JHB: Top 10 Places to Explore & Have Fun!!

  Win A Flight with kulula.com and Avios and Check out The Top 10 Places to Explore and have Fun in JHB. Last week we were so excited about the partnership between Avios and kulula.com that we featured a story on the Top 10 Places to Eat and Shop in JHB. If you are not […]

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Win A Flight with kulula.com and Avios and Check out The Top 10 Places to Explore and have Fun in JHB.

Last week we were so excited about the partnership between Avios and kulula.com that we featured a story on the Top 10 Places to Eat and Shop in JHB. If you are not part of the Avios loyalty programme yet, you can click here.

This partnership now allows kulula fans who join Avios, the global travel rewards programme, to collect Avios points at an earn rate of three Avios for every R10 spent on kulula flights. To celebrate the partnership we are giving away a kulula return flight to JHB. All you need to do to enter the competition, is fill in the form below:

Now this week, we feature the Top 10 Places to Explore and Have Fun in JHB. So, when most people think about places to explore and have fun in Johannesburg, it is usually malls, casinos, safari and zoo’s that spring to mind. We recently headed off to the “City of Gold” on an adventure with kulula and Avios to find the Top 10 of interesting places to explore and have fun in JHB.

To be honest, we had to do some research before embarking on our adventure, as we had never heard of half of the places on the list!!

So, here is our choice of the The Top 10 Places to Explore and Have Fun in JHB:

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1.Maboneng

This tops our list of things to do in Johannesburg!! The urban renewal of a decaying part of downtown JHB has resulted in a magical mix of urban culture, food, art and living. It is an amazing, but small area, of art galleries, restaurants, theatres, and bars.

Instead of spending your time mall crawling, we suggest you skip the trendy shopping centres of Sandton, and go experience the real, authentic Johannesburg.

There are plenty of restaurants to check out if the market is a bit full and a number of coffee stands to get your fix. You can even swim at the newly opened Poolside Cafe.

Walk around this vibrant part of town and take it all in. It’s quite something.
Now if you’re like me and you’re worried about safety, don’t be – it’s as safe as can be with 24-hour security. We loved the chilled vibe in the day, but it can get very busy at night. There is also ample parking.

There’s nothing not to love about Maboneng, from the variety of different food, the theatre and comedy nights.

TIP: The best day to visit is on a Sunday because that’s when the Market on Main comes alive, but there are still lots to do on any of the other days.

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2. Monte Casino Bird Gardens

The bird park is a great place for kids and families to enjoy, and is the only bird park of its kind in Africa. There are beautiful walkways past countless exotic birds. The walk-through aviary boasts over 100 species of birds including Scarlet Ibises, and Nicobar pigeons, snakes, colourful frogs and small animals like iguanas, marmosets and tamarins, with smaller antelope wandering freely in the undergrowth.

There are daily bird shows -‘Flights of Fantasy’, features pelicans, vultures, cranes and owls.

For plant lovers, the Bird Gardens also features the largest, most diverse private collection of South African Cycads in the world.

My favourite was the walk-through aviary, filled with dozens of bright pink scarlet ibises and over 60 other bird species, and you can feed the lorikeets on your way out which is fun for the kids.

TIP: If you want to save cash, join the Montecasino Rewards Programme.

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3. Oriental Plaza

Who doesn’t love a good bargain, and if its bargains you are looking for, then the Oriental Plaza in Fordsburg, at the heart of Johannesburg, is the place to be.

From exotic spices, wedding gowns or good Indian delicacies, Oriental Plaza is your one stop oriental experience.

This is a little bit of Asia in South Africa, and with over 360 stalls and shops selling all sorts from ice cream to samoosas, kitchenware, housewares, clothing and lots of interesting bits.

TIP: There are no fixed prices – as in eastern markets, bargaining is part of the experience, so don’t settle for the marked price.

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4. Melville Koppies

If you are the adventurous type, and need some time out without going on a strenuous hike, Melville Koppies, Johannesburg’s 50-year old nature reserve is an excellent choice.

Once you reach the top of Melville Koppies, you can see all of Johannesburg. When you descend into the valley, the city disappears. It is hard to believe such peace exists in the heart of the city.

Almost 180 bird species can be found in the reserve and a variety of small mammals such as slender and yellow mongooses, civets, genets, scrub hares and hedgehogs. There are two kinds of hikes, one is a cross-koppies hike which covers more distance with one break. The other is a guided tour, which costs R50 with time to stop and ask questions.

