Overall Johannesburg can be an excellent point of departure for game viewing and South African tours. It offers excellent shopping and nearby attractions including Sun City, the gold mines museum, and Pretoria. Visitors should use caution when driving (left hand side) and be aware of the high crime in certain parts of the city. The nearby Sterkfontein Caves, South of the Hartbeespoort Damcontain a rich collection of fossils, and what is believed to be the oldest human skull ever found, over 2.6 million years old! Many believe this area to be the true cradle of mankind.
Cost Of Visiting
Currency South Africa Rand
Location South Africa
Technology Level: Although sometimes expensive for the most recent imports due to weak currency, the technology level is relatively high. Television and radio is via satellite and some local production, cellular is international GSM, telephone network is reliable (although sometimes charged by the minute even for local calls). Television and video format is PAL (same as Europe)
Transportation Rental car, taxis and private tours
Very modern city with quality hotels, resorts, golf, shopping malls, restaurants and casinos.
Shopping In addition to the usual ethnic souvenirs such as carvings, masks, beaded African jewelry, you can find beautiful t-shirts, visors and other clothing with African motifs at good prices for the quality and designs. Custom made fine gold jewelry, diamonds and Afrian gemstones are available in upscale shopping centers. Though the some designs are outstanding, we found the prices of diamonds high. Spa treatments are a good buy.
Challenges High crime rates in a large city with a racially charged history keep many visitors away. Others are daunted by having to drive on the left side of the road in South Africa’s heavily congested economic capital.
Advantages South Africa’s top standards are high indeed and in spite of the fast plunging dollar, luxury is still within reach for American travelers. In addition to some of the world’s best game viewing, South Africa offers beautiful landscapes, gambling, diving and many culinary pleasures. Johannesburg is the point of departure for many, especially for game viewing expeditions. Sun City and its neighboring reserve are within reach of Jo’burg.
Last Visit May 2008