There are plenty of places to visit near Johannesburg you should consider. From some of the historical places to some of the best reserves, there is something for everyone.
Nestled in the heart of South Africa’s Gauteng province, Johannesburg is a vibrant metropolis known for its rich history, cultural diversity, and bustling city life. However, just beyond its city limits lies a treasure trove of natural beauty, historical landmarks, and enchanting destinations waiting to be discovered. Whether you’re a nature enthusiast, a history buff, or simply seeking a tranquil getaway, Johannesburg’s surrounding areas offer a plethora of captivating places to visit. There are also top places to visit in Johannesburg for free that one should take advantage of.
From scenic landscapes to wildlife encounters, Mrpocu.com will list some of the top places to visit near Johannesburg for an amazing travel experience.
Places To Visit Near Johannesburg
Cradle of Humankind
The Cradle of Humankind, situated near Johannesburg, is a UNESCO World Heritage Site of immense importance. As one of the foremost paleoanthropological sites globally, it has yielded extraordinary discoveries of early hominid fossils. The Sterkfontein Caves, a highlight of the area, offer a captivating exploration of our ancient past. Descend into these limestone caves to witness the remnants of our ancestors and gain insights into their lives.
The nearby Maropeng Visitor Centre provides a fascinating journey through interactive exhibitions, shedding light on the story of human evolution. Engage with captivating displays that vividly portray the milestones and intricacies of our species’ development. The Cradle of Humankind beckons visitors to delve into the wonders of our shared heritage, providing a profound appreciation for our evolutionary journey.
Pretoria, located just a short drive from Johannesburg, holds the distinction of being South Africa’s administrative capital. This vibrant city is renowned for its picturesque streets adorned with stunning jacaranda trees and captivating architecture. The iconic Union Buildings stand tall, symbolizing the nation’s governance and providing a glimpse into South Africa’s history.
The Voortrekker Monument commemorates the pioneers who embarked on the Great Trek, a significant event in the country’s past. For nature enthusiasts, the Pretoria National Botanical Garden offers a tranquil escape with its diverse flora and peaceful surroundings. Visitors can wander through the garden’s pathways, reveling in the beauty of indigenous plants and captivating landscapes. Pretoria welcomes explorers with its rich heritage, natural splendor, and vibrant blend of history and modernity.
Immerse yourself in the serene splendor of the Magaliesberg Mountains, a haven of natural beauty and tranquility. This ancient mountain range offers a picturesque escape, boasting enchanting hiking trails that wind through lush forests and reveal breathtaking vistas at every turn. Discover hidden gems along the way, such as cascading waterfalls and crystal-clear streams that invite you to pause and rejuvenate. Nestled amidst the mountains, charming country towns beckon with their quaint atmosphere and local hospitality. Magaliesberg is arguably one of the best places to visit near Johannesburg.
Delight in exploring art galleries that showcase the talents of local artists, capturing the essence of this captivating region. For ultimate relaxation, indulge in a soothing spa getaway, where you can unwind amidst the serene surroundings. The Magaliesberg Mountains promise an idyllic retreat, blending outdoor adventures, cultural experiences, and moments of pure bliss.
Situated in the North West Province, Sun City stands as a premier resort and entertainment complex, captivating visitors with its world-class offerings. Adventure seekers can revel in the exhilarating water rides and wave pools of the Valley of Waves, creating unforgettable memories of splashing fun. For those feeling lucky, the glamorous casinos present a chance to try their hand at thrilling games and potentially strike gold.
Golf enthusiasts can indulge in their passion on the championship courses, meticulously designed to provide an exceptional playing experience. Sun City caters to all ages with its diverse range of activities, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy. Whether it’s relaxation, excitement, or leisure pursuits, this remarkable destination promises an unforgettable experience for all who visit.
Pilanesberg National Park
For wildlife enthusiasts, a trip to Pilanesberg National Park is an absolute must. This game reserve, free of malaria, boasts an impressive array of wildlife, including the iconic Big Five: lion, leopard, elephant, rhino, and buffalo. As you explore the park, you’ll encounter a diverse range of animals and bird species, each adding to the enchantment of the African wilderness.
