South Africa Part V: Johannesburg

This the fifth and final post of travel series across the south of Africa. Six family members traveled to four countries over ten days: Capetown (Part I) and Sabi Sands Game Reserve (Part II) in South Africa, Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe (Part III), Chobe National Park (Part IV) in Botswana, and Johannesburg, South Africa (Part V). We passed through Zambia, so we’re counting it!

Our day in Johannesburg was quite unexpected.  We flew in from Zimbabwe late one evening in preparation for a morning flight to San Francisco   Early the next morning, we checked out and headed into the airport.  We thought it was strange that our flight was not on the departures board.  Simple explanation – our flight was at 9 pm, not 9 am.  I misread our travel app and was thankful for a very understanding husband.

So, we had the day in Johannesburg.  What to do, what to do.  After a quick web search and a tromp back to the hotel, we decided to hire a local guide/driver and tour the city. 

We lucked out as our guide was simply excellent. We toured the township of Soweto, the incredible Apartheid Museum, Mandela’s childhood home, and many other sites.  Soweto was home to Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Mandela’s wife, Winnie, lives there today.

Not a lot of photo opps, but we enjoyed the day nonetheless. 

The Twin Towers, a prominent landmark of the city. Originally for water storage for a power plant, they're now artistic beacons and - you can bungee jump off the top!

Unfortunately, there are many slums cross Johannesburg, and according to  our guide they are filled primarily with immigrants from poorer African nations such as Zimbabwe and the Congo. These immigrants are generally willing to work at jobs that locals would not. 

We swung by Freedom Square and the Klipton Open Air Museum.  Below is a section of the museum which has a wheel dedicated to the Freedom Charter where each “slice” of the large wheel illustrates one of the aspirations of those against apartheid. 

A change of pace…in the category of “things you wouldn’t see at home,” here’s a sign on a telephone post.  

And finally, a group of young South African men entertained us at a local restaurant. Such energy!

All in all, an unexpected day in Johannesburg and a good one. 

We headed back to the airport and sure enough, our flight was now listed on the departures board.  Home again, home again, nothing like sleeping in your own bed.  

2 thoughts on “South Africa Part V: Johannesburg”

  1. What a Awesome trip! Looks liek so much fun had by all. You photographs are really great, Happy holidays to you both.

    Jim & Kristie

  2. Joyce

    FABULOUS!!!! What a great trip…even on a blog! Enjoy every journey with you, Rachel! Happy Holiday’s to you and family!

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