Posts tagged 'Johannesburg'
So while in South Africa I managed to see the two main places people go, Johannesburg and Cape Town, which are pretty much at opposite ends of any spectrum you can imagine. Safety, things to do, how pretty the city is... Johannesburg ranks very low and Cape Town generally ranks pretty well.
My time in Johannesburg was pretty whirlwind-ish. I'd already decided that I didn't really want to spend much time there and would rather get to Cape Town, but I wanted to see the Apartheid Museum and I needed to reconfirm that I was actually eligible for my Tanzanian Visa on arrival, otherwise I'd need to make the 100KM trip to Pretoria to visit their consulate.
The visa thing ended up being a pretty simple phone call. They urged me to apply before hand, I explained that I wasn't in Pretoria, they confirmed that I could get it on arrival. Booyah!
I asked quite a few locals about safety in Johannesburg and if the whole danger thing was as big of an issue as people make out and was told I'd be fine as long as I stuck to safe areas. So none of the aimless exploring that makes travelling fun; just stick to the touristy spots and you'll be fine... and feel like a tourist.
I changed my flight to South Africa to be a day sooner in order to get to Johannesburg in time on Monday morning to go on a week long tour up to Victoria Falls in Zimbabwe and back. Booking in on this tour was a bit of a spur of the moment thing, I'd only found out about it's existence the Wednesday beforehand; I checked if I could change my flights and if there was room on the bus, then got flights moved and got myself booked in.
I was picked up from the "hostel" I was staying in (It was really just a guys house that he let people stay in... you cant call it a hostel and only have one bathroom & toilet) at 5am. I had been told the day before where the keys were to open the front door, the front verandah cage and the massive padlock on the front gate, topped with an electric fence, and had been told to go out and unlock all the locks, then come inside and wait looking out the window for the bus to show up. At the time I'd though it must have been a terrible neighbourhood to merit all that security, but having spent more time in South Africa I've found that pretty much everywhere has crazy levels of security like that so I'm not so sure anymore.
The bus arrived on time and I was the first person to be picked up. Our guide David, an friendly guy with a goofy laugh and a missing front tooth, introduced himself and we headed off to pick up more people, two Australian sisters from Sydney, then two English guys, then two Swiss sisters and two American cousins. Quite a few pairs of relatives!