There are so many things to do in Johannesburg, and yet my awesome home town always gets skipped out on international travelers itineraries for South Africa. On my last trip home to South Africa, I wanted to make it my goal to be able to convince people as to why they should travel to Johannesburg, to spend longer than 24 hours here, and what they need to see and do in Johannesburg. 

I lived my whole life in Johannesburg, otherwise known as Jo'burg or Jozi. Up until moving to the United States, of course. Jo'burg is the powerhouse of South Africa, showcasing the diversity of our country. It is the unofficial cultural, economic, and political capital of South Africa, although it is not formally labeled that way. With over 4 million people living within Johannesburg, and 8 million in the greater metropolis area, the largest city in South Africa, why on earth would you skip it? We may not have a mountain, or a beach, but we have history, culture, food, museums, and an incredible vibe. The city was settled post 1886, after the discovery of gold. Thousands flocked to this area from around the world, all in search of gold and riches - a sentiment that is often mimicked in todays' modern times, with thousands across Africa coming to Johannesburg in search of work and a better life. The city truly reflects the diversity of South Africa, and within its streets and suburbs there is a strong juxtaposition of our history and our future, our horrific past and our promising but fragile future. We are indeed a work in progress, sometimes a beautiful, ugly work in progress. Below is a collection of some of my favorite shots of my Jozi from my two week trip back home to South Africa. Some of these pictures were taken on the City Sightseeing SA Johannesburg Hop On Hop Off Red Bus tour

As you can see, Johannesburg, my Jozi, is a wonderful and diverse, possibly intense and crazy kind of city. But it is also home. There is so much to see and do in Johannesburg, and so much to experience. Yes, Johannesburg may be unsafe, and yes, it may be hard to love, and doesn't have the mountain or beaches like Cape Town. But you are really seeing how a large proportion of South Africans and many immigrants from the rest of Africa live and breathe. You are seeing the true South Africa, the one that has a lot to accomplish still, and a lot to overcome, with all its scars and bruises and all its hopefulness. If you want a true piece of South Africa and it's people, then you need to spend a little longer in Johannesburg. 


visit johannesburg south africa