Johannesburg : City full of euphoria
The rehabilitated district of Maboneng no longer has much to do with this former set of hangars abandoned to gangs. Today it is the epicentre of the artistic bubbling, and is one of the most lively points of the South African metropolis.
For those who know little or nothing about South Africa, the city of Cape Town is generally referred to as a great tourist destination, but have you also thought about discovering another of the country's major cities, namely Johannesburg?
This city is located at an altitude of 1800 meters: it is developing at a great speed, resembling Manhattan with its skyscrapers. Johannesburg also remains very marked by Apartheid and one can still notice the scars between a very dense city centre and residential suburbs that border the huge townships such as Soweto further south.
Let's see the list of addresses to spend very trendy 24 hours in Johannesburg while you are travelling in Africa.
Jazzy dinner at Pata Pata
It's often sold out and it's no coincidence. Against a backdrop of jazz concerts worthy of the 1950s (in the evenings), this neighbourhood institution revisits classics such as inhloko, a Zulu dish usually eaten in the street. The meat, from the head of a cow, is supposed to bring strength and vigour. The less adventurous will opt for oxtail stew, a beef stew, a house speciality.
Design night at 12 Decades
Twelve rooms, decorated by twelve South African designers, trace twelve periods in the city's history since the gold rush of the 1880s. This affordable art hotel occupies several floors of a building that also houses an independent theatre and cinema. On Sundays, don't miss the giant rooftop barbeque, with a breathtaking view of the skyscrapers.
Breakfast for all at Eat Your Heart Out
In the morning, there's nothing better than a breakfast on the terrace to take the pulse of the neighbourhood. Famous for its shakshuka, poached eggs with tomato sauce and spices, and salmon bagels, this deli is suitable for everyone, vegetarians, vegans and gluten intolerant people included.
Stopover at Gold Reef City
Discovery and a return to history are guaranteed in this amusement park or open-air museum located on the site of former gold mines. The general theme of the park is the gold rush in the Witwatersrand. The 10-hectare park is in some respects a veritable ecomuseum of the 1880s. The employees of the park wear outfits inspired by the period, the buildings are completely inspired by typical architecture, and there is even a museum dedicated to gold mining as well as a roller coaster and one of the best South African casinos.
Aperitif high perched in the Living Room
A haven for start-ups and young connected urbanites, the terrace of this coworking space is the ideal place for an aperitif. Slumped in a hammock in the middle of hanging gardens, you can sip a minty magic, a cocktail made with mint, strawberry and vodka, or an aloe vera juice. The building also houses a spa and a yoga centre.
Arts on Main Art Concentrate
Galleries, designer boutiques, bookstores, artists' studios… This warehouse, refurbished in 2010, is the starting point for the Maboneng revival. In the courtyard shaded by olive trees, the Canteen restaurant offers French-inspired cuisine and salsa evenings. On Sundays, the All-Johannesburg flocks to the Food Market for its flavours from all five continents.
The Apartheid museum
The Apartheid Museum illustrates the rise and fall of the era of segregation and oppression in South Africa, and is a must-see museum. Films, texts, audio documents and explanations offer a breathtaking glimpse into the architecture and implementation of the Apartheid system, as well as inspiring stories of the struggle for democracy. The museum is invaluable in understanding the inequalities and tensions that still exist today. A visit to the museum is an overwhelming experience; one of the exhibits is particularly painful to see, with 131 nooses hanging in the museum, representing the 131 government opponents who were executed under anti-terrorism laws.
The Botanical Garden
To breathe in the heart of this bustling, noisy city, to take a break before continuing your journey, the huge garden that functions as a shelter in the heart of the city (near Emmarentia) welcomes many people. The garden has almost 81 hectares of themed gardens, paved paths for jogging and a dam, including a rose garden, but it also houses works of art, statues, pergolas and fountains. Many water sports are practiced here.