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South Africa has long been a favourite with group travellers. Until now, the city of Johannesburg has only played a supporting role in that success, as a connecting hub to the favored destinations of Capetown, Durban and Kruger National Park. These days, more groups choosing to spend more time in this robust city, discovering what “Joburg,” is all about.
Johannesburg is well known for its rich history. Gold discoveries, Boer & Afrikaner influences, and the struggles of Apartheid have all played key roles through the years. It’s now the economic engine of South Africa, with a lively mixture of cultures that embodies what Archbishop Desmond Tutu called the ‘Rainbow Nation.’ There’s so much to see and do: cheer on the locals at a soccer match (remember the vuvuzelas at the 2010 World Cup), visit a museum or art gallery, delve into the history of the townships and Apartheid with a tour of Soweto and give your taste buds a treat at the many multi-cultural restaurant choices.
Here are some more of our favorite Joburg activities to include in your group itinerary to South Africa:
Lebo’s Soweto Bicycle Tour, is a perfect way to start a visit to the city. Not only does your group get some easy exercise and fresh air after the long flight, they also get to confront the legacy of Apartheid. With a professional guide, the 2 or 4 hour tour takes the group to places of historic and cultural interest such as Vilakazi Street to see Nelson Mandela’s house as well as to the Hector Pieterson museum, the men’s migrant workers hostels, churches and local community meeting places. If an energetic bike ride is not appealing then Tuk Tuk rides for the not-so-fit are also available.
Constitutional Hill and Prison is almost old as the city itself. Constitution Hill is a living museum that tells the story of South Africa’s journey to democracy. The site is a former prison and military fort that bears testament to South Africa’s turbulent past, and today is home to the country’s Constitutional Court, which ensures the rights of all citizens are protected. This is a must see for anyone interested in understanding the struggle of Apartheid and the ‘Long Walk to Freedom.’ Perhaps no other site of incarceration in South Africa has imprisoned the sheer number of world-renowned men and women as Constitution Hill’s Old Fort, Women’s Jail, and Number Four. Nelson Mandela. Mahatma Gandhi. Joe Slovo. Albertina Sisulu. Winnie Madikizela-Mandela and Fatima Meer all served time here.
A visit to Liliesleaf Farm, the secret meeting place of the African National Congress activists in the 1960s and the location where many prominent African National Congress leaders were arrested, is another not to be missed site for your group. Today Liliesleaf Farm is a museum and world-famous heritage site, situated in a beautiful suburb. Your group will be able to relive the dramatic events leading up to the police raid and the raid itself through great visual and audio-visual displays. View our GroupsOnly sample itinerary
Gold Reef City’s Underground Mine and Town Experience brings to life the rich history of gold that Johannesburg was built on and still relies on to this day. Golf Reef City theme park is situated on a 10Ha site which surrounds the historically significant 19th century No. 14 shaft at Crown Mines. Your group will travel back in time with a first-hand look at the mine and reconstructed town. The gold mine produced 1.4 million kilograms of gold before closing in the 70s making gold reef city (shaft 14) the world’s richest producer of gold over its 90-year life span. This shaft was at its time, one of the deepest gold mines and worked by 30,000 miners. We will organize for your group to travel down the gold mine shaft in a large, clangy lift to level 5 – 720 feet (226 meters) below the surface, for a guided tour where they will walk down tunnels with a hard hat and a torch in hand, experiencing the tough conditions that the miners had to endure.
In Gold Reef Town, your group will be able to experience daily life in Johannesburg’s gold mining heyday with a stroll down the main street full of actors in period clothing interacting with the visitors. Groups can also enjoy a few pints in the saloon, take a stroll through the animal farm, ride on a steam train, ride a penny farthing cycle, or a horse drawn carriage around the village.
For unique and innovative customized itineraries to South Africa including stops in Johannesburg please contact the tour planning experts at GroupsOnly by Goway
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