Transport and traffic
If you book a domestic flight from Johannesburg please note that there are 2 airports: Johannesburg International airport (also called O.R. Tambo airport) and Lanseria airport.
Please note that the airlines always want to see the credit card you used when buying the ticket online !
Traffic (especially in rush hours) can be a real problem, but the new rapid suburban rail network, Gautrain, has helped a lot and runs on 2 lines.
The line west to east connects the business hub Sandton with O.R.Tambo International Airport, and the north to south line runs between the capital Pretoria and Johannesburg.
When renting a car ensure you have a good map or GPS when driving yourself. Roads and signage are good, and well maintained.
Gauteng Province has implemented an eToll system on highways.
Rental car companies have equipped cars with the necessary e-tags and charge for usage; maximum amount per month and car is currently 450 Rand (April 2014). Some overland highways are also toll roads with however conventional toll pay stations.
Different areas of the city
Sandton is the new business center of Johannesburg. It has new big hotels and large shopping centers.
The old bohemian quarter Melville presents a colorful mix of academics, students, media and creative people and many bars and restaurants especially in 7th Street.
Maboneng lies to the east of the not very upmarket city center and is a redeveloped fun urban neighborhood with restaurants, creative shops, and a popular Sunday market.
Things to do
The Carlton Centre downtown Johannesburg is one of the tallest buildings on the continent. The top floor (50th floor) is called “The top of Africa” and offers breathtaking views over Johannesburg.
The Cradle of humankind world heritage site is widely recognized as the birthplace from which all of humankind originated. It is about an hour drive from Johannesburg and Pretoria.
The Apartheid museum opened 2001 and deals with 20th century South Africa and mainly the story and era of Apartheid.
Soweto township tours take you around the densely populated but vibrant town of Soweto (SOuthWEstTOwnship).
Use only official operators and do not go on your own.
The Lion Park is neither a game reserve nor a zoo. It is a breeding ground and sanctuary for the regeneration of various species like the endangered wild dog, the rare white lion and the cheetah and provides an opportunity for people to learn about these animals.
The closest area to go on safari is the 550km2 big and malaria-free Pilanesberg, 3 hours from Johannesburg. It is the 4th largest park in South Africa. We strongly recommend a stay in one of the luxurious lodges offering full-board accommodation and game-drives (safaris) on open safari vehicles. Ask us for a quote!
Another safari option a bit further away than Pilanesberg on the border to Botswana is in the Madikwe Game Reserve, South Africa’s fifth largest and also malaria-free park. It is a 4 hour drive from Johannesburg and features a variety of small exclusive lodges, most of them 4-5 star rated.
Both Pilanesberg and Madikwe can be combined with a stay at Sun City, South Africa’s biggest entertainment complex. It is a golf and gambling paradise but also great for families and features four large hotels as well as a big waterpark.