9 things to do in and around Joburg over the weekend

Posted by Melanie van Zyl on 25 June 2021

Johannesburg isn’t the city of gold for nothing, and here’s a list of gems that add to its sparkle to keep you busy for the weekend.

Also read: 10 unusual things to do in Joburg that won’t cost a fortune

1. Shadow Boxer outdoor museum

Cost: Free
Place: Chancellor House on 25 Fox Street
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On a recent walk through the CBD with a talented photographer group, I See A Different You (check out the photos here) I briefly visited this incredible, well-thought-out outdoor museum. Housed in the windows of the original attorney’s offices of Nelson Mandela and Oliver Tambo (which they opened in 1952) a timeline has been laid out explaining the story of Apartheid accompanied with photographs and interesting facts. Opposite this is an impressive six-metre tall statue of Mandela in his iconic boxing attire by Marco Cianfanelli.

The Chancellor House was the first black legal practise in the country and is now a National Heritage Site and well worth a visit.

Here’s a description of the site from the book A Long Walk to Freedom

“Mandela and Tambo” read the brass plate on our office door in Chancellor House, a small building just across the street from the marble statues of justice standing in front of the Magistrate’s Court in central Johannesburg. Our building, owned by Indians, was one of the few places where Africans could rent offices in the city. From the beginning, Mandela and Tambo was besieged with clients. We were not the only African lawyers in South Africa, but we were the only firm of African lawyers.

2. De Vette Mossel

Cost: R230 a person
Place: Hartbeespoort
To Do In Joburg - Melanie van Zyl- De Vette Mossel
There’s not much more to say about this one except SEA FOOD! It’s not exactly on the sea, but Hartbeespoort Dam is probably the closest Gautengers are gonna get. Book your seat at De Vette Mossel far in advance and salivate over the promise of mussels, West Coast snoek, potjiekos and calamari.

It’s BYOB so bring a cooler box and you have a great excuse for a day out exploring the Hartbeespoort area.

Currently, there is only lunch served on weekends from 11-3, so be sure to book in advance!

3. Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve

Cost: R25 an adult and R15 a car for entrance
Place: Near Heidelberg
To Do in Joburg

Covering over 11000 hectares, the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve is the place to do an overnight hiking trail. Along the numerous hiking trails ranging from 4- to 17 kilometres you can spot eland, zebra, black wildebeest, red hartebeest and if you’re lucky, brown hyena.

The overnight huts seem pretty much kitted out, with solar lighting and geysers, beds and bar areas at a great price, and it’s just an hour from Joburg. Each unit sleeps 10 but you can book an entire hut even if you’re only two people.

Call 011 439 6300 for general enquiries or to book an overnight hike.

4. Random Harvest Nursery

Cost: Free
Place: Plot 57, Kontiki Road, Muldersdrift
To-Do In Joburg - Melanie van Zyl
Random Harvest Nursery is an indigenous plant nursery in Mulderdrift that also includes a tea garden and garden cottages. It is a sprawling space filled with trees and birds, where one can eat outside and spend a day with the family, or simply come by yourself to spend the day in solitude. With staff who are dedicated to plants and nature, you will find yourself able to relax within the tranquillity of the nursery. There are also other noteworthy nurseries to visit, like the Royal Cafe and Nursery in Monument Park.

5. Black Horse Brewery

Cost: About R150
Place: Magaliesberg

Original picture from Safarinow.com

Original picture from Safarinow.com.

An artisanal craft brewery and restaurant are located on-site underneath lush trees overlooking the Magalies river. The menu includes yummy burgers, wood-fired pizza or a selection of tapas that you can wash down with their craft beer. for those who have one too many, there are lovely accommodation options available.

Be sure to book though as tables fill up fast. Use the morning to check out what else the Magalies Meander has to offer.

6. Sterkfontein Caves

Cost: R100 (Caves)

R100 (Maropeng Visitors Centre)

Place: The Cradle of Humankind

The Maropeng Visitor Centre is a fascinating outing for kids and adults alike. Picture: Melanie van Zyl

The Sterkfontein Caves are a World Heritage Site and home to fossils over 4 million years old.  These guys tell us about the precursors to modern humans and the Maropeng Centre offers insight into the development of the world as we know it using world-class interactive displays. For more thorough information of the displays and history, available read these excellent exhibition guides.

7. The Planetarium

Cost: R55 (Children/Students/Seniors: R40)
Place: Wits University
To Do In Joburg - Melanie van Zyl- The Planetarium
Johannesburg Planetarium is one of the best places in South Africa to stargaze. The show is incredible and informative,  making one appreciate the world above so much more. The current night sky is shown with an impressive projector that’s been in use since 1930.

8. Magaliesberg Canopy Tour

Cost: R695
Place: Sparkling Water Hotel, Magaliesberg
To Do In Joburg - Melanie van Zyl - Magaliesberg Canopy Tour
This is the priciest excursion on the list, but this action-packed eco-adventure is worth saving for. The Magaliesberg Canopy Tour takes you on an aerial sightseeing journey of the world’s oldest mountain range in a foefie slide fashion. Roughly a three-hour treetop experience, it’s suitable for kids, parents alike and if you’re a little nervous it can be done in tandem so you can just enjoy the ride without worrying about the brakes.

If you’re still not convinced, check out this gallery.

9. Satyagraha House

Cost: Free
Place: Orchards
To Do in Joburg - Melanie van Zyl - Satyagraha House
The Satyagraha House was once home to Mohandas Karamchand Gandhi (later known as Mahatma Gandhi) and his Orchards home is now a fascinating living museum-come-guesthouse. The gorgeous home was named ‘The Kraal’ by Gandhi and his dear friend (who was also the architect) Hermann Kallenbach.

The museum is filled with the intertwining history of these two men and is called the Satyagraha House after the passive-resistance movement of the same name. It is said that Gandhi began working on his principles of Satyagraha in this very house (although this could be more romantic thought than truth), which were later adopted by Nelson Mandela in the form of mass civil protest and passive non-compliance with the South African apartheid government as opposed to violent resistance. The house is fascinating and the gardens are peaceful, it’s well worth an afternoon look.

BONUS: Johannesburg in your pocket

If you’re stuck for cool stuff to do in Jozi, have a look at the weekly round up by this awesome online travel guide Johannesburg In Your Pocket. They always have their finger on the pulse when it comes to finding unusual things to do in and around the city and post weekly updates.

Please be careful, however. South Africa is currently entering its third wave, So always wear a face mask when out, remember to sanitise regularly and practice social distancing.






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