Embark on exhilarating game drives, led by knowledgeable guides who will navigate you through the park’s untamed landscapes, offering remarkable opportunities to witness wildlife in their natural habitats. Alternatively, choose a guided walking safari to experience an up-close and personal encounter with nature’s marvels. Pilanesberg National Park promises an unforgettable journey into the captivating realm of African wildlife, leaving you with cherished memories that will last a lifetime. The park is one of the best places to visit in Johannesburg for weekend getaways.
Seek solace from the bustling city and find tranquility at the picturesque Hartbeespoort Dam. This beloved weekend retreat invites you to unwind amidst its serene surroundings. Indulge in a variety of water activities, from kayaking and paddleboarding to jet skiing, as you revel in the refreshing embrace of the dam’s crystalline waters. Embark on leisurely boat cruises, immersing yourself in the peaceful ambiance while taking in the breathtaking vistas. Lakeside restaurants offer a delightful culinary experience, allowing you to savor delectable meals while enjoying the captivating views.
For an elevated perspective, take a cable car ride to the top of the majestic Magaliesberg, where panoramic vistas await, revealing the beauty of the surrounding landscape. Additionally, a visit to the Elephant Sanctuary, located nearby, provides a unique opportunity to intimately encounter these gentle giants, forging unforgettable connections. Hartbeespoort Dam promises a serene getaway, where natural beauty and relaxation seamlessly intertwine, leaving you refreshed and rejuvenated. The dam is one of the best places to visit near Johannesburg for instagrammable pictures.
Running through Gauteng, the Vaal River is a haven for water enthusiasts, offering a paradise of aquatic activities. Dive into the thrill of river rafting, navigating the gentle rapids, and experiencing the exhilaration of the flowing waters. Fishing enthusiasts will delight in casting their lines into the river, hoping to reel in a prized catch. For a more leisurely experience, embark on a sunset cruise, drifting along the tranquil currents while the colors of the sky paint a mesmerizing backdrop. Along the riverbanks, you’ll discover a collection of resorts and lodges, providing a perfect retreat to unwind and immerse yourself in the serene atmosphere. Relax, rejuvenate, and soak up the natural beauty as the Vaal River carries you away to a world of tranquility.
Immerse yourself in the vibrant township culture by venturing into Soweto, an abbreviation for South Western Townships. A guided tour will unveil a rich tapestry of history and resilience as you explore iconic landmarks. Visit the Nelson Mandela House, the former home of the revered anti-apartheid leader, where you can gain insight into his life and legacy. Pay homage to the brave Hector Pieterson at the memorial dedicated to the youth uprising of 1976, a pivotal moment in the fight against apartheid.
Stroll along Vilakazi Street, a place of unique distinction as the only street in the world to have housed two Nobel Prize laureates: Nelson Mandela and Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Feel the vibrant energy of the community and indulge in authentic cuisine and cultural experiences. Soweto offers an immersive journey that unveils the spirit, resilience, and contributions of its people, leaving a lasting impression of unity and hope. Soweto is one of the best places to visit near Johannesburg for a historical experience.
Embark on a captivating adventure into the depths of the Sterkfontein Caves and unlock the mysteries of ancient geological formations. These remarkable limestone caves have emerged as a treasure trove of invaluable fossils, offering a glimpse into our distant past. Among the most notable discoveries are the famous “Mrs. Ples” and “Little Foot,” which have revolutionized our understanding of human evolution.
Through a guided tour, you can delve into the fascinating history and scientific significance of these caves, as knowledgeable experts illuminate the intricate details of their formation and the astounding finds within. Traverse the winding pathways, marvel at the stalactites and stalagmites, and immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring ambiance of this subterranean realm. The Sterkfontein Caves promise an unforgettable journey, connecting us to the ancient origins of humanity and inspiring a sense of wonder about our place in the natural world.
Dinokeng Game Reserve
Embark on an extraordinary Big Five safari adventure in the enchanting Dinokeng Game Reserve. Situated north of Pretoria, this reserve provides a remarkable wildlife experience in close proximity to the city. Prepare for exhilarating game drives, where skilled guides navigate the rugged terrain, offering thrilling encounters with Africa’s iconic animals. Immerse yourself in the sights and sounds of the bush as you witness majestic lions, elusive leopards, mighty elephants, rhinos, and buffalo in their natural habitat.
