Contrary to common belief, there are some people who actually love Joburg. I am one of those people. This blog post was birthed from a few engagements I have had over time with friends who live in Cape Town and Durban. Every once in a while when I have posted something to Facebook or Twitter about what a beautiful day it is in Joburg, someone from the coast replies and says “all you need is the ocean, Cape Town rocks”. Cape Tonians think there is a silent stigma that accompanies people who live in Joburg. They believe we are suffering here and that all we do is wish upon Table Mountain. Allow me to paint a picture of why I think Joburg rocks.
Firstly, Johannesburg really is beautiful. In summer everything is green, the Jacaranda’s are in full bloom and the rain cleanses the sky for crisp clear days. Take a trip to the Kyalami Castle and have a look at the amazing views of Sandton, the Joburg Skyline and Magaliesburg. You also won’t see that true African sunset anywhere else.
Joburg also has a plethora of amazing restaurants. Greenside and Parkhurst ,for one, have that Cape Town Longstreet vibe with all the ‘arty’ places to indulge your image. The nightlife is amazing anywhere in Sandton or Newtown. If you’re really that bored, Montecasino, which hosts the SA Open tennis tournament, will serve you well. If you’re feeling a little more ‘hipster’ then you’ll have to visit the Neighbourgoods Market and Maboneng Precinct.
Working in Joburg is great, especially in the Sandton area. Although traffic is hard-core in most parts, the rewards for hard work are worth it. Infrastructure here is brilliant. The Gautrian for one, and the sports stadiums- Soccer City, Ellis Park, Orlando Stadium and Loftus. The newly upgraded highways make a huge difference. It really is a world-class city!
One of the beauties about Joburg is that it’s very close to the African bush. Even an hour’s drive will get you to the Magaliesburg (quite visible from my office). It hosts great game lodges, the world famous Cradle of Human Kind and the Hartebeespoort Dam, which has a small town feel to it. If you feel like driving 2 and half hours you might as well visit Sun City!
This is also what makes Joburg great: its placement. You can get to almost anywhere by car in a reasonable time, namely:
- Vaal river (Vredefort Dome) in 1hr 30min
- Sun City 2hr 30min
- Waterburg 3hr
- Most Game lodges 2-3 hr
- Kruger National Park 4hr
- Drakensburg 3hr
- Zimbabwe 5hr
- Mozambique 5hr
- Botswana 5hr
- Durban 6hr
With a huge smorgasbord of things to do and see, here are a few things I can recommend:
- Orlando Towers and Soweto
- Parliament buildings
- The Apartheid museum
- Voortrekker Monument
- Gold Reef City
- Joburg Zoo
- Joburg Art Gallery
- Constitution Hill
- Newtown Market
So yes, Joburg may not have an ocean, but I believe it makes up for it in every other way. This truly is a great city to live in. It will take a lot to remove me from here. I’m not saying that Joburg is better than Cape Town, I’m saying that I would rather live here than anywhere else. Some people just love Joburg more!