Must do in Gauteng

Traversing the streets of Jozi , I can hear the heart beat of the city. It energises me and teases me with new discoveries constantly. Around every corner is something photo worthy with a comment of “ Wow, I didn’t know this was here “ I will never get tired of the city and its people . These are five of my favourites at the moment.

The Thunder Walker

Found inside Somerset House , Joburg Places runs Scatterings Restaurant and in the near future the Balcony Gardens Hotel. The building dates back to 1904 when it was the offices of United Building Society , the reason for the magnificent bank vault that is found downstairs. United Bank became United Building Society and then to what we now know it as ABSA Bank. Law Firm Bowman’s was also a resident of the building at one time after the 1970’s. Joburg Places have been here since 2017 and have turned it into a destination that anyone and everyone in Jozi should be seen at. Whether you choose to sit on the sidewalk and watch passing traffic or descend to the bank vault to view the 1000 or so locked safety deposit boxes and listen to stories about the city of gold, there is something that will attract you and have you constantly returning. The Thunder Walker is named after a mythical figure – a migrant women who resides in Johannesburg and is often seen atop the roofs of the inner city’s buildings, just after it has rained. She longs for the distant plains of Southern Africa, but she is now a city hustler who calls this concrete jungle her home.

Thunder Walker

Ornate Coffee shop

A gem in the city, Corner House building at 77 Commissioner street is one of the most prestigious property developments in Johannesburg and a landmark building in Africa. It began its life as Beit’s Building, a wooden shack which was transformed into something more solid in 1889. Conveniently positioned in the heart of the city’s financial district, it is widely regarded as one of the most beautiful buildings in the city. It became home to Hermann Eckstein and Company . Ecksteinn was instrumental in establishing the Chamber of Mines . The 10 storey high building was Johannesburg’s first sky scraper. Today, it has an amazing vibe. Ornate coffee shop is one of the building tenants, a perfect refuge from the bustling streets of Jozi with its magnificent dome ceiling, and the coffee , the music and smile of the friendly staff make it a piece of heaven. A place where you find your tribe amongst the noises of people, their scent, occasional glances and chatter of baristas. To sit and drink in the aroma in this warm and cheery spot will create a depth of memories for any visitor.

Ornate Coffee Shop

Cradle Moon Lodge

For a bush experience just outside the city this location is ideal. Whether you go for a day visit or stay over in a bungalow you will love it. Cradle Moon conservancy was created with the sole goal of rehabilitation and environmental ethics. The Conservancy is made up of the farms of Zwartkop and Driefontmein incorporating Cradle Moon Lakeside Lodge .
I visited many years ago when it was still called Heia Safari Ranch and never forgot what it was like to sit at the pool of the restaurant and watch the zebra close by on the vast lawns. The friendliness of the zebras hasn’t changed, I came into contact with them while doing a 5km hike. A protective mom kept her baby close by but curiosity still brought her right up to us with the skittish wildebeest watching, ready to dart at any moment.
With the largest stone dam in Africa , Cradle Moon Lake is well worth a visit. All the stones used to construct the dam where taken from the site, 50 000 bags of cement were used when the stones were packed in place by hand. The dam wall stands 20m high and is 300m wide and just short of 10m thick. The dam comprises of five crests with a walkway along one of them that allows visitors to stand in awe and appreciate the magnitude of the dam wall.

Cradle Moon Dam

Heritage House

Located on the Langermann Drive in Kensington this is a shoppers paradise if you are into bargain hunting. The auction house operates weekly. All sorts of household goods can be found. My main interest was the shoe department, I have never seen so many pairs of ladies high heels for sale, some even dangling from the window bars of this old house. It is said that women judge men’s shoes twice as much as men judge woman’s shoes.They are after all the window to just about everything. Shoes reflect something about a person be it slip on shoes with socks ( laziness ) untied sneakers ( oblivious ) or some stylish high heels ( class and sophistication ) stop by just to ooh and aah over the collection. In another room of the house is a collectibles shop, my spoil was a vintage camera, a beautiful old Minolta that was made before I was born ( giving away my age probably ) This spot needs a visit at least one a month to keep up with the rotating stock.

Heritage House

African Corner

When in Africa , eat African food. Something I have always found to be the best way to learn more about a culture is to indulge in their cuisine. This rather unknown gem is found in Yeoville and serves up some mouthwatering Ghanaian food. Ghanaians enjoy a rather simple , but flavoured cuisine. The majority of meals consist of thick, well – seasoned stews usually accompanied by staple foods like rice or yams. Meat is considered a sign of wealth and luxury in this West African country and is seldom eaten. Fish, especially near the coast, is found more often in every day dishes and stews. I admit the fish was my favourite dish served but the decision was difficult. Attention to detail and hygiene are of the utmost importance here. The wooden plates and cups caught my eye , they must come from Ghana as I haven’t seen them before. I thoroughly enjoyed not only the food but the friendliness of the people also.

African Corner

Keeping up with the ever changing businesses and spots to visit in Johannesburg can be mind boggling at times, but that is why the city never gets boring. Its my home and I love it.