza (watch how chocolate is being made or book a special event or chocolate experience), Even After All, Forest Gelato, La Pergola, Salvation Café (my favourite), to name a few.


4.) 4th Avenue Parkhurst

Travelbuddies in ParkhurstTravelbuddies in ParkhurstTravelbuddies in Parkhurst

Due to my sons’ professions, they get to travel the world and regularly experience wonderful places. This often makes it difficult for me to suggest something interesting and worthwhile when they visit Johannesburg, South Africa once a year. Luckily, with 4th Avenue Parkhurst, I achieved my objective! This street offers world-class open air dining experiences with some of the finest restaurants, designer shops and independent boutiques in Johannesburg. There are too many to mention restaurants, but sufficient to say my absolute favourite is Modena. If you want to enjoy authentic Italian, in a warm and inviting atmosphere, this is the place for you!.

5.) Hennops hiking trail

Travelbuddieslifestyle at Hennops Hiking trailiTravelbuddies at Hennops river

I am not a keen hiker, but I do enjoy being in the outdoors and experience the beautiful unspoilt nature. Therefore, Hennops hiking trails is on my list of suggested things to do in Johannesburg. The trail consists of three sub trails namely Dassie, Zebra and Krokodilberg trail. The shortest route is Dassie, 2kms, and the longest is Krokodilberg, 10 kms. The trail has two unique features that I absolutely love, the suspension bridge and cable car.

In conclusion

Contrary to the sky-scraper images people have of Johannesburg, it is actually a nature city due to its 17 nature reserves, 63 hectares of bird sanctuaries and 1000 hectares of green space. Interestingly, the city’s abundance of trees (approximately 10 million) owned it the title as largest man-made forest in the world. We have year-round sunshine, daily clear blue skies and mild Winters. Why not visit Johannesburg today and be mighty surprised?

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