Here in South Africa we just call it Jo’burg, Jozi or eGoli (City of Gold). It’s Africa’s version of the city that never sleeps, our New York. It is one of the 40 largest metropolitan areas of the world, and the largest city in Sub-Sahara Africa. Johannesburg was founded in 1886 and is one of the youngest major cities in the world. It is also known as the largest man made forest in the world with more than 6 million trees.

Image: Chris Kirchhoff -
Image: Chris Kirchhoff -

Should you find yourself in Johannesburg on a short layover here are some of my recommendations.  From OR Tambo airport board the Gautrain only a 12 minute journey to Sandton in the Northern Suburbs of Johannesburg.

It is easy to follow; the yellow line will get you to your first stop and change from the yellow line to the red line in Sandton heading for Rosebank another 4 minutes.  Here you grab a cab to Melrose Arch Hotel.

If you’re more shopping than sightseeing orientated then this next paragraph is for you. Head for the Hyde Park Corner Shopping Centre; if you are a “name brand aficionado” because this mall was voted by the locals as the “most loved” of all.  As an alternative place to stay I’ve including the Hyde Park Hotel it’s directly connected to the mall. The bar on the mezzanine level of this hotel happens to be the place to be seen at the time of this post. 


Back to shopping; if you are more interested in items not readily found in your country, then I’d say; RosebankShopping Centre would be for you. Start at the craft market and make sure to visit the mall itself there are several authentic stores.  If you only have time for one shopping spree; then go to Sandton City  and Nelson Madela Square adjacent to it.  You may want to people watch.  A good idea is to enjoy an apĂ©ritif whiles viewing people taking turns posing next to Africa’s “David” Madiba's statue. Please eat something light because we are going to have dinner at one of South Africa’s best Italian restaurants tonight.  If you’re from Italy and cannot bear the thought of eating Italian food in Africa, then I suggest you treat yourself to some real South African Meat and have dinner at the “Butcher Shop& Grill” 

I hope you made dinner reservations ahead of time Asssaggi is very popular; the address;    30 Rudd Road, Illovo, 2196, and here's the phone number 011 268 1370. 

 Image: John Hogg

I am also going to direct you to The Grillhouse for red meat lovers.  “Leading news and financial agency Bloomberg named The Grillhouse as one of the top 10 business dining venues in Johannesburg."  

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