Why I Think Joburg Rocks

January 15, 2012 — 146 Comments

Soccer City- Google images

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.

Northern Suburbs – Google images

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.

Kyalami Castle – Google images

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.

Neighbourgoods Market – http://www.neighbourgoodsmarket.co.za

Self Taken Photo: Nelson Mandela Square

Montecasino – Google images

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!

Self Taken Photo: The Lions win the 2011 Currie Cup

Gautrain – Google images

Orlando Towers – Google images

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!

Magaliesburg- Google images

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

Union Buildings – Google images

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

Newtown – Google images

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!

146 responses to Why I Think Joburg Rocks


    nice post brother…


    hi Jacques, i lived in Joburg from 5 yrs old to 24 yrs old. It was then the best place to live in i loved everything about it, i havent been back for years now, since emigrated, i’ve travelled massively but you’re right what you say, Jo’burg is the best city in the world! Great site here i like the photos, great memories!


      That’s great Adam. Where do you live now?


        I moved to UK many years ago but miss the old Africa, you never really leave it. I must look up ‘Die Antwoord” on youtube, are they any good? Any SA bands to recommend, i used to listen to Jaluka-Johnny Clegg, but i dont know what happened to him now! (1990’s!)
        Take care


    Spectacular pix — that castle is absolutely gorgeous!


    Good job at taking away some of my misconceptions, I think my opinion just did a bit of a turn around ;p
    When i thnk of Johannesburg that definitely wasn’t what I had in mind.


    That looks like a fun city! Thanks for sharing!

    Courtney Hosny


    I lived in JHB for 9 years and raised 3 children there. We used to take a long weekend away once a month in its beautiful surroundings. I have great memories from Kruger National Park, the Drakensburg etc. A beautiful country!


    I think I will move there next.


    Nice post. I myself am a hard-core Durban fan, but I appreciate someone who loves the city in which they live and who is committed to making it the best place to be… I actually wrote a similar post recently… http://tombasson.wordpress.com/2012/04/10/10-things-i-love-about-durban/


      That’s a great post Tom. I like your last point about the church, completely with you there. One of my biggest musical influences is from Durban, John Ellis (Tree63). Great place too.


    Love this post! I work for a couple of South Africans who are from Joburg and I hear about how great it is all the time!

    Although the scenery looks amazing, and the weather may be beautiful, there is one thing that makes me REALLY want to visit Joburg…Carnivores – that restaurant looks to be about the greatest place a person could ever eat.

    Great post and congratulations on being Freshly Pressed!:)


      Thanks for reading, I really appreciate it. Which City do you live in?


        I live in Toronto, and there are actually a TON of Afrikaners living here! I’ve seen several trucks with vanity license plates that say “bakkie” or “my bakkie”, (or some other variation of that word) all over the city!

        My bosses have even spoiled me with lots of biltong…that stuff is delicious!!


        That’s fantastic! We love biltong here in SA. I have family in Canada, there are a lot of us there in your country. Tell them I say hi:)


    A very interesting post. Thanks for sharing!


    Hi Jacques, congrats on being freshly pressed! As a Capetonian I have not spend much time in Jo’burg so probably have a biased opinion. But I love your pics and you guys definitely have better weather, CT is way too rainy! I should plan a visit up country xx


    Thank you for feeding my curiousity about Joburg. Hopefully I’ll be able to visit someday!


    Your photos express well just how green the city is while being a city nonetheless: a city with a guarded by a lion of a natural presence. I like the Soccer Stadium post: from that distance, and in the night with the stadium studded with its lights, it looks like a gorgeously deflated football, a richly contoured piece of glittering leather, luxuriously burst.


    I have never heard of Joburg until now! … Yes, I do live in box … Thanks for posting, ‘coz now I’m making plans!😉


    Thank you for extending my (next) trip itinerary.