For a more intimate experience, embark on guided bush walks, allowing you to explore the intricacies of the reserve on foot and gain a deeper understanding of the ecosystem. Alternatively, opt for a horseback safari, blending adventure with a unique perspective as you traverse the wilderness. Dinokeng Game Reserve promises an unforgettable journey into the heart of Africa’s wildlife, where untamed beauty and incredible encounters await at every turn.
Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve
Just a short drive from Johannesburg lies the Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve, a sanctuary that offers a remarkable opportunity to witness endangered species up close. Join a guided tour and embark on an unforgettable journey to spot majestic rhinos, regal lions, graceful cheetahs, and a diverse array of other captivating wildlife. The reserve’s knowledgeable guides will provide fascinating insights into the animals’ behavior and conservation efforts. The reserve is also one of the best safaris in South Africa.
Engage in thrilling activities such as bush walks, where you can explore the natural wonders of the reserve on foot, or partake in exhilarating game drives, allowing for a more immersive wildlife encounter. For a unique experience, participate in animal feeding activities and learn about the dietary needs and habits of these magnificent creatures. The Rhino and Lion Nature Reserve promises an awe-inspiring adventure, connecting visitors with nature’s most endangered and awe-inspiring inhabitants, leaving a lasting appreciation for wildlife conservation efforts.
Lesedi Cultural Village
Discover the vibrant tapestry of South Africa’s cultures at the Lesedi Cultural Village, a captivating living museum situated near Johannesburg. Step into a world where the traditions and lifestyles of different ethnic groups come alive. Immerse yourself in the vibrant energy of Zulu, Xhosa, Pedi, Basotho, and Ndebele cultures as you witness captivating traditional dance performances that celebrate the rich heritage of the country. Engage with friendly locals who are passionate about sharing their customs and stories, offering you a deeper understanding of their way of life.
Delight your taste buds with an array of local cuisine, savoring traditional dishes that reflect the diverse culinary traditions of South Africa. Explore the village’s authentic huts and craft markets, where you can admire and acquire beautifully handcrafted artifacts. The Lesedi Cultural Village invites you to celebrate the cultural diversity of South Africa and to embrace the unity that arises from understanding and appreciating our differences.
Magalies Canopy Tours
Calling all adrenaline junkies! Magalies Canopy Tours is your ticket to an exhilarating zipline adventure amidst the breathtaking Magaliesberg Mountains. Brace yourself as you soar through the treetops, suspended high above the ground, and revel in the heart-pounding excitement. As you zip from one platform to another, be prepared to be awe-struck by the stunning panoramic views of the surrounding landscapes, immersing yourself in the natural beauty that unfolds before your eyes.
This unforgettable experience is a perfect blend of adventure and nature, catering to both thrill-seekers and nature lovers among us. Magalies Canopy Tours invites you to embrace the adrenaline rush and create cherished memories as you fly through the air, leaving you with an indelible sense of accomplishment and a profound appreciation for the magnificent outdoors.
Cullinan Diamond Mine
Explore the captivating realm of diamond mining by visiting the Cullinan Diamond Mine, located near Pretoria. Embark on a guided underground tour and delve into the intricate process of extracting these precious gems from the Earth. Gain insights into the mining techniques, the challenges faced, and the remarkable engineering involved in this industry. Marvel at the replicas of renowned diamonds found in the mine, including the legendary Cullinan Diamond, which holds the distinction of being the largest rough gem-quality diamond ever unearthed.
As you journey through the depths of the mine, you’ll gain a profound appreciation for the craftsmanship and the allure that surrounds these exquisite gems. The Cullinan Diamond Mine promises an educational and awe-inspiring experience, offering a glimpse into the fascinating world of diamond mining and the extraordinary treasures it holds.
Gold Reef City
Transport yourself to the golden days of the historic gold rush era at Gold Reef City. This captivating theme park and entertainment complex invites you to journey through Johannesburg’s rich mining history. Embark on underground mine tours, where you can explore the depths of a simulated mine shaft and gain a firsthand glimpse into the life of a miner. For thrill-seekers, the park offers a variety of exhilarating rides that cater to all ages and adrenaline levels.
