For first-time visitors – even though Mall of Africa has a dizzying 300 stores they are arrayed around an oval structure making it relatively easy to navigate. One of South Africa’s newest shopping destinations Mall of Africa was designed with light and space in mind. We love how the whole mall has a transparent ceiling, flooding the space with light and all the main restaurant brands open out onto spacious and well-designed piazza areas.
Unlike most South African malls, Mall of Africa also has plenty of entrances for pedestrians as well as cars, another hint at the walkability of the Waterfall precinct beyond the door.
Complementing the shopping inside the mall is the lovely Waterfall Park, that connects to the main piazza, Town Square, where you can take a breather, and enjoy a takeaway at a table or a picnic on the lawns. Kids will love this space, as will parents. The park is a major asset that you will find at no other shopping destination, neatly designed and immaculately maintained. An ideal place to rest your feet.
If you are heading to Waterfall to shop until you drop, here’s everything you need to know about where to go.
Among Mall of Africa’s most visually impressive local designer stores is Maxhosa by Laduma’s flagship boutique, a beautiful display of one of South Africa’s most globally famous designer brands. In his gorgeous knitwear range Maxhosa Ngxokolo translates patterns, beadwork and symbolism from the Xhosa culture into modern contemporary clothing designs for him and her. Fans of the brand include John Kani, Trevor Noah, Alicia Keys and the Queen B herself, Beyoncé.
For something less heavy on the wallet, visit The Space, a fashion emporium stocking clothing and accessories by an always changing collection of dozens of small local fashion labels. Freedom of Movement is another proudly South African label with a store at Mall of Africa, selling cool premium leather shoes, handbags and laptop bags that are built to last.
We also love the new Mall of Africa pop-up store (open until Jan 2021) by Koop Studio, showcasing a collection of exclusive designer fashion brands who have their studios at Victoria Yards, including the fantastic Mantsho by Palesa Mobukung. You can find Koop Studio in front of the Town Square exit.
Mall of Africa’s designer fashion selection easily rivals that of Joburg’s other famous designer label shopping destinations such as Melrose Arch, Hyde Park Corner and Sandton City’s Diamond Walk. Notable top designers brands including Versace, Armani, Michael Kors, Tommy Hilfiger, Paul Smith and Hugo Boss.
There is also a very compelling selection of boutiques specialising in men’s tailoring that should be high on the list of any gent looking to invest in new formalwear. These include Jones & Kent, Kurt Geiger and Khaliques. For something extra special set time aside to visit Tip Top Tailors (pictured) who specialise in tailor-made suits and other men’s formalwear.
Cool streetwear and designer denim
Mall of Africa is a great place to shop for streetwear, especially sneakers, with pretty much every major streetwear brand represented. In addition to popular brand stores like Vans, Converse, Superdry, Superga, Reebok, Puma, Timberland, Adidas and Lacoste, you can also find a brilliant range of the latest limited-edition sneakers at shops like Archive, X Trend, Studio 88 and Corridor 7.
If you like your designer denim labels, you can also find the biggest names here including Diesel, Levis, Guess, Gap, Relay, G-Star and True Religion.
Good for gifts
Mall of Africa has two major bookshops, Exclusive Books and Bargain Books, as well as a CNA store with one of the coolest coffee bars, run by specialty coffee roasters the Beethoven Coffee Company. At the coffee bar you can also buy Beethoven’s excellent limited edition roasts to take home, including special gift box sets.
If you are looking for homeware gifts, a great place to start is Zara Home, the only dedicated homeware store by this popular Spanish label in South Africa. Other reliable high street homeware staples to check out include Woolworths, whose huge Mall of Africa store is arranged over two levels, Coricraft, Le Creuset for those iconic buy-more-once statement crockery pots and the ultimate cook’s destination, Yuppiechef where you can swoon over all the finest cookware brands.
For kids there’s more than enough toys to break your bank balance on sale at the joyful Toys R Us and Toy Kingdom, although for something local and a bit more creative we recommend Yokico. This new South African stationery brand specialties in colourful, playful and engaging stationary as well as fun gadgets and gifts which aim to “offer kids a cool alternative to their screens that is just as enticing… inspiring children to put away their tablets and pick up their pencils again”.
And finally for those who love beauty and pampering products, go wild in the aisles on the most heavenly fragrances and scented beauty products, from the exquisitely packaged Jo Malone to Kiehls, L’Occitane and M.A.C cosmetics.
GETTING THERE: Mall of Africa located on Lone Creek and Magwa Crescents in Waterfall, Midrand. The mall is accessible from the Midrand Gautrain station (take the Mall of Africa Gautrain bus which operates daily from the station).