Johannesburg Travel Guide & Information

Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa and the capital of the region Gauteng. Johannesburg is a fascinating city, one of contrasts, with glass-paned modern luxury high-rise buildings towering alongside a few remaining Victorian era buildings. The city is the economic hub of South Africa, and Africa.

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With flights to Johannesburg, travelers can visit a renowned, world class tourist destination, which also serves as an entry point for connecting flights to Cape Town, flights to Durban and the Kruger National Park. Travel to Johannesburg, a cosmopolitan city with great places to eat, interesting sights and attractions to visit and a good range of hotels to stay at. Johannesburg is the world's biggest inland city and features a number of suburbs, along with a modern city center, which is teeming with skyscrapers and huge shopping complexes.

The city strongly embraces and treasures its past, from the discovery of gold, to the period of apartheid. Filled with many celebrated museums reflecting the city's glorious past, first-rate shopping malls and parks, as well as nature reserves tucked alongside the outskirts of the city, Johannesburg is making its mark as a preeminent destination for travelers.

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Things to do in Johannesburg

Beaches:

The City of Gold has host of museums to choose from, which gives travelers a glimpse into Johannesburg’s past.

Apartheid Museum: The Apartheid Museum is a museum complex in Johannesburg, dedicated to illustrating apartheid and the 20th century history of South Africa. The museum was designed by an architectural consortium, made up of several firms. The building was designed to reflect the South African experience and is centered on a garden designed to replicate the indigenous Veld. The exhibits were organized and created by a team of curators, filmmakers, historians and designers, to include film footage, photographs, text panels and artifacts.

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MuseuMAfricA: MuseuMAfricA, formerly known as the Africana Museum, a historical museum in Johannesburg. The museum's collections began in 1933 and are well preserved after an impressive collection of Africana was bought by J C Gubbins. Themes for the museum's permanent displays are chosen to reflect the complex geological, social, political and economic history of South Africa, with a particular emphasis on urban life in Johannesburg since the discovery of gold.

James Hall Museum of Transport:Founded in 1964, the Museum of Transport is a historical collection of vintage land transportation vehicles used in South Africa, dating back to the early 19th century. The James Hall Museum of Transport is the largest and most comprehensive land transportation museum in South Africa. The museum shows land transportation in all its forms, like ox- wagons, coaches and carts, bicycles, motorbikes, tractors, fire engines, buses, trams, trains and cars.

Prominent Attractions:

The city of Johannesburg has many wonderful sights and attractions.

Gold Reef City:Located on an old gold mine, the park is themed around the gold rush on the Witwatersrand. The staff wears period costumes of the 1880s and the buildings on the park are designed to mimic the same period. There is a museum dedicated to gold mining on the grounds where it is possible to see a gold-containing ore vein and see how real gold is poured into barrels.

Johannesburg Zoo: Established in 1904, Johannesburg Zoo is dedicated to the enrichment and medical care of wild animals. The zoo houses approximately 3,000 different species. The Johannesburg Zoo is also the only zoo in South Africa to have successfully bred Siberian Tigers.

Lesedi Cultural Village: is a tourist village celebrating the cultural traditions of several different tribes in Southern Africa. With reproductions of traditional dwellings and demonstrations of dances and other cultural activities, visitors get an opportunity to experience the origins of South African past and present cultures, as well as receiving a guided tour of the Zulu, Basotho, Xhosa and Pedi homesteads. Afterwards a multi-visual presentation is given.

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Where to Stay in Johannesburg:

Visitors planning to travel to the premier tourist city of Johannesburg will have numerous hotels to choose from, cheap hotels, 4-Star Hotels Under $99, resorts and Inns.

City Center :Despite of the fact that most of the city’s business has been relocated to the northern suburbs, the area is still home to some terrific sights that are well worth visiting, like the Johannesburg Fort, for its sense of history and the 50th floor of the Carlton Center for its views. Visitors looking for a luxurious hotel at budget prices can choose to stay at some of the renowned hotel chains in the area.

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Northern Suburbs :The northern suburbs include the wealthiest and most developed parts of the city. Spreading to the north from the inner city, to the border with Midrand; the northern suburbs include both large housing developments and commercial centers. The northern suburb represents modern Johannesburg and is home to vast f shopping centers and business complexes. The area also houses some luxurious 5-star hotels.

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Passport & Visa Requirements

For US Citizens:

As per the latest travel information available to Johannesburg, here are the following passport and visa guidelines to assist you further.

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* It is recommended that the passports of all travelers to South Africa contain at least two completely blank or unstamped visa pages each time entry is sought. Travelers lacking adequate blank pages in the passport may be refused entry into South Africa and returned to their point of origin at the traveler’s expense.

* Visitors to South Africa for tourism, short business meetings, or those in transit do not require visas for stays of up to 90 days.

* Visit the Embassy of South Africa website for the most current visa information.

For Canadian Citizens:

* A valid Canadian passport is required for Canadians intending to visit South Africa. The passport must be valid for a period of at least 30 days beyond the date of your expected departure from South Africa.

* Please ensure you have sufficient visa pages for travel to neighboring countries and back to South Africa for the whole duration of your trip.

* Please visit the South African Department of Home Affairs for the latest information on visa regulations.

This requirement applies to all travelers, regardless of age, including children.

We recommend that you check the latest travel alerts, various airlines baggage policies and travel safety tips, so that you do not miss out on any of the fun while visiting Johannesburg.

*Kindly note that we take the utmost care in providing you with correct information at all times. However, the passport and visa regulations are subject to change and we strongly urge you to check the requirements directly with the US passport office and, or the Canadian Passport Office before traveling.

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When to visit Johannesburg

With year-round festivities and world class indoor attractions, visitors flock to Johannesburg throughout the year. Many people swarm the region during the peak months of summer, due to warm weather, outdoor entertainment and festivities.

Budget travelers might want to consider booking travel to Johannesburg during the winter months of April and September. People travelling on a budget will find some great hotels deals and cheap airfares during this period.

Planning your Visit:

High season: (November to January)

Low season: (April to September)

Johannesburg Weather

Johannesburg enjoys a very favorable climate, dry and sunny all year round, with the exception of occasional late afternoon rain showers during the summer months of October to April.

* Temperatures in Johannesburg are usually fairly mild due to the city's high altitude. Winter is the sunniest time of the year, with cool days and cold nights.

* The rainfall is mostly concentrated during the summer months. Infrequent showers occur through the course of the winter months.

Currency and Language:

Currency:

All commercial banks will exchange traveler’s checks and major foreign currencies. Most hotels and shops accept traveler’s checks and some foreign currency.

Languages:

* South Africa has 11 official languages and all are spoken in Johannesburg. The most commonly spoken language is Afrikaans and Zulu.

* Tourists will find that English is the predominant language and is be understood by most people.