7 Unusual Things To Do In Johannesburg South Africa – 2024 Ultimate Guide

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When exploring Johannesburg, South Africa, there is a plethora of unique and unusual things to do that will make your trip truly memorable. From off-the-beaten-path attractions to hidden gems waiting to be discovered, Johannesburg offers a diverse range of experiences for adventurous travelers. Whether you’re interested in exploring vibrant street art, delving into the city’s rich history, or immersing yourself in its thriving cultural scene, Johannesburg has something for everyone. Get ready to uncover the unusual things to do in Johannesburg South Africa that will leave you in awe of this dynamic city.

Visit the Apartheid Museum

Essential Information

– Address: Northern Park Way and Gold Reef Rd, Ormonde, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
– Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 9:00 am to 5:00 pm
– Fee: Adults – ZAR 100, Children under 18 – ZAR 85
– Visit Duration: Approximately 2 to 3 hours
– Ideal for: History enthusiasts, cultural explorers

Why is it so unusual

The Apartheid Museum in Johannesburg stands out as a unique tourist attraction due to its immersive exhibits and thought-provoking activities. Unlike traditional museums, visitors here have the opportunity to engage in interactive experiences that bring the history of apartheid in South Africa to life in a tangible way.

One of the most unusual aspects of the museum is the “Apartheid Museum Challenge” where visitors can participate in a simulated experience of the apartheid regime. This interactive game allows guests to make decisions as if they were living under apartheid laws, providing a deeper understanding of the challenges faced by individuals during that time.

Another distinctive feature is the “Voices of Apartheid” exhibit, where visitors can listen to firsthand accounts and personal stories from individuals who lived through the apartheid era. This audio experience offers a unique perspective on the impact of apartheid on South African society and allows visitors to connect on a more personal level with the history being presented.

Additionally, the Apartheid Museum offers guided tours led by knowledgeable docents who provide insights and context to the exhibits, enhancing the overall visitor experience. These tours delve into lesser-known aspects of apartheid history, shedding light on the complexities of the era and its lasting effects on South Africa today.

Overall, the Apartheid Museum stands out as an unusual tourist attraction for its innovative approach to presenting history and engaging visitors in a meaningful exploration of a challenging period in South Africa’s past.

Explore the Maboneng Precinct

Essential Information

– Address: 286 Fox St, Johannesburg, 2094, South Africa
– Opening Hours: Varies by establishment
– Fee: Free entry to precinct, individual activities may have fees
– Visit Duration: Half-day to full-day
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, foodies, urban explorers

Why is it so unusual

The Maboneng Precinct in Johannesburg, South Africa, offers a unique blend of urban culture and artistic expression that sets it apart from traditional tourist attractions. While many visitors flock to museums and landmarks, Maboneng provides a refreshing alternative with its unconventional offerings.

One of the standout features of Maboneng is its vibrant street art scene. Graffiti and murals adorn the walls, transforming the precinct into an open-air gallery that showcases the creativity of local and international artists. Visitors can spend hours wandering the streets, discovering hidden artworks around every corner.

For those seeking a taste of local cuisine with a twist, Maboneng’s food scene is a must-visit. From trendy cafes to gourmet food trucks, the precinct caters to all palates. Adventurous eaters can sample traditional South African dishes with a modern twist, while those craving international flavors will find a diverse range of options to choose from.

In addition to its artistic and culinary offerings, Maboneng is also home to unique shopping experiences. Pop-up markets and boutique stores line the streets, offering everything from handmade crafts to designer fashion. Visitors can shop for one-of-a-kind souvenirs and support local artisans in the process.

For a truly unusual experience, visitors can participate in a street art workshop or join a guided tour to learn more about the history and culture of Maboneng. These immersive activities provide insight into the creative process behind the precinct’s vibrant art scene and offer a deeper appreciation for the community that calls Maboneng home.

Overall, the Maboneng Precinct stands out as a one-of-a-kind destination that celebrates creativity, diversity, and innovation. Whether you’re an art lover, a food enthusiast, or simply a curious traveler, Maboneng offers a unique and unforgettable experience that is sure to leave a lasting impression.

