Johannesburg, South Africa

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Johannesburg Guide – Spend Less, Do More

Nelson Mandela SquareIn a city you go to if you want to make things happen, see things happen, or just to get things done, everything happens at a fast pace. You've felt the unmistakable electric atmosphere as the city pulses to the daily electrical storms, lightning striking the sky every day during the summer months. Your heart pounded as you rode the rides at Gold Reef City Theme Park built around the historical location of the Crown Mines, which closed in the 70s – the park is a celebration of the hey-day of the 1900s gold rush in eGoli (the Zulu name for Johannesburg meaning Place of Gold). The Apartheid museum satiated your hunger for history and you were enlightened by a quick trip to Constitution Hill. For those who like something a little more laid back or a bit more off the beaten track, Johannesburg, or Jo'burg, or Jozi, has plenty to offer!

For a slower pace…

Take a stroll through the Norwood Rooftop Market, where you will find over three hundred stalls offering gourmet food to arts, crafts and antiques to other collectible knick-knacks. Go along and you never know what you will find!

You will find that some things are meant to be savored. Head to Moyo Restaurant and enjoy a cocktail on the deck after dark while the chef serves up authentic South African cuisine. Both locations in Johannesburg – Melrose Arch and Zoo Lake – perform traditional ceremonies with face painting and hand washing which is a local experience you won't want to miss out on.

Fulfill a childhood fantasy…

Of getting lost in a giant maze! For some family fun, head over to Honeydew A-Maize-Ing Mazes. Each maze comes with a quiz challenge, an educational experience as well as bundles of fun. There's a maize maze (changing themes including dinosaurs and sharks), and even a new 'Elemental Maze', with reed walls and five secret gardens themed around the elements of Earth, Air, Fire, Water as well as the 'Garden of Reflection' built into it. The best part is that the ten station quiz is altered each week, and the twelve internal doors allow the maze to change at a regular interval.

Your hotel was a steal…

Hartebeespoort DamSo in the spirit of prosperity that still energizes the city today, why not indulge yourself in a bit of retail therapy? Shopping is practically a recreational activity in Johannesburg, and the surplus amount of shopping malls is testament to this fact. The pinnacle of a delightful shopping experience is Sandton City, where this opulently designed mall provides an endless selection of stores supplying the best in local and international designs and products.

For those desiring to escape the hustle and bustle of the big city for a couple of days, hire a car and head North West for just over an hour's drive to Hartbeespoort Dam. Surrounded by the Magaliesburg Mountain range, here you'll find wide open spaces and natural surroundings. Activities there include a range of hikes, and a local bird sanctuary if you're after some tranquility and bird-watching. For those who find themselves missing the adrenaline of blood-pumping adventure activities and the fast pace of the city, a number of water sports including river rafting await the more adventurous.

For a truly unforgettable experience take a Hot Air Balloon Safari over the Magalies River Valley. Ascend at sunrise and prepare for an experience unlike any other as you drift along the landscape spotting wildlife as you go. This adventure includes a champagne breakfast and a shuttle to and from your hotel.

Spend Less, Do More

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