This section is dedicated to take away all your "I wish someone had told me that before I went!" experiences. This way, you can spend less time settling in, and more time making new friends in your chosen hostel. We share our insider knowledge of tips, tricks and important things to look out for in Johannesburg.
Johannesburg is Africa’s economic heart and a starting point for many African adventures. As one of Africa’s main aviation hubs, many travelers find themselves beginning their African adventures here. "Joburg" (as it's affectionately called) has earned a bit of a rough reputation; however, just staying on your guard will let you enjoy everything this great South African city has to offer! Johannesburg hostels are spread out amongst the city’s various characteristic neighbourhoods, yet all are underscored by a commitment to security and quality.
As South Africa’s largest city, Joburg is home to some of the country’s best historical sights. A day trip to Soweto provides an insight into South Africa’s difficult past, whilst giving visitors the opportunity to visit the only street where two Nobel Prize winners lived. The Apartheid Museum is a must-visit on any South African itinerary, providing a real historical context for travel in this beautiful country. Both Soweto and the Apartheid Museum will enrich your South African adventure, allowing you to appreciate the beauty of the "Rainbow Nation." All Joburg hostels will be able to arrange tours that include both Soweto and the Apartheid Museum, with friendly staff gladly answering any questions you have on the legacy of this divisive policy.
Given that Joburg is very spread out, Johannesburg hostels are spread throughout the city. For those looking for some diversification during their African adventures, your best bet for eating out will likely be Sandton area, with its wide array of international cuisine. However, for the more adventurous types, local eateries will gladly welcome you in the Soweto area. Joburg’s numerous shopping centers are also a great place to do some last-minute shopping, or alternatively to stock up on some quality supplies before heading into the wilds. Your Joburg hostel will be able to direct you as to the best form of transport to visit these areas.
For those short on time for a proper safari, Joburg’s Lion Park is a great place to get acquainted with South Africa’s most famous inhabitants. Here, you can drive your own car through or join a guided tour. For an additional cost, you can even grab a quick cuddle with some young lion cubs. This is definitely one experience you don’t want to miss in Joburg. For the best transport options, ask your Johannesburg hostel for details.
Johannesburg hostels are also invaluable sources of information about onwards travel in South Africa, whether you’re considering a visit to Kruger National Park or the Garden Route, your Johannesburg hostel will update you with the latest travel information. Johannesburg hostels are available year-round (you should probably book in advance if you're visiting at peak times, which include the dry season -- July to October -- and South African holidays).
Written by local enthusiast for Johannesburg hostels@dhersz