Take a hot air balloon ride over the Cradle of Humankind

Essential Information

– Address: Cradle Moon Lakeside Game Lodge, Beyers Naude Drive, Muldersdrift, Johannesburg, South Africa
– Opening Hours: Flights usually start at sunrise, weather permitting
– Fee: Prices vary but typically range from $150 to $250 per person
– Visit Duration: Approximately 1 to 2 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers, nature lovers, and those looking for a unique experience

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring the Cradle of Humankind in Johannesburg, South Africa, one of the most extraordinary ways to take in the breathtaking landscape is by embarking on a hot air balloon ride. This experience offers a bird’s-eye view of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, known for its rich fossil record and stunning natural beauty.

As you soar high above the Cradle of Humankind, you’ll witness the sunrise casting a golden hue over the ancient landscape, creating a mesmerizing spectacle that is truly unforgettable. The gentle breeze will carry you over rolling hills, expansive grasslands, and meandering rivers, providing a unique perspective of this historic region.

What sets this hot air balloon ride apart is the opportunity to spot wildlife from above. Keep your eyes peeled for herds of antelope grazing peacefully, zebras roaming freely, and even the occasional glimpse of a majestic predator prowling below. This aerial safari offers a chance to witness the diverse wildlife that calls the Cradle of Humankind home, making for a truly immersive and memorable experience.

Moreover, the tranquility of floating silently through the sky, with only the occasional burst of the burner breaking the peaceful silence, creates a sense of serenity and wonder that is unparalleled. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie seeking a thrilling adventure or a nature enthusiast looking to connect with the beauty of the African landscape, a hot air balloon ride over the Cradle of Humankind promises an experience like no other.

Discover the street art in the inner city

Essential Information

– Address: Inner city of Johannesburg, South Africa
– Opening hours: 24/7
– Fee: Free
– Visit duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Art enthusiasts, photographers, cultural explorers

Why is it so unusual

The street art scene in the inner city of Johannesburg offers a unique and offbeat experience for visitors seeking to delve into the vibrant urban culture of South Africa. What sets this destination apart is the unconventional canvas that local artists use to express themselves – the walls, alleys, and buildings of the city itself.

As you wander through the streets, you’ll encounter a diverse array of murals, graffiti, and street installations that reflect the city’s rich history, social issues, and cultural diversity. From striking portraits of iconic figures to thought-provoking political statements, the street art in Johannesburg serves as a powerful form of public expression and storytelling.

One of the most unusual aspects of exploring the street art in the inner city is the element of surprise and discovery. Each corner turned reveals a new piece of art waiting to be admired, each alleyway holds a hidden gem of creativity. Visitors can witness the transformation of ordinary urban spaces into open-air galleries that challenge traditional notions of art and beauty.

Moreover, engaging with the street art scene in Johannesburg provides a glimpse into the local community’s resilience, creativity, and spirit of activism. Many of the artworks convey powerful messages about social justice, equality, and the city’s ongoing evolution, offering visitors a deeper understanding of the challenges and triumphs that shape Johannesburg’s identity.

In conclusion, the street art in the inner city of Johannesburg stands out as an unusual tourist attraction due to its dynamic, ever-changing nature, its ability to spark dialogue and reflection, and its celebration of urban culture in a way that is raw, authentic, and unapologetically bold. For travelers seeking an unconventional and immersive cultural experience, exploring the street art in Johannesburg is a must-do activity that promises to leave a lasting impression.

Go on a bicycle tour of Soweto

Essential Information

– Address: Soweto, Johannesburg, South Africa
– Opening Hours: Tours available daily, starting in the morning
– Fee: Prices vary depending on the tour operator
– Visit Duration: Approximately 3-4 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers, history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When exploring the vibrant streets of Soweto, hopping on a bicycle offers a unique perspective on this historic township. Unlike traditional bus tours, cycling through Soweto allows visitors to engage with the local community in a more intimate way. Pedal your way through the bustling streets, passing by iconic landmarks such as the Hector Pieterson Memorial and the former home of Nelson Mandela.

