Unique Ways To Discover Johannesburg

Balloon Ride across Magaliesberg Mountains during sunrise
Balloon Ride across Magaliesberg Mountains during sunrise | © MarcelStrelow / Getty Images
Culture Trip Travel Team

Johannesburg – South Africa’s biggest city – is home to numerous historical sites, including the Apartheid Museum and Nelson Mandela’s former residence. Plus, it’s a great city to stay in if you want a once-in-a-lifetime safari experience. Culture Trip curates six things to do in and around the city that put a twist on the classics.

Offering a history lesson on the black South Africans against apartheid movement, a visit to Nelson Mandela’s former residence in Soweto should be on every visitor’s Johannesburg itinerary. But instead of taking a walking tour, why not opt for a four-hour bike tour that passes a squatter camp, or perhaps an experience that includes lunch with the locals?

Another must-visit is the UNESCO-listed Cradle of Humankind, which is recognised as the world’s richest hominin site. Instead of visiting the site on foot, we suggest taking a hot-air balloon ride for aerial views of both the site itself and the Magaliesberg mountain range.

1. History Bicycle Tour of Soweto


This tour will let you experience day-to-day life in the township, from the first people living in Soweto up to today’s flamboyant five-star Soweto Hotel. You will visit a squatter camp and Regina Mundi church, see Nelson Mandela’s house and hear stories about the struggle by black South Africans against apartheid. You also experience ‘the better life for all South Africans’ starting after the first free elections in 1994.

2. Cradle of Humankind Tour with a Lion Safari


Visit the world-renowned Cradle of Humankind. You will experience the Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng exhibition centre on this 8-hour adventure. Spend an hour on a guided tour in the underground Sterkfontein caves. This is the site where Mrs Ples, a 2.3-million-year-old hominid, was discovered. Also the site for Little Foot! Learn about local history as you discover why the UNESCO-listed Maropeng is called the Cradle of Humankind. On this tour you also get to experience a Lion Safari and local wildlife from the back of an open truck.


If you’re going to do it, then do it in unassailable style. Quaff champagne as you enjoy what some describe as the closest thing to heaven known to man – the “magical experience” of lazily drifting with the wind in a hot-air balloon on a fascinating aerial sightseeing flight over the majestic Magaliesbergs, in the Cradle of Humankind, on South Africa’s largest and most experienced balloon air-service. Although the flight is an hour, we suggest you keep your morning free as breakfast is included!A Top-class “Must-do” South African experience.

4. Lesedi cultural village tour


Our tours are run by well-experienced and well-trained tourist guides who are registered with the accredited authority (THETA) – tourism, hospitality, sports, education and training authority.Our guides are knowledgeable, love working with people and are welcoming.

5. Soweto and Apartheid museum + local lunch half day tour


A private tour that is more welcoming, full of interesting facts about the history and culture of South Africa. Get the firsthand experience from the guide who born and groomed in Soweto. The package include a much-needed and highly recommended local lunch in Soweto.

6. Full Day Ultimate Pilanesberg National Park Safari


After collecting you from your hotel or residence in Johannesburg between 06:00 – 06:30, we travel to the Pilanesberg Nature Park.We should arrive at Pilanesberg Park around 9am, where we will then board and start our 1st open-vehicle safari drive ( +- 3 hours) in search of the animals that inhabit the National Park. We will then have a short stop from 12 pm until 1 pm for lunch at Pilanebserg Center inside the middle of the park overlooking a beautiful waterhole. After lunch we will depart on our 2nd Open Safari Drive (+-2 hours). We depart the park around 15h30, arriving back in Johannesburg between 17h30 to 18h00.

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