Many of our safaris either begin or end here – and an overnight stay may be necessary if your flights do not connect well.
The city has an unfortunate reputation for crime, but much of this is unwarranted. There are very small pockets that you should avoid – if you do so, the city is a thriving and friendly place. As a general rule, we suggest that you base yourself in the more affluent northern suburbs and then venture into the townships only with an accredited guide.
Many of the suburbs within the city have enjoyed a facelift and can offer a unique insight into the street culture coupled with some fantastic cuisine. One of our top picks for activities in Johannesburg is a tour of the SowetoTownship, coupled with the ApartheidMuseum, for an insight into the rich cultural heritage of the country.
If you have a little longer to spend in Johannesburg, some of our favourite places to stay are AtholPlace Boutique Hotel (the only Relais & Châteaux property in the city) and The Saxon Boutique Hotel (where Nelson Mandela edited his autobiography).
If you are short on time between your flights and only need a place to rest your head, we recommend the luxurious InterContinental Johannesburg O.R. Tambo Airport Hotel (which is only 70 yards from the international departures hall) or the African Rock Hotel (for something a little smaller and more homely).