Amazing Day Trips and Places to Visit Around Johannesburg

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Amazing Day Trips and Places to Visit Around Johannesburg

South Africa’s cultural and business hub is home to nearly a million people, but often overlooked as a tourist destination. Affectionately known as Joburg, the city has numerous attractions to offer, and you don’t have to go far to find interesting places for a day out. Here are our top picks of day trips and places to visit around Johannesburg that you'll never tire of.

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Amazing Day Trips and Places to Visit Around Johannesburg

Cradle of Humankind

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The Cradle of Humankind is renowned for being one of the world’s richest concentrations of hominid fossils and presents evidence of human evolution over the last 3.5 million years. The Maropeng Visitors Centre is a great experience for adults and kids alike, with a wealth of interactive displays teaching you about the evolution of humankind. While you’re there make sure to check out the Sterkfontein Caves or stop for lunch at the incredible Roots restaurant, before heading to the nearby Nirox Sculpture Park.

The sculpture park is a protected nature reserve open to the public on Sundays – though they also sometimes have special events too. It’s a lovely family outing with beautifully landscaped gardens and incredible works of art created by the artists in residence.

Pilanesberg National Park

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Pilanesberg National Park is only a couple of hours outside of Joburg, and makes for a great way to get out of the city and see some wild animals. With all of the 'Big Five' in the park, as well as a variety of other mammals and bird life, Pilanesberg is an incredible bush escape near the city. As it’s a National Park, you can also take your own car and have your own safari, making it as long or as short as you’d like. Pack a cooler box for sundowns with incredible views, and make sure to bring a camera to capture the moment. You can also combine a trip to Pilanesberg with a visit to Sun City, a firm favorite with the kids.

Sun City Resort

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Pack the sunscreen and the swimming trunks, because Sun City’s Valley of the Waves is one of those local gems that has kept people coming back for years upon years. The resort’s most popular feature is undoubtedly the ‘Roaring Lagoon’ where every 90 seconds, huge waves are sent down the crystal clear waters. In at the deep end you’ll find yourself facing two meter tall swells, but younger or less confident swimmers can stay closer to the shore where the waves are smaller and more kid-friendly.

There’s also plenty of slides and rides, the lazy river for those who want to take a leisurely float down a winding river, or the adrenaline-fueled Temple of Courage slide which features a 70 foot near vertical drop.


The small and picturesque town of Cullinan made its mark on South African history with the discovery of the world’s largest diamond in 1905. Part of the 106-carat diamond now sits in the center of the Imperial State Crown of Great Britain which is on display in the Tower of London. The town now relies quite heavily on tourism, though large diamonds are still found here occasionally. Visitors can book a guided tour of a working diamond mine or visit the graves and museum dedicated to over 100,000 Italians who were taken prisoner during WWII.

Walk along the main street which is lined with quirky boutique stores, restaurants, and quaint delis. Lunch or dinner at As Greek as it Gets is also highly recommended, but it fills up fast so remember to book in advance.


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The Magaliesberg mountain range is a mere forty minutes to an hour outside of Johannesburg, but feels a world away. The scenery is breath-taking, with rugged mountains, a lush valley and plenty of space. The small town is home to an incredible microbrewery, Black Horse Brewery, where you can taste craft beers and gin or have a spot of lunch in the oak-shaded gardens. Bite into a home smoked burger patty while watching horses quietly graze in their paddocks, nestled at the foot of the mountains. It's a hiker’s paradise too, with an abundance of trails varying from beginner-friendly to challenging.

There’s also tons of adventure activities on offer including quad-biking, mountain biking, and even hot air ballooning.

Apartheid Museum

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While it's a part of history that South Africans aren’t proud of, understanding Apartheid is key to getting to know South African culture and history. The Apartheid Museum forms part of the Gold Reef City complex and is one of Gauteng’s top rated attractions. The museum houses both temporary and permanent exhibits which demonstrates to visitors what daily life was like for South Africans under Apartheid. Photographs, videos, a collection of artifacts and anecdotes as well as cuttings and clips from media and newspapers are all put to incredible use at the museum which is both heart breaking and thought provoking.


At first sight, Johannesburg might not seem like a particularly attractive city to visit when compared with seaside cities like Cape Town and Durban, however there is much more to the around South Africa's powerhouse that meets the eye.




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