Johannesburg

Joburg itinerary: Liza Perold's guide to the South

17 Mar 2023
Travel blogger and city guide extraordinaire Liza Perold has curated a guide to the South of Joburg that we thought we had to share. The South can get overlooked in Joburg with much of the city's activity taking place around the city centre and its more tame Northern suburbs. But the South is full of history and still has many lesser-known attractions, which make it worth hopping on the highway to explore. Here are the highlights which Liza Perold picked out.
 
Parreirinha has kept its quirky historical additions like these ties hanging from the ceiling.

Parreirinha

If you're looking for Portuguese food in Joburg, the South, as the historic home to Joburg's Portuguese community, is the place to go. Few restaurants do it better than Parreirinha, and it's hard to believe that this warm and homely restaurant was once an old police station. Since its transformation in 1975, it has established itself as a Joburg institution of another kind. Go there with friends and family for a slower meal. We recommend trying one of their speciality dishes, including bacalhau (cod), prawn cakes and their steaks. If you go for a business lunch and end up staying until supper time, your tie will be added to the wonderful collection hanging from the rafters!
 
The Apartheid Museum provides an unflinching look at South Africa's troubled past.

Apartheid Museum

A must-visit for Joburgers and visitors alike, the Apartheid Museum makes for a thought-provoking visit where the harsh and bitter realities of South Africa's history are explored from multiple angles and viewpoints. No other museum provides as thorough of an account of South Africa's struggle for democracy. In conjunction with their permanent exhibits, they have the exhibition Truth to Power: Desmond Tutu & the churches in the struggle against apartheid in partnership with the Desoman and Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation until Sat, Apr 1, which delves into the legacy of Desmond Tutu and the lessons we can learn from him.
 
Spend a day enjoying the thrills at Gold Reef City Theme Park.

Gold Reef City

For those wanting their hit of adrenaline, Gold Reef City Theme Park is the place to go with their more extreme rides such as the Anaconda and Tower of Terror are sure to get the blood pumping. For those wanting something a little slower, you can explore Joburg's mining heritage at their gold rush mining village or simply stroll around with ice cream and cotton candy in hand.
 
James Hall Museum of Transport. Photo by Mark Straw.

James Hall Museum of Transport

The largest transport museum in Africa, James Hall Museum of Transport, has gorgeous vintage cars from the 1900s, early-Victorian era coaches and trams, fire engines and buses used in Joburg's beginnings. A great outing for the kids, you can book in advance for a guided tour or walk through the more than 2500 historic vehicles at your own pace.

Glenvista Golf Course

As one of the best golf destinations in the world there are plenty of courses to choose from in Joburg. The Glenvista Golf Course is one of its best and was designed in the 1960s by Sydney Brews (fourth on the Sunshine wins table and a great amongst South African golfers) and has been kept up to PGA tour standards since. Nestled in a valley between Glenvista and Bassonia, its lakes and sprawling trees make it a picturesque 18-hole course.
 
Go for a hike at Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve and extend your stay at Thaba Eco Hotel.

Klipriviersberg Nature Reserve

Its hard to believe that Klipriversberg is just 20km from the city as you take to its bush trails criss-crossing the 700 hectare property. You'll see red hartebeest, wildebeest and the game reserve staple: impala. The best thing about Klipriviersberg is that entrance is free so anyone can escape to nature. For those wanting to extend their dose of tranquillity the luxurious Thaba Eco Hotel is located on the nature reserve, and with a spa, restaurant and gorgeous rooms, it's ideal for a staycation.

Wanting to keep exploring Joburg? Check out our other Joburg itineraries or visit Liza Perold's Instagram for more of her city guides.

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