TIP: If you are an avid photographer, then we suggest that you take your camera along, the panoramic views are spectacular!

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5. Gold Reef City

Now, who doesn’t want to feel like a kid again? Gold Reef City is home to one of Johannesburg’s top attractions.

The theme park is one of the biggest in South Africa and is a place where you can go and have a lot of fun at all ages, with fast rides for the thrill seekers and slower rides for those who aren’t. Some of the most exciting rides are the exhilarating Free Fall and the Anaconda.

You can be guaranteed of a fabulous time on the rides, try your skill at winning prizes, check out their cinema, or eat at their many restaurants.

TIP: If you are with kids, there is a minimum height restriction of 1.3m for several rides.

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6. Honeydew Mazes

This is fun and adventure for the whole family! Honeydew Mazes is an outdoor maze activity. You basically run around the maze finding clues and then answering the questions. They change the design of the maze every year, which is really cool.

You can start by exploring their giant Elemental Maze, or find the 5 secret gardens and answer the general knowledge quiz. There are other smaller mazes and puzzles in the Courtyard. In the early part of the year they have a Maize Maze, and in the winter and spring they have the Elemental Maze, constructed of reeds. Both mazes are a challenge for all ages.

If you’re competitive and love the outdoors then this is the place for you.

TIP: Don’t forget to wear comfortable walking shoes, take a sun hat and apply sunscreen.

7. The Wonder caves

The Wonder Cave is a natural limestone cavern situated in the Rhino & Lion Nature Reserve in the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage Site. This is a perfect day trip from Pretoria or Johannesburg. Located within the Lion and Rhino Park, the drive to the cave gives you an opportunity to view wildlife on the way in.

The Wonder Cave is South Africa’s third largest cave and one of the most beautifully decorated. The tour guides are knowledgeable and happy to answer all your questions.

It truly is beautiful and exploring these caves always carry some excitement!

TIP: Be warned, that entering and exiting the caves requires climbing many stairs, so be prepared for it.

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8. Neighbourgoods Market

No Saturday is complete without visiting the Neighbourgoods Market. If you love the Neighborhoods Market at the Old Biscuit Mill in Cape Town, then you are going to love its trendy counterpart in Johannesburg.

Here you will find a great selection of food from across the world and a well stocked cocktail bar at the rooftop.

It truly is a trendy melting pot of different crowds, great music and a lovely ambience.

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9.Walter Sisulu Botanical Gardens

Here’s your chance to stand beneath the only waterfall in Johannesburg!

Founded in 1982 this nature reserve is perfect for your next picnic. It’s one of South Africa’s eight botanical gardens, and it’s a lovely spot for you to see if you can catch a glimpse of the breeding pair of majestic Verreaux’s Eagles nest on the cliffs alongside the waterfall.

The Garden is also home to an abundance of wildlife with over 220 birds species recorded on site. There are also a number of reptiles and small mammals, including small antelope and jackals, which occur naturally in the Nature Reserve.

TIP: Pack your camping chairs, picnic blankets and basket and make a day of it. Don’t forget the binoculars!

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10. Magaliesberg Canopy Tour

If you are an adrenalin junkie, then this action-packed eco-adventure is definitely for you.

Located in the heart of the majestic Magaliesberg Mountains, the Magaliesberg Canopy Tour is a unique eco-adventure that takes you on an aerial sightseeing journey through the ecology and geology of the second oldest mountain range in the world – estimated to be 2,400 million years old.

Roughly a three-hour treetop experience, it’s suitable for kids, parents and elders and if you’re a little nervous, safety is of paramount importance. The tour can also be done in tandem so you can just enjoy the ride without worrying about the brakes.

TIP: Include the Sunday buffet at the hotel and a trip to the spa for a truly memorable experience.

We hope that you take on the challenge and take some time to explore these amazing, wondrous places in JHB.

Don’t forget that as well as earning Avios points with kulula, local Avios customers will continue to be able to collect Avios points through their everyday spending, such as on groceries with Pick n Pay and fuel at BP. Avios collected can be used for awesome travel experiences with Avios partners which comprise of global travel and hotel partners. If you are not part of the Avios loyalty programme yet, for more info on the new partnership between Avios and kulula click here http://www.kulula.com/flights/avios