Many of our AtholPlace Hotel & Villa guests have limited time available to really get a feel for Johannesburg due to being in transit to another of our properties or are spending a few days with us before heading out to another destination altogether. Whilst we endorse just relaxing at AtholPlace and enjoying the sparkling pool, gardens and food, we can also recommend getting out and about to explore the city we love and affectionately call Jozi or the Place of Gold.
A walking tour is a great way to discover more about the history and culture of Johannesburg, plus you get to enjoy our brilliant Highveld climate and work towards your 10 000 steps. These excursions are not too physically challenging but we do recommend comfortable shoes, high factor sunscreen, sun hat, sunglasses and a water bottle.
One fascinating historical area to explore is Parktown/Westcliff which is home to many interesting , authentic sites. A popular way of exploring this area is on foot and tours can be arranged with the Parktown and Westcliff Heritage Trust. An informed and entertaining tour guide will share anecdotal stories of the personalities and residences and names such as Herbert Baker, an eminent British architect who used local building material like rough quartz stone and timber to blend with the environment and Sir Percy Fitzpatrick, South African author, politician and mining financier who wrote his famous book Jock of the Bushveld from his Parktown home. During the month of November guests can see the beautiful purple jacarandas that take over the city (read our blog: Purple Haze https://morukuru.com/jacarandas-enjoy-purple-haze/
Another option is to a City Centre walking tour which unlocks the secrets of Johannesburg’s inner-city and is a great introduction for any visitor. You will get to visit some art galleries in the area, the Top of Africa at the Carlton Centre, Urban Zulu (fashion store), the vibrant Kerk Street shopping and market district, the historic core around the Rissik Street Post Office and the Mine Shaft Museum at Standard Bank.
If delving into history is your thing then the Marshalltown option is perfect as you will learn more about the story of Joburg’s gold-rush inception, boom days, eventual decline and current regeneration. This walk takes in Gandhi Square and the pedestrianised Main Street in the corporate mining district, including historic landmarks such as the Impala Stampede Sculpture and the Shadow Boxer Sculpture in front of Chancellor House where the law firm Mandela & Tambo once had their law offices.
If fashion, flair, and fabric interest you we suggest the walking tour focussed on the Fashion District and Little Addis (Ethiopian Quarter). This fascinating inner-city excursion introduces you to the historic garment district (now known as the Fashion District) plus you will get to pop into many fabric and fashion wholesalers and learn about the world famous ShweShwe fabrics. You will get plenty of opportunity to do some bargain shopping before walking onto the Ethiopian Quarter of the city which is a maze of shops and exotic coffee houses and Ethiopian restaurants. The perfect spot for an authentic meal and a revitalising cup of African coffee.
Our duty manager/reception has all the information and contacts to arrange any of these excursions. https://morukuru.com/behind-scenes-duty-manager-enoch-banda/
For more info you can also visit the following: