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Johannesburg is the largest city in South Africa, boasting a great economic structure due to its importance in the South African gold and diamond trades.
The city enjoys a mostly sunny climate, with the summer months characterised by hot days followed by afternoon thunder showers and cool evenings, and the winter months by dry, sunny days followed by cold nights. Temperatures in Johannesburg are usually fairly mild due to the city’s high elevation.
Johannesburg offers a stunning cityscape, with much natural beauty in terms of parks and gardens which are primarily free to visit.
Although not traditionally viewed as a tourist-centred city, this view is beginning to change as Johannesburg continues to pump money into the city in order for it to stand as a global centre of tourism.
Arriving Johannesburg Airport
Johannesburg Airport is the main facility covering the whole of the Johannesburg region and its runways are widely considered to be the longest in the world.
Thanks largely to the soccer world cup tournament that took place in South Africa in 2010, airport decor and travelling processes are among the best in the country, with swift and efficient check-in, security and baggage collections assured for visitors.
Car rental queues move extremely quickly, with some of the most friendly staff in the world, and the whole structure of the airport seems designed to get you out of the airport and into your holiday as quickly as possible.
Taxi cabs travelling from the airport to Downtown Johannesburg can be expected to cost you around $20 – $25.
Driving In Johannesburg
While the major Johannesburg road networks are well-maintained, with a simple and easy to navigate layout, driving can still be a hectic experience for first time visitors.
This is primarily due to the native drivers who tend to drive too fast, hog the middle lane and perform overtaking procedures on either side of the road.
This can be extremely disconcerting to the first time visitor to Johannesburg and extra care must be taken, particularly around busy city areas.
When stopping at traffic lights, be warned that you are likely to be approached by any number of salesman offering free windscreen washes, trinkets and newspapers.
Johannesburg traffic lights are treated as ‘marketplaces’, especially in tourist-heavy areas, and you will need to be vigilant if you have no desire for purchasing from these street-sellers.
Johannesburg Driving Tips
- Jaywalking is rampant and is hardly ever punished. Take extra care to avoid pedestrians undertaking this dangerous venture.
- Drivers are responsible for all passengers wearing seatbelts. If pulled over, it is the driver who will be charged for failing to ensure that seatbelts are worn at all times.
- As with elsewhere in South Africa, drink driving is strictly prohibited. You will be pulled over and charged if you attempt to drink while you are driving.
- South Africans drive on the left side of the road. Only use the right lane while performing overtaking maneuvers.
- Children under the age of 12 cannot sit in the front seat of the car. Also, all children under the age of 8 must have a car seat or booster seat in order to travel.
Things To Do In Johannesburg
- Apartheid Museum – Learn the real history of South Africa’s political growth at the fascinating Apartheid Museum.
- Felleng Day Tours – World class safari tours with a huge volume of popular animals to view and experience.
- Constitution Hill – Stunning architecture and historical significance meet at this central point of South African politics.
Restaurants In Johannesburg – Popular With Visitors
- Cube Tasting Kitchen – 17 4th Avenue, Parktown North, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Cafe Del Sol – Olivedale Corner Centre, Pres.Fouche Drive. Randburg, Johannesburg, South Africa
- Five Hundred – Saxon Hotel, 36 Saxon Road, Sandhurst, Johannesburg, South Africa