Sunny Days in Johannesburg
Johannesburg, also known as Joburg or Jozi, is a fast-paced city generating most of South Africa’s wealth. It started as a small mining town, which is why it is known as the city of gold. Over 10 million locals call Johannesburg home and happily live vibrant lifestyles with a love for the outdoors. Thanks to the sunny weather (even in winter) we take advantage of a multitude of parks, outdoor restaurants and venues, and weekend markets.
Be sure to visit the Maboneng Precinct during your visit to Joburg. It is a revamped area of the Johannesburg Central Business District (CBD) which brings out the eclectic local culture. Every corner has a distinct flavor with scents of freshly brewed barista coffee, baked confectionaries, and mouth-watering spicy fragrances from restaurants. Every Saturday the Neighbourhoods Market showcases street food chefs, craft beer and gin makers, live music and authentic clothing stalls to create a buzzing vibe. Situated in an empty storage building, some of the best city views can be seen from the terrace, including the Nelson Mandela Bridge.
Gold Reef City
Down the road from Maboneng, we have Gold Reef City, which is a gold mine inspired theme park. There is also a Ferris wheel with the best view over Joburg. Learn more about Joburg’s historic past right next door at the Apartheid Museum. In the museum, you will learn about the South Western Townships area otherwise known as “Soweto”, where Nelson Mandela lived, and Archbishop Desmond Tutu still resides. Guided tours in an authentic South African minibus taxi can be arranged from the hotel, along this ride you’ll see all the famous residences, colorful Orlando Cooling Towers, Hector Pieterson Museum, and you can stop along Vilakazi Street to enjoy some local cuisine.
Running through Joburg
The streets of Joburg are not only filled with culture and history, but also with avid runners.
The altitude in Joburg reaches an impressive 1,753 meters above sea level and falls in the Highveld region of grasslands in Southern Africa. This open range is perfect for viewing animals in one of the surrounding game farms; the city itself is a little oasis of Jacaranda trees, plan your visit between October and December to enjoy the breathtaking sight of purple blossoms lining the lanes. The local runners train by taking on routes laid out through hill country that will burn your glutes and test your skills.
When the sun is out lace up your shoes, confirm your route with the concierge and enjoy a nice long run. If you prefer to brave the streets in a group, Joburg offers a few options for group timed trials. Some of the favorite running groups are Wanderers on Thursdays, Old Mutual at George Lea Park on Wednesdays, and the Randburg Harriers on Thursdays or Saturdays. If you prefer not to have a lazy Sunday and would like to run past hippos and lions, every second Sunday of the month there is a Trot at the Johannesburg Zoo. You can choose to run one or two laps of 5kms, and then you are welcome to spend the rest of the day admiring the animals. For a more technical race, I recommend looking into TrailAdventure or Trail Hunter. Taking your running off road adds some grit to the altitude, but the beautiful scenery makes up for the effort.
No morning run is complete without a hearty breakfast, venture over to Nice on 4th in Parkhurst. Their breakfasts are beyond nice, and the quaint restaurant and helpful staff will make it worth your while. For a more rustic feel, there is also Pablo Eggs-Go-Bar in Mellvile.
Making your way out in the evening? A little piece of paradise can be found in the suburb of Linden – Brian Lara Rum Eatery. This West Indies themed restaurant is named after Brian Lara who is known as one of the greatest cricketers in the cricket sporting world. The menu is small yet appetizing. For a tempting alcoholic beverage that is not listed on the menu, ask for a Miami Vice. You can order this secret cocktail as a shot or a drink, it’s delicious with some fruitiness, some creaminess – and altogether refreshing.
Whether it is business or leisure, Joburg welcomes you to visit and experience our warm culture, gripping history, flavourful foods and friendly locals. Happy traveling and remember your running shoes on your next trip to Joburg.