Gauteng, South Africa

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Gauteng is the financial hub of South Africa and also the continent of Africa. Originally established during the gold rush of the late 19th century. Before 1886 it had been a poor, struggling area but ten years later, it was the richest gold mining area in the world. The news of the discovery of gold spread around the globe and a major influx of those hoping to find gold let this small town of Langlaagte (later Johannesburg) grow into the largest city in South Africa. Today still, Gauteng is still known for its produce of gold with large mines in the area.

Johannesburg today is a fascinating city of extreme contrast and many facets. With a unique mix of culture, rich history with some shocking undertones of violence and apartheid, the city has risen once again to be a top tourist destination not only for arriving in South Africa but also staying a few days to explore.

With highlights such as the Maboneng District, an upcoming area in the heart of the city, you can easily visit historic sites with a new modern twist during daytime. Guided city walks or tours are available to see the hustle of the inner city in first person. Don’t just hear about it, see it for yourself!

The city covers a vast area, therefore there is many different points of interest quite far from each other. In the south there is Constitutional Hill, Gold Reef City and Soweto. To the west, if you are up for the short drive, is the magnificent Pilanesberg Nature Reserves and Sun City. To the north is Pretoria, the capital of South Africa. And to the east (well, north east) is the world-famous Kruger National Park. If you truly want to experience the best of Johannesburg, it is highly recommended to book a day tour with a qualified guide. They know where to take you to show the inner city, but also keep away from the not-so-safe areas (as you will find in any big city).

As one of the main point of arrival to (or embarking from) South Africa, Johannesburg will also be the same for your start or finish to The Mzansi Experience. We highly recommend starting or ending off with an exciting tour of your choice – just view the list of available tours and get ready for the adventure of a lifetime. All our tours are hand-picked for their quality and value-for-money. You will be hard-pressed to get a better deal elsewhere.

One would also not have experience Johannesburg (or “Jozi” as the locals call it) if you have not tried the fantastic local cuisine found in many hotspots throughout the city. With many unique restaurants and local breweries to choose from, you simply must have a taste of South Africa while in town.

As would be expected, Johannesburg offers a wide variety of accommodation options. We have worked hard to find the best and most interesting places to stay without breaking the bank. Our list will keep on expanding – we only recommend what we have experienced ourselves!




Homebase Melville

Homebase Melville is your ideal suburban backpackers located in the vibrant heart of gold in Africa – Johannesburg. It is in easy walking distance to the famous 7th Avenue with all its fantastic eateries, clubs, galleries, bookshops, offbeat clothes shops and music bars. Melville is unique in its “vibe” as it reflects the surrounding city.

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Curiocity Backpackers

Developed for curious urbanites from all over the world looking to explore Johannesburg’s hidden treasures, Curiocity Backpackers invites you to experience an undiscovered world in the heart of one of Johannesburg’s oldest suburbs. Curiocity offers you a guided experience through the inner workings of urban Johannesburg.

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Once in Joburg

Situated in Braamfontein, Once in Joburg is an All Star Hostel, providing that same fun and vibrant atmosphere as our other hostel Once in Cape Town. Our shared dorms fits no more than 4 people, either mixed or female-only, with en-suite bathrooms with shower, toilet and basin. You will sleep in our custom made beds, including facilities.

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Dusk Till Dawn Backpackers

Dusk till Dawn Backpackers is a stunning lodge situated on one of the many beautiful “koppies” in Kensington, overlooking spectacular views of eastern Johannesburg. Gorgeous sunsets and moon rises will literally leave you breathless. Dusk till Dawn is close to shopping centers, public transport and is only 15km away from the airport.

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MoAfrika Lodge

MoAfrika literally means ‘African People’ in the language of the local Sotho populace, the original inhabitants of the Highveld. A unique lodge in which an African theme induces a warm welcome for guests. Set on a 8000 square metres of land through which a stream flows, MoAfrika Lodge provides a rustic and tranquil setting.

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Mufasa Backpackers

Mufasa Backpackers provides budget accommodation in Benoni and is a safe, clean, secure lodge offering day safaris and tours. We are only 20min from the OR Tambo international airport and a short drive from a number of attractions and activities in the area. We offer a number of accommodation options to suite your needs.

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Canopy That Tree

Between Hartbeespoort and Rustenburg lies the 120 km Magaliesberg mountain range – a beautiful natural environment only 1,5 hours drive from Johannesburg. This 2400 million year old rock formation is the second oldest in the world and its surroundings are an ideal location for a full day of fun. The Canopy Tour allows you to view this environment from a bird’s eye perspective. Read More

Cradle of Humankind

The Cradle of Humankind was declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in December 1999. Experience the Cradle of Humankind & Sterkfontein Caves in a fun filled day tour. This fun-filled full day tour starts at the Maropeng Visitors Centre. Read up on the facts about the evolution of the world and especially humankind. Read More

Lesedi Cultural Village

Enjoy an authentic African experience on this half day tour. We take you to Lesedi Cultural Village, where you will enjoy the rich African culture first hand. The people of Lesedi have created an African ambiance that you won’t find elsewhere! Visit five traditional villages including Xhosa, Zulu, Pedi, Basotho and Ndebele. Read More

Orlando Towers

Trying to blow-dry your hair in an ecologically responsible way? Fan of Nitro Circus and you want some action yourself? Then go up the Orlando Towers in Soweto for the jump of a lifetime! The hugely adrenaline-intensive bungee jump from Orlando Towers in Soweto, near Johannesburg, is the first one in the world to be set up between the cooling towers of a power station. Read More

Soweto and Johannesburg Tour

Soweto consists of a community of extremes. On the one hand there is abject poverty and on the other hand there is extraordinary wealth in the upper class suburbs such as Diepkloof Extension and Selection Park. Some of the houses in that area sell for over one and two million rands. Today Soweto is the largest Black residential area in South Africa Read More

Buy Bus Ticket

How Do I Book My Ticket?

To book your ticket, you must go HERE. The Mzansi Experience offers a live booking environment to buy your tickets. It is important that you follow the correct steps to purchase your tickets, in order to be able to reserve your bus legs easily. Buying your desired ticket is very simple. You simply go to our booking engine, select your desired ticket, provide your information required and then proceed to checkout or contact us for more information.

Our different ticket types

For your convenience, and to keep your travels within your budget, we have three different ticket types available:

Direct / Point-to-Point Ticket:

Simply book your ticket from one point to the next without hopping off in-between. Travel only within your current zone. Please note, compulsory overnight stops apply.

Hop-On Hop-Off Ticket:

Buy one ticket to travel one-way from your start to end point, with multiple stops in-between. Hop-on and hop-off at any point on this route. Or buy a return ticket to travel both ways. Please note, compulsory overnight stops apply.

Total Freedom with a Mzansi  Travel Pass

Travel in any format, in any direction and any part of  our route for the duration of your Mzansi Travel Pass. Options include 4 days, 7 days, 14 days and 21 days. Tickets are valid for the amount of days purchased after action (booking of first leg of your journey). Please note, compulsory overnight stops apply.