Choosing a place to live is a personal decision, firstly are you going to rent or buy a property (if you are a foreigner you are able to buy a home in South Africa, however you have to put down 50% cash deposit). Then what type of area would you like to live in, do you want to live around the corner from work, in a neighbourhood with coffee shops and walking distance from a park? In an estate or free standing property? We have put together a short guide to walk you through all the steps. Click Here to download it.
Here is a short introduction to the various neighbourhoods that the majority of expats choose to live. We have also included a few places to visit, so even if you don’t choose to live in a particular area then you may like to go explore some of Joburg’s most beautiful neighbourhoods.
Midrand (Waterfall and Kyalami)
Between Joburg and Pretoria, Midrand is home to many of the larger companies. It has much more affordable housing and much more space (brilliant for horse ridding!) Also near the American school.
Lots of properties to choose from, and lots of high security estates. Dainfern, Fourways Gardens, and Cedar Lakes are some of the bigger ones, which are built around golf courses, and have very international transient communities.
Central Living, Large Properties, Lots of cluster homes to choose from. Near good South African schools, and close to buses for the American school and other International Schools. Be careful the traffic can build up and a 10 minutes journey quickly becomes 45mins / 1 hour.
Great for living close to work, near the main shopping mall, and Gautrain to commute out to Pretoria, or the airport.
Good selection of apartments, or cluster homes and estates.
For family sized homes close to a park and more of a village feel look at Parkmore, which is right next to Sandton, however the houses are free standing. River Club is the closest estate. Beware that the traffic in and around Sandton is very busy particularly when any of the traffic lights go down.
Places to Visit: Sandton Mall (Sundowners at the Southern Sun balcony), Nelson Mandela statue,
Hyde Park / Sandhurst
Mix of exclusive cluster homes, large apartments and grand properties. Most houses have beautiful landscaped gardens, their own security guard and large properties.
Walking distance to the Gautrain, nicely placed near Melrose Arch, Rosebank and Sandton. Great mix of old and new apartments along with some great cluster homes. Wanders Cricket ground is here, alongside the Wanders Sports Club which has a really active Rugby / Squash / Tennis amongst other sport communities.
Similarly to Monte Casino (in Fourways) you will either love or hate Melrose Arch. Its home to the Premium Virgin Gym and exclusive shops and restaurants. Its one of the few places where you can actually eat outside (and not overlook a car park 😉 ). There are a number of penthouses and apartment blocks within the compound, making it an ideal and safe place to live if you are moving to Joburg as a young couple or by yourself. Certainly worth a visit and very popular with tourists who want to shop and drink outside enjoying the sunshine!
The Parks / Rosebank / Westcliff
Parkview, Parkhurst, Parktown North, Greenside, Craighall Park, Dunked West, Saxonwold, these area’s are mainly free standing properties, lots of large parks, restaurants, and smaller village-like communities. A large number of the streets are lined with beautiful Jacaranda tree’s so well worth visiting around October time.
Parkhurst has a more european feel to it, with a great strip of restaurants, and locally owned shops and antique dealers along 4th Avenue. You often see people walking their dogs, parents (or nannies) with their pushchairs, kids on their bikes, joggers all out and about - particularly at weekends.
The property sizes are smaller and quite close together, great residence association.
Lies at the foot of Northcliff Hill, a traditionally Africans area hosting the Africans government school), larger properties some with fantastic city views. Great mix of old family run restaurants alongside new trendy coffee shops and entrepreneurs.
Student area close to the University of Johannesburg (UJ) and WITS (University of the Witswatersrand). Great night life, smaller properties, great diverse vibe, lots of journalists, students, and young families, fantastic local restaurants and new shops opening up all the time.
Parkview is built around a lovely park, and similarly to Parkhurst has a wonderful strip of shops and coffee shops (go try the egg brunch at Croft and Co). Parkview is more of a family suburb, built around George Hay park, which plays host to many community events hosted by the superb primary and secondary schools in partnerships with the Parkview Residence Association.
Westcliff is home to all the old "Randlords" used to live, its one of the oldest parts of the city. With its large properties with incredible views. It is also home to two outstanding (and over subscribed) schools; The Ridge (boys) and St Catherine’s (girls). Early mornings the famous “Westcliff Steps” are full of fitness fanatics and those wanting a challenge, but the view from the top is certainly worth the effort.
Rosebank Very recently renovated with Standard Bank building opening up just last year bringing in hundreds of young professionals to the area. As a result lots of cool new bars, shops and restaurants are now springing up all over the place. The Keys Art Mile being one of them - fantastic place to go hang out on the First Thursday of every month. Lots of apartments and young professionals moving in to the area. Great links to town, Pretoria, and Sandton via the Gautrain.
Rosebank has been recently renovated with Standard Bank building opening up just last year bringing in hundreds of young professionals to the area. As a result lots of cool new bars, shops and restaurants are now springing up all over the place. The Keys Art Mile being one of them - fantastic place to go hang out on the First Thursday of every month. Lots of apartments and young professionals moving in to the area. Great links to town, Pretoria, and Sandton via the Gautrain.
Day trips - Zoo / Zoo Lake - first weekend each month Artist under the Sun / Delta Park / Emmarentia Park
The neighbourhood Nelson Mandela spent his last few years. Large properties situated the other side of the N1 motorway, very near outstanding private schools, and wonderful old sports club - Old Eds now hosts Premium Virgin Active gym.
If you plan to be travelling a lot then Bedfordview is right next to OR Tambo. Has a lovely farm - Gillooly’s, where you can go for picnic by the lake, and check out the beautiful views. Eastgate shopping centre and lots of restaurants.
JOBURG CITY CENTRE
Once this was the heart of the business district in Joburg, before all the major companies moved out to safer Sandton. However now its home to many creative and entrepreneurs, the past 5 years this area has once again sprung to life. With great food market each saturday bringing people back to the area.
Once a no go areas in the east end, now thanks to the vision of Jonathan Liebmann, has become the coolest part to go, there are art galleries, co office work spaces, a retro cinema, and wonderful market each Sunday based at Arts on Main. You can find a incredible mix of african food, fashion and design in what has become the heart of Jozi city life.
Places to Visit: Arts of Main (market on main each Sunday) Kruger Street, Che restaurant, 1 on Fox, Urbanology, Newtown Walking Tour with Past Experiences , Maboneng
Check out - SA- Venues for full list of suburbs:
Check Out - Joburg in your Pocket for full list of events and things to do.