Johannesburg Journals

Jo'burg - a Lady with a Rep

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A December 2004 trip to Johannesburg by Elginah

Djuma Game Reserve Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa More Photos
Quote: After 5 years in another country, I finally made my way back to Johannesburg. It was good to see family and friends again, but even better to see the changes Jo'burg is striving to make.

Djuma Vuyatela Game Lodge

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Hotel

Djuma Vuyatela Game Lodge Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
We booked our 2-night all-inclusive stay through The flight was included in the package, and on December 17, we took a rather small chartered flight from Johannesburg Airport to the nearest ‘airstrip’ in the area. The plane seated six, plus the pilot and copilot, so it’s not really a flight for the faint at heart. The other option is driving to the lodge, which features a breathtaking and picture-perfect landscape en route. However, it’s a six-hour drive, so make sure you leave in the morning. We were fetched from the airstrip and driven to the lodge, greeted, and made to sign indemnities. We were pleasantly surprised when we were led to our room: It turned o...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 13, 2005

Djuma Vuyatela Game Lodge

Johannesburg, South Africa

Butcher Shop & Grill

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Restaurant | "The Butcher Shop & Grill"

Butcher Shop & Grill Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
Nelson Mandela Square has quite a few restaurants to choose from, everything from Portuguese to Italian. It seems that this is thee top grill house in Johannesburg, or at least the northern suburbs. We got some positive nods from locals when we mentioned having dined there. Vegetarians are not particularly welcome here— the name of the place should be a red flag for you.There seems to be three different seating sections: fine dining/business dinner area; outside; and inside, with a floor covered in sawdust. There is an awning, so sitting outside is no problem when the sun is up. We requested a move from the sawdust section because of my allergies. Once seated, our waitress provided us with m...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 14, 2005

Butcher Shop & Grill
Shop 30, Sandton Square
Johannesburg, South Africa 2146
+27 11 784 8676

Moyo Market Theatre

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Restaurant | "Moyo - Market Theatre"

Moyo Market Theatre Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
We went on a Tuesday night and originally wanted to eat at Moyo’s Melrose Arch branch, but they were fully booked, so we ended up at the Market Theatre branch. We did get a short tour of the Melrose Arch branch, and they certainly had gone out of their way to create a certain modern-African decorative style with a very ‘yuppie’ (young, making money, and living it up) clientele. So reservations are recommended if you’re going to the Melrose Arch branch. The upside of the Market Theatre branch is that you can have dinner here and then catch a theatrical production right afterwards.Parking was a bit of an issue to find, but there seemed to be some sort of security. A smaller restaurant, the décor at t...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 14, 2005

Moyo Market Theatre

Johannesburg, South Africa
+27 (0) 11 838-1715

Ciao Baby Cucina

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Restaurant

Ciao Baby Cucina Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
We met up with an old friend of mine to have lunch, and seeing as Sandton City is about the only mall I was familiar with, we ended up there. We had been out to The Butcher Shop & Grill the night before and still felt on the brink of bursting, so there was more talking than dining going on. Ciao Baby is located on the banking level--yes, there are lots of banks on the same floor. From the length of the queues that day, it would seem that not everyone trusts Internet banking yet. The front of the restaurant is open, with an open-restaurant feel... yet it is indoors, so you can leave your sunglasses in the car. We had no reservations but were seated immediately–-not bad for lunchtime on a Thursd...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on January 27, 2005

Ciao Baby Cucina

Johannesburg, South Africa

Djuma Game Reserve

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Attraction | "Djuma Vuyatela Game Lodge"

Djuma Game Reserve Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
We were fortunate enough to be treated to a pride of lions (one male and two females) kicking back after ravishing a wildebeest. The whole experience of getting there was exhilarating, as I was hoping to be the first to spot the first animal from our jeep. Imagine my surprise when we suddenly veered off-road, and after a few twists and turns with branch ducking, there they were. Some repositioning of the jeep, and they were not more than a short pounce away. The excitement and adrenaline helped blot out the possibilities of going into a panic. One can fully understand why children under 12 are persona non-grata at private game lodges. Those cute little pussy cats looked like they need a tummy scratch!...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on January 11, 2005

Djuma Game Reserve

Johannesburg, South Africa 1363
(013) 735 5118

Constitutional Court of South Africa

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Attraction | "Constitutional Hill"

Constitutional Court of South Africa Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
This is the home of the Constitutional Court of South Africa, and it is built on the site of an old prison. The old prison was called Old Fort Prison Complex but was commonly known as "Number Four". Many leading political activists, including Nelson Mandela and Mahatma Gandhi, were kept here. The prison itself did not close until 1983, due to gross overcrowding.We paid for a tour and had a guide named David all to ourselves, as it was a public holiday. David took us through the history of the prison with enthusiasm and passion for the topic. We started at the Old Fort entrance and the barrier that is built around the fort, and we were told how the prisoners were treated when they first arrived. We ...Read More

Member Rating 5 out of 5 on January 17, 2005

Constitutional Court of South Africa
Constitution Hill, 1 Hospital Street
Braamfontein, Johannesburg, South Africa 2017
27 11 359-7400

Sandton City Shopping Centre

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Attraction

Quote:
Ahhh… shopping! As a shopaholic, I was looking forward to setting foot in Sandton City again. It seems some aspects of the mall had certainly changed after 5 years. If you only have one day scheduled for shopping in Jo'burg and you value variety and quality over price, then drop by Sandton City. It's not as exclusive as before, but it does house most of the amenities and more. You may need to be safety-conscious, though—don't walk around with armloads of Armani and Prada bags; rather, dump them in the boot (trunk) as they accumulate. And accumulate they will. Don't feel obliged to pay the guy who 'helps' you park—technically you'd be paying twice as much for parking in a secure area.Sandto...Read More

Member Rating 3 out of 5 on February 2, 2005

Sandton City Shopping Centre
Corner Sandton Drive And Rivonia Road Sandton
Johannesburg, South Africa 2146
+27 11 217 6000

Wondercave

Attraction | "Wonder Caves"

Wondercave Photo, Johannesburg, South Africa
Quote:
This is actually a part of the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve on the outskirts of Pretoria and Johannesburg. It is also penned as the "most nicely decorated cave in South Africa."Everybody naturally goes to the Sterkfontein Caves, which are a part of the Cradle of Humankind museum. However, I would recommend a trip to Wonder Caves, as they are truly breathtaking structures that are still being preserved to continue their natural processes, so much so that fines for touching the stalagmite/stalactite structures run into the thousands!Whilst we waited to join the next tour, we had lunch outside, where we could watch the vultures perched on the electric poles that dotted the landscape. There was...Read More

Member Rating 4 out of 5 on March 3, 2005

Wondercave
Wondercave Route A
Johannesburg, South Africa 2040
+27 11 957 0106

Adventure Golf at Fourways Mall

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Story/Tip

Quote:
This miniature/adventure/'putt-putt' golf course is situated as part of Fourways Mall (not far from Monte Casino). We've been there a number of times in the past, and the only thing that seems to have changed are the attendants. Otherwise, even though it was vaguely familiar after 5 or 6 years, the course still rates as a top favourite of the ones experienced in Thailand, Singapore, and others.There are two courses with 9 holes each, which is more than suitable when it's packed. We were unfortunate enough to get caught in the rain, but they offer 'rain checks' so you can come back twice more to finish both courses. There's a limit of four players per group, which is perfect in that you don't...Read More