Day trip with the Gautrain – Midrand

14 Dec 2023
Midrand sits neatly in between the cities of Johannesburg and Pretoria. Once largely defined by this centrality, Midrand has come into its own as a destination following steady development over the past decade. Because of this outward growth, where Midrand starts and where Johannesburg and Pretoria end is now less defined. Midrand's convenient location and laid-back lifestyle are major draws for new homeowners and commercial tenants flocking to the area.

Famous for having one of the biggest malls on the continent – the epic Mall of Africa – there's much more to Midrand than shopping. From a wealth of dining and lifestyle destinations to the biggest mosque in the Southern Hemisphere, there's plenty to plan a day trip around. The Midrand Gautrain station is within driving distance of many of these attractions, and there are midi-bus routes to help you get even further afield.

Keep reading for our comprehensive guide to what to see and do near the Midrand Gautrain station. For more, see our Gautrain guides to Rosebank and Sandton.


Only a few decades ago Midrand was all farmland. The first office blocks and residential properties were built here in 1981. The area has changed significantly since, with the massive Waterfall development adding residential estates, new malls, flashy corporate headquarters and conference centres, schools, hotels and even a hospital to the landscape. While Mall of Africa's shops are for many Gautengers Midrand’s biggest attraction, it’s extremely easy to get here with the Gautrain and enjoy other pastimes beyond shopping.
The entrance to the massive Mall of Africa. Photo: Mall of Africa.


The Midrand Gautrain station is on Pretoria Main Road in striking distance of key business destinations such as the Gallagher Convention Centre. As the train draws into the station you can’t miss the immense Turkish Nizamiye Mosque Complex; a beautiful sight to behold both inside and out. 

As Mall of Africa – and the Waterfall business district that surrounds it – is one of the biggest and busiest retail and business centres in this part of Gauteng, unlike other weekday-only Gautrain bus routes, the M4 Mall of Africa Gautrain bus runs every day from the station to Mall of Africa, passing the Nizamiye mosque on the way. Another key bus route is the M3 Sunninghill Gautrain bus (weekdays only) which stops at other popular lifestyle centres such as Waterfall Corner.


For such a new area, Midrand's Waterfall is also one of the greenest – built around eco-conscious principles. Hundreds of trees have been planted along Waterfall's main streets, with the delightful Waterfall Park at its heart. Adjacent to Mall of Africa, this large, purpose-built park has wide lawns, play areas and picnic benches for enjoying lunch in the sun. 
A green haven at the lovely Waterfall Park. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.
A green haven at the lovely Waterfall Park. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.

Waterfall is home to World of Golf, the biggest golf practice facility in the Southern Hemisphere. There's a full mashie course to play, designed by none other than world champion Gary Player, as well as 12 different practice areas and 190 hitting bays. If you are looking for a more relaxed golfing experience that doesn’t require too much golfing finesse, Waterfall also has a fun nine-hole, three-par putt-putt course, located in the Waterfall Wilds area.

Located on the Waterfall Equestrian Estate is the luxurious 16-room Riboville Boutique Hotel. Built on a lake that creates a moat around most of the property, it’s a setting reminiscent of an episode of Game of Thrones, with its double-volume wooden doors at the entrance and flame-like torchlights. Day visitors can indulge in Riboville's countryside views from the terrace of the restaurant and bar. Gourmet cuisine is on offer here, along with a great sushi menu. Lunches are more casual affairs, although note that for dinner a smart dress code applies. 
Country charm at the Riboville Boutique Hotel. Photo: Riboville Boutique Hotel.
Country charm at the Riboville Boutique Hotel. Photo: Riboville Boutique Hotel.

Herb Land along Summit Road in Bridle Park is a wonderland of herbs and flora where kids big and small are encouraged to run around, explore and even pick herbs and flowers from the gardens. It’s located on a sprawling property with rose gardens, water features and multiple paths and mazes. Herb Land also has a fantastic café, kids' play centre and herb nursery.
Rose latte and Belgian hot chocolate at Herb Café. Photo: Kate Liquorish.
Rose latte and Belgian hot chocolate at Herb Café. Photo: Kate Liquorish.


Modelled on the 16th-century Ottoman Selimiye Camii mosque in Edirne, Turkey, the Nizamiye mosque is a most impressive place with an astonishing 21 domes, the insides of which were hand-painted in intricate detail by Turkish artisans, four soaring minarets and over 200 stained-glass windows. Everywhere you look, an incredible attention to detail is evident, whether it’s in the traditional hand-glazed Turkish tiles or the perfect symmetry of the grand main prayer hall with its beautiful chandeliers. 

From the Midrand Gautrain station, you can reach the mosque by taking the daily Mall of Africa Gautrain midi-bus and getting off at the Dis-Chem/Le Roux Avenue stop, from where it’s about a 10-minute walk.

Exquisite detail at Nizamiye mosque. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.

