Johannesburg

Joburg sightseeing – 15 Great Joburg tour companies

12 Oct 2017

Taking a guided tour is the perfect way to experience aspects of the city that might otherwise be hidden from view. Whether it's a focus on history and heritage, culture or street art, you can find an experienced guide in Johannesburg to lead the way.

1. JOHANNESBURG HERITAGE FOUNDATION
A diverse range of weekend walking and bus tours focused on the city’s history and architecture led by heritage specialists and historical conservation activists. Tours range from heritage walks of downtown Joburg to visits to old Randlords mansions and bus trips to historic battlefields.


2. TOUR SOWETO
Led by former photojournalist Ilan Ossendryver you’ll experience Soweto by getting an opportunity to meet local community members and even celebrate birthdays and special occasions with the children of Kliptown. Expect to be led down alleyways and paths not usually visited by tourists. You'll also get a chance to meet local traders, sangomas and other Soweto denizens plus he'll lead you to the best 'vetkoek' in Soweto.

3. CITY SIGHTSEEING BUS
Open-top, hop-on hop-off bus which makes 11 stops in the City Centre and south Joburg including the Apartheid Museum. The bus also links to a Soweto mini-bus tour.

4. MAINSTREETWALKS
These young guides based in Maboneng offer inner-city tours which help visitors discover the sights and sounds of Joburg at street level. Some of their most popular tours include bar crawls, street art walks and a visit to the Mai Mai Healers Market.


5. LEBO'S SOWETO BICYCLE TOURS
A great way to experience Soweto is by taking a cycling, walking or Tuk Tuk tour. Lebo's offers 2-hour, half-day or full-day options, taking in everything from struggle history to traditional African customs. The half-day and full-day tours include a local lunch and home-brewed beers at a shebeen.

6. DLALA NJE
Walking tours around the tough inner-city neighbourhoods of Hillbrow (Saturday) and Yeoville (Sundays) including a visit to the 52nd floor of the Ponte building for awe-inspiring views. The Yeoville tour is a culinary adventure including visits to venues selling incredible dishes from as far away as Cameroon and both tours offer plenty of chance to meet the locals.

7. TOUR 2.0
Organises community led tours in various townships. The cultural and historical Alex tour is titled Lights, gangs and all that jazz and includes lunch with a local jazz band, a short movie screening at the 33mm cinema Kings and a visit to the old headquarters of one of Alex's notorious gangs from the 1950s.

8. JOBURG PLACES
Entertaining tours of the inner-city taking in its history, regenerated areas, hidden places and multi-cultural areas such as Little Addis and the fashion district. A great way to get an insight into how downtown Joburg has changed over the years.

9. SOF'TOWN URBAN EXPERIENCE
The Sof’town Urban Experience brings the old spirit of Sophiatown back to life, taking in the area's rich heritage and tracing a path between the few buildings which survived the forced removals. The Sof'town Urban Experience is led by the dapper Victor Mokhine, who personally experienced the Sophiatown Forced Removals and the walk through the neighbourhood retraces the old streets and memories of the days before the 1955 forced removals and ties in the culture of present day Sophiatown with its 1930s roots.
10. THE ROVING BANTU HERITAGE TREK
Sifiso Ntuli, aka the Roving Bantu, specialises in tours of the city that focus on culinary traditions and collective memory, taking in the history and culture of Joburg's lesser known areas such as Brixton, Fietas (a victim of apartheid’s forced removals) and pan-African Yeoville, as well as parts of Soweto. Tours start from the Roving Bantu Kitchen in Brixton, a restaurant, events venue and 'centre for friendship and memory' serving afro-soul food.

11. ALEXANDRA BICYCLE TOURS
Jeff Mulaudzi, the charming founder of Alexandra Bicycle Tours meets visitors at the Marlboro Gautrain station and takes small groups on two- or four-hour cycling tours around Alex to stops that include historic sites, shebeens and cafes where you can try typical 'Kasi' food and meet the locals.

12. PAST EXPERIENCES
Well-researched off-beat inner-city walking tours under many themes such as Mandela's city, African shopping, street art and graffiti, archaeology and photography. Also offers tours of Soweto and Pretoria.

13. BAY OF GRACE TOURS
Avid conservationist Raymond Rampolokeng is Soweto’s first trained birding guide offering bird-watching tours in the wetland areas of Soweto, including Orlando and Moroka Dam. A particular tour highlight is the hike up Enoch Sontonga koppie, offering spectacular views of Soweto.

14. ANCIENT SECRETS
Historical and culinary walking tours of the inner-city with an emphasis on food as culture. Tours include a spice walk in Fordsburg, exploring Asian culture in Cyrildene’s Chinatown and Ethiopian Culture in the city centre.

15. ELLIS PARK STADIUM TOUR
Andre Bester runs Ellis Park stadium's Springboks museum (open weekdays 10:00-15:00, entrance via main gate) and also organises behind-the-scenes rugby themed tours

Associated Venues

Dlala Nje

 Ponte City Apartments, entrance off Joe Slovo Dr (turn off at Abel Rd and Lily Ave), Berea

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