Outdoor Activities In Gauteng – Is it safe to travel to Johannesburg with children? Once considered a dangerous place, Johannesburg (commonly known as Jo’burg or Josie in South Africa) explored only by travelers, is now a transformed city that is making great strides to overcome its bad reputation. It’s vibrant, active and buzzing, and everyone is excited about the change and proud of their city.
Disclaimer: Family Travel in Joburg is hosted entirely by Joburg Tourism in partnership with JMD Tours. This includes accommodation, meals and activities. However, as always, these are all my own words and opinions.
Outdoor Activities In Gauteng
Like any big city, it still has problems with crime, and Joburg has a more complicated and traumatic recent history than most, even compared to the often more favorable Cape Town. However, despite all this, it is not a city to be afraid of, but to be aware of. And it is absolutely safe for young families to visit. Indeed, there are many things to do with children in Johannesburg, the museums are world class, the weather is great and you will be given a warm welcome.
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Climb, balance and swing through the trees on this amazing aerial adventure course. Children from 3 to 6 years will love the specially designed Agro-Twix course, which runs 2-3m above the ground. Each one is equipped with a harness and great staff are available to talk to your children during the lesson; He learns to switch different sections on and off while testing their balance, strength and agility. My boys loved it and it was their favorite activity in Joburg! There is a more adventurous course for older children (and adults). Although the parents are warned by someone who needs to be saved, it is more difficult than it seems!
Check the Agrobranch website for prices and opening hours (note that it is not open on Mondays and Tuesdays). Allow two hours for this process. There is a small cafe on site.
To appreciate the full scale of Joburg, take an invisible elevator from the base of the Galton Center to the 50th floor. Although it was built in the 1970s, it is Africa’s tallest skyscraper (223m) and the panoramic views are impressive. The on-site cafe is nothing special, nothing more, but there is plenty of room for the kids to run around playing airplanes in between and enjoying the view.
Entrance kiosks and elevators are hard to find. Take the escalators in the Carlton Center Mall (in the center of the building) in the direction of the music store and notice the Roof of Africa logo at the head of a corridor on your left. .
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This is the most exciting theme park in South Africa and you need a full day to do it justice. Choo Choo through the jungle on the Safari Train, tip the teacups carefully and head to the Kiddies Corner to ride ferocious dragons. There is an indoor soft play area, a farm garden, a 4D cinema and a science lab.
Please note that the theme park is closed on Mondays and Tuesdays. Check their website for updated admission prices.
It was this infamous city that Joburg surprised me the most. The energy and welcome from this sprawling city is breathtaking. It is an area that has evolved from the past to a strong place in its own right. Trendy bars line the streets of immense historical significance, while tourists rub shoulders with the locals.
Elsewhere in Joburg, homes are protected by high walls and high-tech security. Here in Soweto, low boundary walls and shared gardens celebrate a sense of community and we felt completely safe. In fact, Vilakasi Street is full of tourists and locals, enjoying the bars (we had a fantastic meal at Vuyos and loved the ‘anything goes’ atmosphere) and a visit to Nelson Mandela’s house.
Upper Ocoee River Rafting
Although the significance of the Nelson Mandela Mansion may be difficult to explain to young children, it is still worth visiting. Because it is small, you do not need much time, and there are no images that will shock the children. However, seeing the bullet holes and black marks of petrol bombs on the walls certainly brings reality to the parents.
Fresh flavors from around the world, local live music, quirky artwork, craft beers and playgrounds with scooters and face painting. A visit to one of Joburg’s world-class markets is a wonderful way to spend a morning. We attended the Fourways Farmers Market which is open on Sunday from 9am to 4pm. Make sure you get there early as it gets very busy.
Other family-oriented markets in Johannesburg include Bryanston Organic Market (Thursday and Saturday) and Rosebank Sunday Market (Sunday evening).
Just an hour’s drive from Joburg, a step back in time to when man first set foot on Earth. Study the fossils and skulls of our ancestors and learn how we evolved from apes. Put on a construction hat and go deep underground into the limestone caves to see where anthropologists have uncovered skeletons over 3 million years old. Be warned that if you are tall, you may have to crawl through the tunnels to get through the cave. The tours last one hour.
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Keep your ticket from Sterkfontein as this will allow you to enter the Maropeng Visitor Centre. It is a world-class exhibition that explores human development through interactive activities and exhibits. The highlight for our boys was the underground boat ride through natural elements of fire, wind, water and ice. A spinning black hole takes you back to the present day. Leave a full day to enjoy both the Sterkfontein Caves and the Maropeng Visitor Centre.
All of the above are activities we enjoyed through Joburg Tourism during our stay. Although we didn’t visit them, there are other recommended things to do:
If you don’t have your own bikes, the easiest way is to use UBER. Or better yet, hire a guide/driver. We were very impressed with our knowledgeable guide from JMD Tours (organized by Joburg Tourism). Traffic in Joburg can be heavy, so avoid peak times and allow extra time for your journeys.
Jo’burg Tourism welcomed us to Melrose Place Guest House. Set in lush gardens with a swimming pool (not heated), this is a quaint bed and breakfast with old English country charm that caters to upscale guests.
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We stayed in a premium double bedroom with two mattresses on the floor for the boys. There is a flat screen TV, free Wi-Fi and food can be ordered from local restaurants from the take-away menu.
The staff (in general) were very friendly and accommodating, although the children had to be exceptionally well behaved, not fussy and quiet. Whether you are looking for family activities or fun things to do in Gauteng, a weekend or day trip in Gauteng, or a relaxing escape from the city and rejuvenating nature – this article is for you I’ve rounded up the best places to visit in Gauteng.
Although Gauteng is not popularly known for its natural attractions, there are also places for outdoor activities, nature escapes and game drives in Gauteng. Well, no beach, but let’s focus on the positives!
Gauteng is a landlocked province bordering the Free State, Mpumalanga, North West and Limpopo provinces. It is an ideal starting point for road trips to destinations in the surrounding provinces. I love taking great weekend trips from Joburg.
Johannesburg Botanical Gardens, Gauteng, South Africa Stock Photo
Gauteng is the smallest but most populous province/region of South Africa and is known for its main cities, Johannesburg and Pretoria.
Challenge yourself with an outdoor obstacle course at Agrobranch. There are branches in various locations in South Africa. In Gauteng, you can find Agrobranch in Pretoria North, Pretoria East, Centurion, Melrose and Huddle Park. Obstacles, “Zip lines, bridges, monkey bridges, Tarzan jumps and many other activities to challenge you”
Not only a fun option for kids, but for adults too! Agrobranch in Melrose, Johannesburg:
Mountain Sanctuary Park is a private nature park in Magaliesburg, Gauteng. Enjoy natural rock pools and hiking trails in Gauteng province. They allow access to their facilities only to guests staying at the Mountain Sanctuary Park. Check out my review of how to get to Mountain Sanctuary Park, what to stay and things to do.
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Explore Gauteng by air by ziplining from treetop to treetop with Canopy Tours SA. When ziplining, don’t just look ahead, look around and really take in the views.
I enjoyed a canopy tour in Chitsikamma in the Eastern Cape and went with my mother to Magaliesburg.
The Waal River is the second longest river in South Africa and forms the border between Gauteng and the Free State provinces. If you go south of Gauteng past Alberton and Vereeniging, you will come to Vanderbijlpark. This is where the tail section of Gauteng can be enjoyed. It is