Within the Nizamiye mosque complex, there is also a Turkish supermarket, bakery, bookshop and a carpet and ceramics store. After taking a tour of the mosque, make sure to leave time for Turkish delight and a traditional Turkish coffee at the Turkish bakery or a full lunch of sizzling kebabs, salads and the best hot breads at the Ottoman Palace restaurant.

A short Uber or Bolt ride from the mosque will take you to the beautifully decorated Madhya Kailash Hindu Temple. Further out in Noordwyk, there's the Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh – a small but faithfully executed example of the intricate design of Russian Orthodox churches.
Step into a bygone era at Church of St. Sergius of Radonezh. Photo: Johannesburg In Your Pocket.


The immense Mall of Africa (which can be reached directly from the Midrand Gautrain station on the daily M4 Mall of Africa Gautrain midi-bus) is a top shopping destination that is home to more than 300 local and international brand-name stores. Here you'll find impressive, big-brand flagship stores including international designer labels like Versace and Armani, as well as some must-visit local designer brands such as Maxhosa, a favourite of local and international celebrities.

There’s also an IMAX cinema, kids' play areas and plenty of places to eat on the attractive Town Square piazza. Making this an especially popular attraction, the park in front of the mall also hosts a regular programme of events such as concerts, festivals and antique fairs.
Luxury shopping at the epic Mall of Africa. Photo: Mall of Africa.
Luxury shopping at the epic Mall of Africa. Photo: Mall of Africa.


One of the most exciting attractions for anybody who loves racing is the Kyalami Indoor Karting track, which is also part of Mall of Africa. Designed by professional motorsports drivers, it has real chicanes and pit stops and is perfect for teens who are bursting to get behind the wheel (strictly for over-12s only) or adults who want to let off some steam with a thrilling Grand Prix race around the track.

In the huge Bounce warehouse at the Mall of Africa, practise your backflips and generally jump around on more than 100 interconnected trampolines. There are bouncy dodgeball courts, a slam dunk arena, special areas for younger kids and a designated zone for expert-level bouncers. 
Visit Kyalami Indoor Karting if you have a need for speed. Photo: Kyalami Indoor Karting.

The Mall of Africa has a year-round carnival in the form of Fun Park: little ones will love the spinning teacups while the break dancer ride is for the more adventurous in spirit. The giant ferris wheel is a great way to see Midrand from on high, with 26 gondolas that seat up to six people each. Normal operating hours are from 14:00–20:00 Thu–Fri and from 10:00–20:00 Sat–Sun, and the theme park is open daily from 10:00–20:00 during the holiday season.

See Midrand from a bird's eye view from the ferris wheel at Fun Park. Photo: Waterfall City Park.
A bird's eye view of Midrand from the ferris wheel at Fun Park. Photo: Waterfall City Park.


For breakfast, lunch or dinner outdoors Mall of Africa has a large, open-air Town Square piazza lined with popular restaurants perfect for al fresco bistro dining, including the opulent Kream, classic Italian at Casa Bella and sushi and grill restaurant Wasabi.

Waterfall Corner is busy both day and night and the restaurants and cafés have ample outdoor seating. There's the easy-going Japanese restaurant Daruma by Oskido, stylish Mediterranean spot Life Grand Cafe and good old-fashioned grill room The Hussar Grill. Cowfish has an Asian fusion menu as quirky as its name; expect sushi, surf and turf, noodles, poke bowls and even burgers. La Parada is a super sociable destination for dinner and drinks, with a wide-ranging tapas menu. The nearby Waterfall Wilds offers authentic Roman dining at Lupa Osteria, a Turn 'n Tender steakhouse and sophisticated Asian fusion at Mábu.

For something different, the Ottoman Palace restaurant at Nizamiye mosque is always memorable, especially for its grand interiors.
The flavours of Spain at La Parada. Photo: La Parada.
The flavours of Spain at La Parada. Photo: La Parada.


Midrand's Waterfall district has a growing number of landmarks for getting that all-essential selfie. These include the Two Faces sculpture by Rina Stutzer near Mall of Africa's main entrance, and the rainbow-coloured Novartis staircase on Magwa Crescent (near the Gautrain bus stop), created by local artist Chris Valentine. 
Rina Stutzer's monumental Two faces sculpture outside the Mall of Africa. Photo: Mall of Africa.
Rina Stutzer's monumental Two Faces sculpture outside Mall of Africa. Photo: Mall of Africa.


Pay for your Gautrain and midi-bus trips using a contactless bank card by simply swiping in and out of the turnstiles at stations and tapping the touchpoint on the midi-bus when you enter. Alternatively, buy a Swift card at the station and top it up with credit to pay for your trips.  

The Midrand Gautrain station opens at 05:33 and closes at 21:09. Going north, the first train departs the station at 05:48 and the last one leaves at 20:49. The first southbound train departs at 05:48 and the last one leaves at 20:59. Trains leave every 10 minutes during weekday peak rush hours and every 20 minutes during off-peak hours. On weekends, trains depart every 20 to 30 minutes.

Download the Gautrain app for real-time updates on when the next Gautrain and midi-bus is due or find the schedule online at For a helpful overview, check out our guide to using the Gautrain here.


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