People often ask me if I feel safe to walk around and explore Johannesburg. Like any city there are no go area's. or places I would only go through with a local, or as part of a group. But there are lots of places that you just have to be aware (rather than paranoid). Plan your trip, know where you are going, where to park, and leave your Rolex at home.
Here are my top experiences, the majority are individually or community run, with the larger more established tours at the end.
1. Day tour with Thami
Thami provides the BEST tour in the whole of South Africa! Every guest who comes to stay with us, has to go out with him, at least for half a day. We have sent global CEO's, and my in laws out with him. Thami has grown up in Soweto, he know everyone and everything. There isn't anything he can't show you or explain to you. Thami will personalise your tour, and give you a day you will always remember! He really is outstanding. All the profits he makes go directly back into the people of Soweto.
2. Micro Adventures Tour Guide
Great variety of adventures to go on, from running up the stairs at Ponte Tower, to exploring Joburg's Heritage. Each event always has a great mix of people who create a welcoming environment. But be warned their adventures sell out quickly, so if you see something you would like to do, make sure you book it!
3. Johannesburg Heritage Foundation
My good friend Heather Mason from 2Summers told me about these guys, and wow what a great find! They provide a vast amount of knowledge and history delivered in a variety of formats, from bus trips to neighbourhood walking tours. They always run a special offer on tours throughout September to celebrate Heritage Day.
4. Joburg Photowalkers & InstaWalks
For those who want to explore off the beaten path, join the Photo walkers facebook group, or keep a look out for the next Instawalk.
5. Dlala Nje - Hillbrow
Most Joburger's consider Hillbrow a no-go area. Thankfully Micro Adventures and Dlala Nje are changing that, by encouraging people to return, by running Hillbrow and Ponte tours and have also just opened a bar and yoga classes inside Ponte Tower. Dlala Nje operate a youth club based out off Ponte, all proceeds from their tours go directly to the running costs..
6. City Stake Tours
The tour lasts three hours and skateboards are provided (tours are for persons aged over 18 only). The first hour is usually spent teaching you how to skate, before heading into town to tell you more about the history, and point out some up and coming urban developments, graffiti and street sculptures. To book contact Mnyandu on +27 79 839 8833, email firstname.lastname@example.org. Tours from R300 per person (including skateboard rental). Tours on Sat, Sun, start at 10:00 and 14:00.