Travel Alert: Crime is a serious problem in Johannesburg; see the Dangers & Annoyances section for details.
Jo’burg, or ‘Jozi’ as it’s more commonly known, is without a doubt the great big beating heart of South Africa, and has long played a Jekyll-and-Hyde role in the global consciousness. Often the stage on which the epic of this extraordinary nation has been played out, the colossus of Jo’burg – with all its thrills and foibles – is today a fascinating, multitudinous city, where all the ups and downs of 21st-century South Africa can be witnessed in three, multicolour dimensions.
In the past, the city’s darker personality proved the most enduring. The Jo’burg of the newsflash was a city where fear and loathing reigned supreme; a city where spiralling gun crime and poverty had manifested itself in a society where one half of the population stagnated, while the other looked on impassively through coils of razor wire.
As ever, there is an element of truth to the stereotypes. Jo’burg does bear scars of South Africa’s turbulent 20th century, and many will take time to heal. Stark inequalities persist, but armed with a new self-confidence – ironically most pronounced in the infamous township of Soweto – Africa’s giant hub is beginning to introduce itself to a healthier diet of urban renewal and social regeneration.
Ready to go?
These tours & activities make it easy:
- See the best of Johannesburg on a city sightseeing tour
- Go on a 6-day safari to the famous Kruger National Park
- Discover South Africa's heritage on a day trip to Lesedi Cultural Village
- Experience the best of South Africa in 17 days from Johannesburg
Last updated: Feb 8, 2013
Tips & articles
(4 star Hotel)
From US$182.81 per night
(3 star Hotel)
From US$88.51 per night
(5 star Hotel)
From US$327.44 per night
Going to South Africa? Make sure you're covered.Get a quote