Johannesburg, or Joburg as it is more commonly known, is the meeting point of two world cultures: European and African. With a burdensome reputation for crime, the city has been undergoing a transformation of late with run-down areas now sporting trendy bars and restaurants and it is steadily attracting more of Westerners as tourists. As one of the destinations for the World Cup this year, now is the time to explore what this 'Afropolitan' city has to offer.
Once you have settled in Joburg, head to City Bakery in Braamfontein for breakfast before making your way to the Apartheid Museum, a monument in itself to the inspirational journey that South Africa has taken since the start and end of apartheid. There is also a temporary exhibition to Nelson Mandela, whose life as the country's first democratically elected president and political activist continues to amaze millions world-wide.
For the culinary-curious, it's worth visiting the Sakhumzi Restaurant, Nambitha Eatery or Wandies Place, which offer local specialties including mogudu (tripe), dumplings or oxtail stew. For a more substantial meal (!!), try Sophiatown restaurant, which during the 40s and 50s, was the centre for black culture in Johannesburg, and home to artists, political theorising, religion and entertainment. Exotic dishes include crocodile and ostrich and the live music of Afropop or jazz is something to savour.
To burn off all that delicious grub, take a walk and a ride to the Regina Mundi Catholic Church, where political rallies used to be held years ago; this unlikely spot played refuge to anti-apartheid protestors. On the lookout for holiday gifts? Head to Rosebank's rooftop market, where vendors and shoppers dance a bargaining and bartering dance over curios, ornaments, textiles, spices, artwork and souvenirs.
Last but by no means least, we recommend heading to the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve to see some great beasts of the animal kingdom in their true element, or if you prefer to take a picnic with you and just enjoy the view, head to the Zoo Lake at Moyo, where you can paddle about on the river, enjoy some bird-watching and find a shady spot on the bank for a light snooze.