Johannesburg, South Africa
When to go
October is when the city’s purple jacaranda trees are in full bloom. The Southern Hemisphere summer from November to February is hot, with late afternoon thunderstorms. Autumn, from late February till April is pleasantly warm and a good time to see the city. June, July and August are winter months with dry, cool weather. Temperatures can fall below freezing at night.
PlanesVirgin | South African Airlines and BA have direct daily flights from London. Another option is to fly to Cape Town and catch an internal flight. The airport is located 12 miles east of the city. Have your hotel arrange for a taxi to pick you up from the airport | or catch an authorised shuttle bus.
AutomobilesAlthough hire cars are very reasonably priced | it is unwise to head out on your own without decent local knowledge.
TaxisIt’s wise to be safety conscious: always use a taxi ordered by your hotel; don’t just pick them up in the street. Get the taxi driver’s phone number and have him pick you up at an agreed time and place.
Nicknamed the ‘City of Gold, South Africa’s capital is built on the mineral wealth beneath the veld. The hosting of the World Cup in South Africa in 2010 gave Jo’burg a new lease of positive life and kicked this city into our consciousnessses as a hub of cool culture and stylish clubs and bars.
Dip into Johannesburg’s vibrant art scene with a spin in Wits Art Museum which is the reincarnation of a former petrol station, a car showroom and a dental school. Down south, The South African National Art Gallery, part of Cape Town's Iziko Museums, features impressive collections ranging from colonial to contemporary art. But we adore Rodwell House for its own private collection of 20th-century South African masters which covers the walls of this St James mansion.
Eco-chic Peech Hotel in the Melrose area of Joburg wows with its grounds. Its seasonal kitchen garden is the source of the fresh organic herbs, fruits and vegetables, that make the bistro’s Modern French menu so mouth-wateringly appealing. (Schoone Oordt and Rodwell House are no slouches in the home-growing locavore department either.)