When researching the best way to see lots of Johannesburg, we stumbled upon another travel favorite – the Hop On, Hop Off bus. This brings you directly to the most popular tourist destinations while providing interesting commentary in open top buses. We’ve done this in several other cites, so were pleased to see that Johannesburg recently started this bus. It was the perfect way to see lots of the city!
We started at the main train station, and headed through the city towards the Apartheid Museum. This museum was exceptionally interesting – we could have easily spent much more time there than we did. The amount and detail of the material was excellent, and there was an incredible temporary exhibit about Nelson Mandela. We learned a lot about the history of the country, the challenges it has faced since the Apartheid, and the changes it has seen in the very recent years.
After stopping for a quick snack, we jumped back onto the bus and enjoyed learning more about the city. We soon landed at our next stop, Constitution Hill. Formally the location of a horrible prison, this is now the location of South Africa’s equivalent of the US Supreme Count – the highest court of the land. Here we joined a tour of the area and learned about the extreme conditions in which the inmates were forced to exist. We then were able to tour the court and listened to a very interesting discussion about the state of the government in South Africa. Many of the members of our tour were actually from South Africa, so it was extremely interesting to hear their perspectives regarding the politics of the day, areas the country still has to improve, and how many changes have been implemented since the end of the Apartheid. We walked around the area and enjoyed lovely views of the city before heading back to the main train station, and eventually back to our hotel.
That evening, we went to a local Indian restaurant for a lovely meal before packing our things up. Another big day was in store.