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10 Things to Do In and Around Jozi

Johannesburg, South Africa

The Concierge Team at Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg recommends their best picks in and around Jozi:

Maboneng (distance from Hotel – 15 minutes): A Sotho word meaning “place of light,” is a fitting name for a district that has become a centre of creative energy for Johannesburg’s urban artists. With a mix of art galleries, retail and funky studio apartments, the precinct draws the chic, art-going crowd of the city. Stroll through the many art studios and shop at some of the best local retail stores South Africa has to offer, or grab a bite at the weekly Arts on Main market and picnic under the olive trees. Head to the roof top of the Main Change building on Kruger Street where an unexpected green urban oasis, The Living Room, awaits you. This chilled restaurant and bar with fantastic views over the Joburg city rooftops is not to be missed.

Braamfontein (distance from Hotel – 10 minutes): On Saturdays everyone congregates at one destination in Braamfontein: the Neighbourgoods market. The setting is a revived urban warehouse where you will find Johannesburg’s hip, young cosmopolitan crowd enjoying the city's coolest foodie market. Go hungry as there is much to taste, including some local micro-brewed craft beers, authentic paella and the best burgers you’ve ever eaten. Be warned, you could easily spend your entire Saturday at Neighbourgoods market.

Tip: Get there before 11:00 am to get a table – the rooftop open-air zone is the place to see and be seen.

When the market closes at 4:00 pm, head across the road to Great Dane (a relaxed go-as-you-are club that opens during the day until the wee hours), or have a drink at Kitcheners next door, the second oldest pub in Joburg.

44 Stanley (distance from Hotel – 10 minutes):  The 44 Stanley site was once a series of industrial 1930s buildings, and has been developed into a collection of local specialty boutiques, foodie stops and design studios. Meander through the shady arcades and courtyards and enjoy everything from delicious food, boutique clothing and toys to antiques and interiors. The ambience is relaxed and friendly – a refreshing mix of quintessential Johannesburg elements.

Parkhurst (distance from Hotel – 5 minutes): Commonly known by locals as The Parks, this collection of neighbouring suburbs is known for its grand old houses and cottages and some of the best drinking and dining spots Johannesburg has to offer. It’s enjoyable to walk from one village to the next, to shop at the specialty boutiques, award-winning butchers, famous bakers and just about anything and everything your tasteful heart desires.

Amatuli (distance from Hotel – 20 minutes): A trip to Johannesburg is not complete without an Amatuli adventure. Step inside this multi-storey warehouse with tribal antiques from all over the African continent - full of beads, baskets, heavy wooden furniture, masks, figurines, light shades, vases and just about any other object you can imagine. Amatuli is an ever-changing showcase for beautiful found objects and aesthetic treasures  – a true hidden gem. For the hungry or thirsty, pop in to the adjoining quirky Katy’s Palace Bar, open every Wednesday afternoon for sundowners, or enjoy their famous brunch, which takes place on the first Sunday of every month.

Soweto Bike Tour (distance from Hotel – 20 minutes): An adventurous township tour that takes you around the streets of Soweto (South Western Townships). Choose between a half or a full day cycling tour and discover what makes this township unique. Have a taste of Soweto – munch on a local burger called kota, or stop at the shebeen (township bar), enjoy a traditional beer with the Sowetan people and step back in time with a visit to Nelson Mandela’s former home or the Hector Pieterson memorial and museum. You’ll go home with a different perception of Joburg shantytowns.

Constitution Hill (distance from Hotel – 10 minutes): Step back in time and revisit South Africa’s turbulent past and extraordinary transition to democracy at Constitution Hill. A multi-faceted heritage precinct in the heart of the city, Constitution Hill was built on the 40 hectare (100 acre) site of a century-old prison complex where the leaders of every major South African liberation group - Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi among them - were once detained. Nowhere is the story of South Africa's turbulent past and its extraordinary transition to democracy told as it is at Constitution Hill, witness to a century of South African history.

Hot Air Balloon Safari (distance from Hotel - 1 hour and 15 minutes): Meet at sunrise at the Magalies River Valley, and moments later you’ll be hovering over the treetops sipping Champagne and watching the light travel over the land as you look out over the Cradle of Humankind, or perhaps drift above the Magaliesberg range, a region boasting some of the best ballooning weather in the world. Either way you’re doing it in style. Professional pilots and attentive crew mean you can relax and enjoy the experience knowing you’re in good hands. After landing enjoy a magnificent and generous Champagne breakfast at the new, exquisite clubhouse as you think back over your inspiring journey. Continue your adventures a few minutes away at the Magaliesburg Canopy Tour at the second oldest mountain range in the world - estimated to be 2.4 billion years old. Eleven platforms have been constructed high against the rock faces of the spectacular Ysterhout Kloof (a nature wonderland carved out of the mountainside over millions of years), joined by 10 cabled slides up to 140 metres (460 feet) long and in places 30 metres (98 feet) above the canopy floor. Look out for the resident impala, blue wildebeest, zebra, duiker and many other indigenous animal, bird, reptile and insect species along the way.

Cradle of Human Kind (distance from Hotel – 1 hour and 15 minutes): One of eight World Heritage Sites in South Africa, the Cradle is widely recognized as the place from which all of humankind originated. The 47,000-hectare (116,000 acre) site has unearthed the best evidence of the complex journey that our species has taken to make us what we are. Your tour will start with a boat ride on an artificial lake (guaranteed to be a hit with kids in particular) before you enter the exhibition area that leads you through highlights of our evolutionary journey. Finally, you will emerge from the back of the building to a striking view over the rolling hills towards the Magaliesberg, one of the best to be had in Gauteng.

Tip: Maropeng (the official visitor centre) has a companion site, the world famous Sterkfontein Caves, where famous fossil discoveries have been made. You can easily visit both the Sterkfontein Caves and Maropeng in a day, and the experiences complement one another.

Golf (distance from Hotel 5 minutes): Golf enthusiasts in Johannesburg are spoiled for choice with 36 world-class courses to choose from, a number of which have hosted European PGA Tour and South African Sunshine Tour events. In fact, the only difficulty the avid player is likely to experience is choosing between them. The Parkview, Houghton and Royal Johannesburg and Kensington courses are all within a few minutes drive from Four Seasons Hotel The Westcliff Johannesburg.