    Ah yes the ocean argument… same thing with Barcelona and Madrid. People go on and on about Barcelona having a beach and Gaudi architecture. I’ve lived in Madrid the past 2 years and I’m originally from NY where I lived near the coast. I do miss the beach–but Madrid has a lot going for it by itself. Barcelona is great too. Both cities have got its pros and cons.:)


    Been to Joburg (Sandtown) once and I loved it!


    I live in Canada and have travelled a bit, but never to anywhere remotely close. Thanks for this wonderful article! Gives a girl a chance to daydream of far-away places and live vicariously through others. Looks like an amazing and special place.


    Gold Reef City. ❤


    I’m not a fan of Joburg myself but I like when people appreciate what they have and love where they live. Good Post!


    Africa’s beauty is unmatched. Thank you for the wonderful post. It makes me nostalgic – having spent the most significant years of my life in Africa. Though I have been to S. Africa (and even Joberg), it was such a brief trip that I missed almost everything you’ve put here. That’s a real pity and I regret it to this day. Beautiful photos! And there’s just nothing like an African sunset, is there? Congrats for being on Freshly Pressed!:)


    And Jozi has Luthuli House. Lets us not forget that, shall we. Good to see someone being nice about the place for once.


    I do not live in Africa and I was very interested to read your report. Have visited Cape Town, Harare, and Addis but not JoBurg. Thanks for broadening my understanding of your beautiful continent and the cities in it.


    Thanks for a great post. As a Cape Tonian living in England it is great to read about the city from someone who loves it. I haven’t been to Johannesburg for years and I can now see it with new eyes.


    Nice post, Jacques. I also live in Johannesburg and I love this place. The photos you used are magnificent. Well done!


    cool post…..lived in jhb all my life…….personally i think the city itself sucks but the surroundings are awesome…..im a hiker and a camper and dont enjoy noisy city life.. i get out of the city as often as i can….magaliesberg,suikerbosrand……beautiful…….i get out to the drakensberg once or twice a year which is awesome………………..


      That’s great, if you’re an outdoors person then there’s a lot you can do in Joburg’s surrounds. I also love going to the Drakensburg.


        next holiday im going to visit my mom for a couple of days in margate…..then off camping and hiking in coffee bay for a week or so…..ive never been there but ive heard its very peaceful and beautiful……back to margate to clean up and replenish supplies then into the berg for a week or so of camping and hiking …then back to joburg…cant wait……we really have a beautifull country…pity about all the politics and other social problems as without all the nonsense we would indeed be in heaven.


        That sounds fantastic! Please take a lot of photos and blog!


    Looks like a really convenient place to be! Honestly speaking, it’s my first time to hear of Joburg, so it was interesting to read through this post and know a thing or two about the place.:) And by the way, I really love that photo of the Gautrain. Haha!


      Thanks Cherzy, appreciate you taking the time to read. I’m glad it’s opened a better view of Joburg to you. Where do you live?


        Yeah. I’m glad to have stumbled upon your blog and to have read interesting things about Joburg.

        I currently live in Manila. Despite the pollution, the high rate of poverty, the intense heat, and the high rate of crime, it can actually be a pretty cool city. The people are quite nice, and there are lots of restaurants and malls to hang out in. Have you been here?


        I’ve never been to Manila, but I’d love to visit:)


        You should when you get the time!:)


    Never been there but at how detailed and anxious you sound in this entry, like telling us how lovely the place is and how great it is to live there… well, I might really consider on migrating there.:)

    colorado springs divorce lawyers


    Great post! I have family in Cape Town and we always had rivalry when I lived in TVL. and South Coast. Theirs is better! Now I live in England and am still trying to let people know, who think they have seen SA that there is loads more to SA than Cape Town. I am currently blogging about the A- Z of South Africa. Our beautiful country! This is a link to C.


    Totally agreed,

    Greetings from Pretoria and see you around soon hopefully!


    Stayed in Joburg for 15 years…now live next door in Pretoria for the last 6 years…what a culture shock! Enjoy living here, but I will always be a Joburg girl at heart. And still listen to 94.7 on the way to work:-)


    Congratulations on being Freshly Pressed! Jo’burg still scares me a little – it’s so big and there’s so much traffic (can you tell I live in a small town?), but as we in Botswana are only FOUR hours away (not 5, as you suggest), I get to visit often and I’m getting used to it! Thanks for sharing.


