Tag Archives: Johannesburg

Some things to do in Johannesburg

For those lucky enough to have been in Johannesburg over the festive season, you would have had the joy of driving far and wide to find an eatery open on Christmas Eve. The nice bit about this was that there was very little traffic as many “Joburgians” had left the bright lights for the crowded beaches of KZN and the Cape.

But during the day in Joburg, those left to tend the lights, the potholes and to keep the shops reasonably busy would have enjoyed the many attractions Egoli has to offer … and here are just a few of them:

  • Brightwater Commons – a great place to visit, especially if you have children to entertain! This is the site of the old “Randburg Waterfront” … there is still some water there, stocked with particularly beautiful Egyptian Geese and their goslings, but the whole area is a “laager” of shops, restaurants and activities for the whole family to engage in. Adventure Golf, Bowling, Laser Quest, pool, skateboarding, rides, jumping castles etc etc. Sure you pay for these activities, but having them all in one place, with the variety and safe environment it is easy to sit and watch the kids while enjoying some food or beverage in any one of the many restaurants.
  • Bonsai Nursery in Midrand – an amazing place with thousands of bonsai plants and also a superb collection of orchids. The owner is very helpful and full of advice, too. These wonderful plants also make very unique gifts, and many of them won’t break the bank. This nursery also fascinated children aged from 6 to 16 for the hour we were there.
  • Crocodile and Reptile Park – this was the alternative to visiting the Lion Park which is exorbitantly priced! We rocked up, all 9 of us, and the entrance fee was R150 each, then an extra R30 if we wanted to actually see any lions … but if we wanted a “tour” then we would have been charged R700 per head. It might NOT be regarded as expensive if you’re on holiday from the UK and have £’s to spend, but for locals, this is just ridiculous! So we went off to the Croc Park and it was great, a very instructional tour and the opportunity to hold snakes, baby crocs and hissing cockroaches and more. There is also a nice lapa where you can relax and enjoy some drinks or snacks. The kids and adults loved it!
  • Chinese Restaurant & Sushi Bar – off Jan Smuts Avenue near Randburg, this is one of the units in the Chinese Shopping Mall. What wonderful food! Authentic Chinese and Thai food, served with friendliness and efficiency. The kids all enjoyed the experience, too.
  • Trumps Restaurant, Nelson Mandela Square – this was one of the few eating places open on Christmas Eve! We were told, at 6pm that we had to be seated by 7:00pm as the kitchen was closing at 8:00 … we rushed through and got there at 6:45 … and boy were we impressed! The place was busy, comfortable and we were made very welcome. There was no pressure to order (I think they decided to keep the kitchen open as there were still people coming in at 9 and ordering …) and the menu is tops! The food was generous, very tasty, well presented and great value for money. My prego steak roll with onion rings, vegetables and chips was huge and fantastic value at R75.00. The youngest child and the ladies left with “doggy bags” but all in all a must re-visit!
  • There are many other things the kids were able to do … ice skating for hours in Midrand, attending the ice show at Monte Casino, visiting the zoo and mooching around malls only Cape Town could dream of … they say that travel broadens the horizons, even a trip to Joburg can broaden a Platteland horizon!
PostNet - Rivonia
PostNet – Rivonia

So after Gill, Elaine and Barbie at Africa Places find you the perfect place in a resort near Johannesburg, don’t forget that with careful planning, there is lots to see and do there too!

PS – for those, like me who left their laptop at home and need to connect to the internet and want to use computer facilities … go to PostNet in Rivonia, on Rivonia Boulevard. You won’t be disappointed by the friendly staff, the modern facilities and the personal service.


Holidays – choose your venue

Johanneeburg Zoo“Holidays” should be that time of the year when the batteries get replenished. When the body and mind relaxes and rests. “What’s a rest?” you may ask. In today’s world it seems that “rest” doesn’t exist. It appears that people are “busy” all the time – rushing, trying to meet deadlines, running late with schedules, juggling balls in the air and hoping not to drop one.

Why is this? What has society done to us that we get caught up in this seemingly never ending round of rush-work-rush? Could it be that technology has a part to play in this malaise?

That’s where Africa Places come in, in the effort to create the perfect place for the busy “you” to escape to in order to break the mould of “rush-work-rush” so that the busy family can regenerate themselves and reconnect with each other and themselves. Regardless of the resort or facilities they are able to find for you, they are the facilitators in kick-starting the holiday process.

And people also think that “holiday” must always be some isolated house in the bush, with nothing around for miles. While this might be the environment that many would seek, it is not the definitive holiday venue. Take the family who decided to holiday in Johannesburg, YES, Johannesburg and fond that their batteries were well and truly recharged on returning to their workplace in the Cape. There were many things that contributed to their communal “recharge” – like attending the first day of the Test between South Africa and India at the Wanderers, taking the best part of the day to saunter around the Johannesburg Zoo with picnic basket in tow, going to the Ice Show at Monte Casino, enjoying the food at a garden centre while the children played on the swings and fed the ducks, watched the daredevils on their skateboards and bikes at the Brightwater Commons, watching the jugglers at Sandton City and so on.

Sure, there are those who would say that these activities would contribute to stress levels and can’t possibly be a holiday, but that family would answer that assessment by showing relaxed faces and broad smiles.

Your holiday should be that which breaks the mould you’re in, that causes you to do things you don’t usually do, to appreciate what others take for granted. In the same way as the “Joburger” will stare for hours at the sea breaking on the rocks while the Struisbaai resident will drive past the same rocks every day and not even bother to glance at them, our habits, our perceptions and our values differ because we are all different and we all have different lives and different lifestyles.

So whatever you’re doing to relax and recharge – Barbie, Gill, and Elaine at Africa Places wish you a refreshing time as 2013 ends and the New Year looms on the horizon. Make one of your resolutions that of allowing Africa Places to find the perfect spot for your next recharge!