Immerse yourself in the lively atmosphere as you enjoy live performances that showcase the vibrant culture and talent of South Africa. If you’re feeling lucky, try your hand at the casino and see if fortune smiles upon you. Gold Reef City is a vibrant blend of history, entertainment, and excitement, allowing you to step back in time and create unforgettable memories in a setting that pays homage to Johannesburg’s mining heritage. This historical place is one of the best places to visit near Johannesburg for kids’ experience.
Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve
Nature enthusiasts will find themselves captivated by the breathtaking beauty of the Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve. Nestled in the southern outskirts of Johannesburg, this reserve is a haven for diverse flora and fauna. Lace up your hiking boots and embark on scenic trails that wind their way through rolling hills, offering magnificent vistas at every turn. As you wander through this natural paradise, keep a keen eye out for antelope gracefully roaming the landscape, zebras adding a touch of wild elegance, and a myriad of bird species filling the air with their melodic songs.
The reserve also provides idyllic picnic spots, inviting you to relax and soak in the tranquility of the surroundings. Suikerbosrand Nature Reserve promises an immersive experience where the wonders of nature unfold before you, leaving you with cherished memories and a deep appreciation for the remarkable diversity that South Africa’s natural landscapes offer.
De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre
Experience a remarkable encounter with cheetahs and other endangered species at the De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre. This conservation facility is committed to the preservation and protection of cheetahs, wild dogs, and other rare animals. Immerse yourself in their world as you embark on a guided tour that unveils the wonders of these magnificent creatures and the critical conservation efforts in place to ensure their survival. Learn about the challenges they face and the dedicated work being done to safeguard their future.
Witness the grace and agility of cheetahs up close, gaining a deep appreciation for their unique characteristics and the role they play in maintaining the delicate balance of ecosystems. The De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre offer an educational and awe-inspiring experience that fosters awareness and empathy for endangered species. By visiting and supporting this important conservation facility, you contribute to the ongoing efforts to protect and preserve these remarkable animals for generations to come.
Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden
Indulge in a serene and rejuvenating escape at the Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden. Nestled in Roodepoort, this exquisite botanical garden is a testament to the beauty of South Africa’s indigenous flora. Discover a world of enchantment as you meander through lush pathways, surrounded by a tapestry of vibrant plants and flowers. The highlight of the garden is undoubtedly the breathtaking Witpoortjie Waterfall, a cascading masterpiece that adds a touch of magic to the tranquil ambiance.
Take a leisurely stroll, bask in the gentle embrace of nature, and find the perfect spot for a delightful picnic amidst the idyllic surroundings. Keep your eyes peeled for a variety of bird species that call this garden their home, offering a delightful symphony of chirps and tweets. The Walter Sisulu National Botanical Garden invites you to unwind, reconnect with nature, and immerse yourself in the tranquility of this peaceful oasis.
Hartebeespoort Aerial Cableway
Embark on a remarkable journey to new heights with the Hartebeespoort Aerial Cableway. Brace yourself for an unforgettable experience as you ascend to the pinnacle of the majestic Magaliesberg Mountains. As the cable car carries you upwards, prepare to be mesmerized by the breathtaking views unfolding before your eyes. Gaze out over the sprawling beauty of Hartbeespoort Dam, its shimmering waters stretching out in a picturesque panorama. Marvel at the rugged magnificence of the Magaliesberg range, with its undulating hills and verdant landscapes.
Once you reach the summit, immerse yourself in the awe-inspiring vistas that surround you, capturing stunning photographs and making memories that will last a lifetime. And to enhance this remarkable experience, indulge in a delicious meal at Cableway’s restaurant, savoring delightful cuisine while being treated to unparalleled views. The Hartebeespoort Aerial Cableway invites you to elevate your perspective, allowing you to appreciate the natural splendor of the area from a whole new vantage point.
Two hours from Johannesburg is the picturesque city of Rustenburg, which is situated in the Magaliesberg Mountains’ foothills. Its Afrikaans translation, “place of rest,” still wonderfully captures the essence of the town.
The town itself gives visitors a glimpse into the Afrikaaner past of the area, but it’s really the starting point for exploring the entire area. There is a fantastic museum that explains the significance of the town, and there are many battlefields close by where fighting took place during the Anglo-Boer War. It is one of the best places to visit near Johannesburg.