One of the most unusual aspects of a bicycle tour in Soweto is the opportunity to visit the vibrant Vilakazi Street, known for being the only street in the world that has been home to two Nobel Peace Prize winners – Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. As you ride along, you’ll witness the daily life of Soweto residents, from children playing in the streets to locals selling handmade crafts.

Another highlight of the tour is a visit to the Orlando Cooling Towers, where adrenaline junkies can experience the thrill of bungee jumping or swinging from these towering structures. For those seeking a more laid-back experience, a stop at a shebeen (local pub) provides a taste of traditional South African hospitality, complete with lively music and authentic cuisine.

Overall, a bicycle tour of Soweto offers a refreshing and immersive way to explore this historic township, providing a deeper understanding of its rich culture and complex history. So, grab a helmet, hop on a bike, and get ready for an unforgettable adventure through the streets of Soweto.

Visit the quirky Neighbourgoods Market

Essential Information

– Address: 73 Juta St, Braamfontein, Johannesburg, 2001, South Africa
– Opening Hours: Saturdays 9 am – 3 pm
– Fee: Free entry
– Visit Duration: 2-3 hours
– Ideal for: Foodies, art enthusiasts, and those looking for unique souvenirs

Why is it so unusual

The Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg stands out as a unique and quirky attraction for both locals and tourists alike. What makes this market so unusual is the vibrant mix of artisanal food, handcrafted goods, and live entertainment that come together in a bustling atmosphere.

One of the standout features of the Neighbourgoods Market is the diverse range of gourmet food stalls offering everything from exotic dishes to local delicacies. Visitors can indulge in a culinary adventure, sampling dishes from around the world all in one place. The market is a paradise for foodies looking to explore new flavors and culinary experiences.

In addition to the food offerings, the market also boasts a selection of handcrafted goods and unique souvenirs. From handmade jewelry to quirky home decor items, visitors can browse through a treasure trove of one-of-a-kind products that showcase the creativity and talent of local artisans.

Adding to the market’s charm is the live entertainment that fills the air with music and energy. Whether it’s a local band performing or a spontaneous dance performance, the lively atmosphere at the Neighbourgoods Market creates a sense of community and celebration.

Overall, the Neighbourgoods Market in Johannesburg is a must-visit for those seeking an unconventional and eclectic experience. With its mix of gourmet food, artisanal goods, and vibrant ambiance, this market offers a truly unique and memorable outing for all who visit.

Explore the underground tunnels of the Cullinan Diamond Mine

Essential Information

– Address: 99 Oak Ave, Cullinan, 1000, South Africa
– Opening Hours: Monday to Sunday, 8:00 am – 5:00 pm
– Fee: R650 per person
– Visit Duration: Approximately 3 hours
– Ideal for: Adventure seekers and history enthusiasts

Why is it so unusual

When it comes to exploring the underground tunnels of the Cullinan Diamond Mine, visitors are in for a truly unique experience. Unlike traditional tourist attractions, this excursion offers a glimpse into the fascinating world of diamond mining.

One of the most unusual activities you can partake in is witnessing the intricate process of diamond extraction firsthand. From the initial drilling to the meticulous sorting of rough diamonds, every step is a testament to human ingenuity and perseverance.

Another standout feature is the opportunity to try your hand at diamond panning. This hands-on activity allows visitors to sift through gravel in search of precious gemstones, providing a thrilling and educational experience.

For those seeking a bit of adrenaline, the mine also offers underground tours that involve traversing narrow passageways and descending into the depths of the earth. The sense of adventure and exploration is palpable as you navigate through the dark tunnels, learning about the mine’s rich history along the way.

Overall, the underground tunnels of the Cullinan Diamond Mine offer a truly unusual and captivating experience that combines history, adventure, and the allure of precious gemstones. It’s a must-visit for anyone looking to delve into the hidden world beneath the surface.

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