    I also love Joburg and obviously my country….I lived in New Zealand, despite being a really fantastic country, I still longed for my country…and now I’m back. haha


    Looks like a beautiful city! I’m intrigued by the fact that the African bush is a relatively short drive away. Seems to me that you have the best of both worlds. Congrats on Freshly Pressed.


    A great post. Jo’burg, along with South Africa generally, is a beautiful place. I lived there for a few years and couldn’t get over the place. I always say it is as if when God when created the Earth, he must have his entire energy into this place, as it is mind blowing. You have a right to be proud but one small thing that can spoil it all though, and that is the crime?


    I love Joburg! The Cape is great but too slow for me…..City Slicker at heart!

    legrandsolitaire1 June 19, 2012 at 2:45 pm

    Fantastic! You’ve just given me reason to visit the place soon. But wait … ever considered the other side of it?? Think you should blog on this too …


    I am from the UK and have family in joburg, Capetown Richardsbay and Gaborone so I have had the opportunity to get a varied view. Some I have liked but some I have not! The crime is a build up in every country we live in if you know what you are doing you are safe..


    Awesome to see that a Jozi blog post makes it to the Freshly Pressed page! Impressed! Well put, Jacques.


    Thanks for the Joburg perspective, Jacques. I’ll keep it in mind for my next visit! Magaliesburg looks beautiful.


    I definitely regret not jumping on the opportunity to work & live in Joburg when I had the chance. Hopefully another one will come up soon!:)


    Great post. Parliament buildings ?? No!! Union Buildings. Lekka dag x


    Lovely pictures. The only thing that Joburg brings to my mind is cricket, but that’s my bias!


    Thank you for the wonderful tour of your city!


    I was planning a backpacking trip to Joburg/Cape Town and to try the Bungy Jump on Bloukrans Bridge. Thank you for your beautiful post. You reinforced my conviction to make this happen.


    Thanks for the post! Going to Jo’berg for first time in September (first time in SA) and this has really inspired me!


    Well-written post. Love your colorful blog design and photos. Nicely done.
    Congratulations on Freshly Pressed!


    There is nothing wrong with loving your city. I love Chicago the same way. World class, hip, and cosmo, all in one, and a days drive from many more exciting villages and venues.


    Great post! It really made me more interested in the city of gold, although I cannot imagine not living in a place where the ocean is just an eye’s view away. That’s one of the reasons why I love the coast.

    thebrightoldoak June 20, 2012 at 1:45 pm

    Looks beautiful!


    So you’re using the new “Simple” Theme…nice. Is there any chance you would know where Dave Matthews of DMB grew up? I heard Africa, not exactly sure where. Thanks for this nice post Sir.


    Great article! I’m spending the month of July in Joburg. Was there 2 weeks in March/April. I’m planning to get a bike this time, and discover a bit more of Joburg this way.


    Great article! I will be spending the month of July in Joburg. Was already there for 2 weeks in March/April. But this time I will get a bike to discover a bit more…


    Makes me want to visit Joburg


    Totally agree. I love Johannesburg too. Even though I enjoy CT and Dbn, there is something special, an undefinable quality that makes this old mining town unique. Enjoyed this post.


    I was born in Joburg and love visiting! It was nice to read your version of why it is so amazing:)


    I’m about to move to Jozi from Cape Town and after crying half my day away I decided to google why Jozi rocks… Thanks so much for this! Made my day


    Reblogged this on 'Work Out' each Day and commented:
    It’S been a while since my last visit, but still has that draw of home, when you step off the plane. After 50 years, my childhood and beyond, memories remain unscathed. Sadly Joburg isnt. I owe a visit, brother dear!! Soon.

Trackbacks and Pingbacks:

  1. The “E” of South Africa | 'Work Out' each Day - June 22, 2012

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