THE CITY OF JOHANNESBURG
Johannesburg, one of the larger cities in South Africa, has a notorious reputation for being dangerous and nothing compared to Cape Town. The bad kid on the block! But nothing is less true. The Big Smoke’ Johannesburg is without doubt one of the most active, vibrant cities in Africa and has a lot to offer in terms of culture and history. Johannesburg is a city of international stature and is home to hundreds of nationalities. It is the city of the richer class and at the same time the city of the poorest population in South Africa. You can shop in luxury shopping malls, visit the famous township slum Soweto and learn about its gruesome history in the Apartheid Museum.
THE APARTHEID MUSEUM
Take the Apartheid Museum. It starts with the impressive architecture of the building. It looks like a bunker and everything in its design contributes to the oppressive feeling of what it must have been like to live in the times of apartheid. At the ticket office, you are given a ticket that states whether you are white or an African, and therefore which entrance you should take. You enter the museum with a sense of gnawing confusion that is only further fuelled by this. By means of photographs, videos, sound recordings and a collection of objects, you go on a journey back in time. You walk through the beginning of apartheid, through the revolution and its aftermath. This museum is not afraid to make no bones about it: the history of South Africa (and the Netherlands!) was turbulent! When you’re outside again after a couple of hours, your stomach may have turned slightly: something that will contribute to your conscious travelling through South Africa!
THE TRENDY MABONENG DISTRICT
The Maboneng district is the creative epicentre where many a hip African goes out to eat and where the nightlife is splashing, bubbling and buzzing. OK, right… If you look up Maboneng you’ll find many of the same hotspots. But that’s perhaps also because this area is really just one street. In this industrial environment you’ll find hidden hip spots everywhere. From a breakfast joint to a vintage store and from a cocktail bar to an authentic cinema. So when you land in South Africa, don’t skip this great city by going straight on a safari. Instead, take a day or two to see it all. “Jozi” is more than a stopover!
Okay back to Maboneng. This place is of course cool to visit, but if you are here on a Sunday, you are in for a real treat. From about 12 o’clock in the afternoon the streets of Maboneng are filled with people lighting braai, chilling beers and playing the best African vibes. What you immediately notice are the hipsters who love to have their picture taken. Because for the Jozis, this is the Insta spot of the city.