Blogs from Johannesburg, Gauteng, South Africa, Africa

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Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg » Melville January 14th 2019

To put it shortly, our days in Johannesburg were simply magic, mindblowing and it is difficult to express it in words, but I will try. First it was a long drive up from Durban through the ever changing landscape. But it was a relaxed journey and traffic is super-easy to handle in South Africa. Just be aware of the speed controls - there are many! It was a bit tricky to find the right streets without a GPS, but we somehow managed to arrive safely in Jozi (how the locals call Johannesburg), in the suburb of Emmarentia which is just north of Melville. We stayed in a Bed & Breakfast called 43 on Congo and it was amazing! Our lovely host showed us the rooms (also our friends were staying there). We had a huge appartment ... read more
on Top of Africa in Jozi CBD
Paramahamsa Vishwananda
temple inauguration ceremonies in Johannesburg

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg September 26th 2018

Day 3 And the second of our two full days in Doha. The oppressive heat is relentless. When we set off in the morning we felt it had eased off a little, but by half way to our target museum we realised that was a false hope. It's not so much the temperature but also the high humidity, in the upper 70%s. We headed today for the Msheireb Museums, a group of 4 heritage houses in the heart of old Doha, each given over to a particular theme. The first, Radwani House showed rooms and artefacts associated with traditional Qatari family life in the 1920s. Next, Company House, was once the HQ for Qatar's first oil company. Before oil, and later gas, were discovered Qatar's economy was mostly built upon hand dived natural pearls, and dates. ... read more
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Teddy Bear Lamp
Yellow Southern-masked Weaver

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg September 2nd 2018

Slept pretty well considering the hour we got in here. There was no car for us at the airport but got a taxi which was cheaper than quoted by the hotel and got us here in no time. Woke up around 0830 so decided to stay up and do breakfast seeing it was included in the room price. Got down there just after 1000 as breakfast was due to finish at 1030. No sign of that end time, as more and more people filtered in after 1030 and the food kept on coming out. Good brekky, we filled up before the fight so we didn’t need to do lunch. Went back to the room and repacked the bags - again. This time we decided to “lose” some old jocks and socks rather than bring them home ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg September 1st 2018

Day started with a sleep in of sorts. We were being picked up at 1000 to go to a cultural village and his morning before heading back to Kigali and then onto Johannesburg. Bags packed and re-packed, then as we walk out of our house there are 2 of the staff waiting to take our bags to the reception area. We eat and chat to a few more of the staff then try to get wifi working. Turns out the internet is shot and they are waiting for the tech guys to come and fix it. We leave for our cultural visit. Back to the village where we turned off for the start of our walk yesterday. We have heard this is a bit commercial so a bit sceptical. We at greets at the gate by ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg August 17th 2018

Our last day in the luxurious Royal Livingstone Hotel. We farewelled 2 couples who weren’t on our bus today - one staying an extra night and going straight back to Oz the other going to Kenya for a walking tour. The start of sad farewells. To the airport arriving before the security people were ready. Through 3 levels of security, big bags x-rayed before check in, then little bags and us as usual. Check in and passport control, then another us and little bag security check. Find out later that there are at least 100 hundred people queued up to get through security so the extra wait time isn’t really an issue. Time to shop and have a bite to eat or drink. On our flight back to Joberg where we have an overnight stay befor ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg August 12th 2018

Another early start as this is our last Safari drive in Kruger. We actually get away before 0545 - yes that early. We were on the hunt for cheetah that had been seen yesterday so we could round off our animal list. As we had to be back for 0800 to get ours bags out to be picked up at 0900, the early start was a must. Fast trip meant we drove down the guts of the airstrip and onto the bush tracks after that. On the way we saw a Rhino with her 2 week old calf - too dark for pics but a nice sighting. Then into the area where the cheetah were sighted yesterday. Bush bashing through the scrub when we get a call. One of the other trucks had found them. Vroom ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg July 26th 2018

A long day of travel. Left home at 1545 with Jessica and the kids waving farewell as we headed to the airport. Got there in no time and checked our bags all the way through to our final destination - Namibia, so no pick up and re-check - bonus. Flight to Perth left on time with a very full flight. No issues and straight to international terminal, Customs and some duty free then to find the lounge. Hmm, no SAA lounge in sight. Go into Qantas lounge to ask where we had to go - right here - OK. Even better was that our gate was right outside the lounge. Flight called, find our seats and away for the 12 hour flight to Johannesburg. Chris straight to sleep, I start a movie and have dinner then ... read more

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg July 23rd 2018

I apologize for how long it has taken me to get back to work on this blog. My time in Johannesburg was filled with long days and sleep was necessary. Emotionally, the days were also difficult to process, and my heart was often not willing to reexamine all that I saw each day. I hope I will be able to now share my experiences with you in an authentic way. On the morning of July 23rd, we left Cape Town and caught a flight to Johannesburg, since it’s over 850 miles between the two cities. The first few pictures were taken from the plane. When we landed in Johannesburg, we stopped for lunch in a downtown area that is trying to reinvent itself as an artistic and eclectic area, and we had a few places to ... read more
Apartheid Museum
"To be free is not merely to cast off one's chains, but to live in a way that respects and enhances the freedom of others." - Nelson Mandela
IMG_0428

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg May 1st 2018

Full day in Soweto township today. Although we knew what to expect, the reality of the poverty is still an eye opener. Saw equal in Peru and Laos but not as crowded as here. 4-6 living in single room tin shack in small yard with maybe another 4-6 shacks. That is 20-30 living in about half a tennis court! And no electricity. Communal standpipes. Toilet hut shared by 30-50. Most unemployed but eek out living collecting garbage for recycling for about £3 day. No police or ambulance will enter compounds but they have a communal moral code and look after each other. And as in previously visited areas, the kids are all happy and friendly, even without screens or bought toys. Even happier in my opinion. We never felt in the slightest threatened, but felt very ... read more
Street performers
Soweto Transport
6 Happy Soweto Children.

Africa » South Africa » Gauteng » Johannesburg April 30th 2018

Arrived safely after long flight via Qutar. Tight transfer at 1am but just made the connection and arrived in JoBerg and settled into digs by 11am. Too tired to do much today so carry out chook and early bed ready for Soweto visit tomorrow, then meet rest of travel companions for dinner. Someone shut the curtains at 5.30 and got suddenly dark. No messing about with twilight in these parts! Met guesthouse Pomeranian 'Twinkletoes'. ?!? Is that an actual name? Dougal would have her for breakfast. Suki and Ben, our hosts, are lovely and can't do enough to make sure we're happy. Spotted six of the big five already! 3 chooks and 3 springbok. Whatever are we going to do for the next 3 weeks?... read more
The Big 6




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