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Driving route within Johannesburg

Seattle
6 posts
Driving route within Johannesburg

Hi all!

I plan on renting a car for a day in Johannesburg. Could anyone suggest a safe route to take, to see the important sights and interesting (and safe) areas and neighborhoods in Johannesburg?

Basically, I hope to be able to see, from the car, some of the key sights in Johannesburg (historic buildings, downtown, some neighborhoods, etc). Will be coming from Tambo airport, with final destination in Melrose Arch (my hotel is there). I have a whole day, arriving at 8am in Johannesburg. Suggested streets and routes would be appreciated, as well as streets/areas/neighborhoods to avoid.

Thanks!

1. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

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2. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

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Seattle
6 posts
3. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

Thanks for the advice. I will be driving with a GPS, but just not sure where to drive to. In the CBD, for example, any advice on streets to drive on to see a lot of the Interesting sights? Any streets to drive on to see some of the interesting neighborhoods? Thanks!

4. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

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Hazyview, South...
Level Contributor
3,851 posts
19 reviews
5. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

I am not paranoid about driving in JHB, I have been living there for many years, and I believe that the danger often portrait is completely blown out of proportion.

Nevertheless, I would not recommend taking a relaxed drive from the airport and following the GPS or any other device.

The danger of getting lost and ending up in an area you dont want or should not be is rather high (e.g. take the wrong Marlborro off ramp and you end up in Alexandra)

I would take the recommended route mainly via the highways to your accommodation and get advise after check in from the locals where to go, drive and what to do.

As you are arriving that early, why not take a guided tour to Soweto, JHB CBD, historical places etc., and in doing so making sure you see what you need to see to get an impression about JHB?

Klaus

-Owner Abangane-

Hazyview

6. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

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Hazyview, South...
Level Contributor
3,851 posts
19 reviews
7. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

Nothing wrong for you and me (now) but I recall my first time in Alex and how I felt (being a Greman), for mostly wrong reasons.

Johannesburg, South...
Level Contributor
334 posts
19 reviews
8. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

I agree with Abangane. I live in Johannesburg for more than 20 years. Had a tourist at one of the guest house that went to Top of Africa by herself and got robbed. I still think in big cities all over the world you must be careful and I try to avoid the city if possible. Enough other nice things to do in Johannesburg or Pretoria.

Good luck

Agnes

Edinburgh, United...
Level Contributor
1,028 posts
97 reviews
9. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

I drive into Jhb CBD every day now since our company moved back there and although I don't feel threatened at all whilst driving, a tourist would need to know their way around well and I wouldnt do it after hours and even during the day, the traffic is absolutely chaotic most of the day. A lot of the traffic lights which show red, people are going through and when green they stop. Don't worry - it's not anarchy - it's just that at a lot of the lights, there are traffic officers directing the traffic and for some reason, they like to switch, eg when the traffic light shows green, they tell you to stop and let the opposing road have right of way when it's red for them. If you are not alert, you could get into trouble. I also pass by the notorius for hijacking/mugging blocks between Kerk and Bree every day - haven't had a problem as there are also security guards posted along the streets - apparently local business has hired them to keep an eye on things. Not sure how effective they would be if anything happened, but rather they are there than not. But all in all, for me it's fine to go into the CBD every day, for a tourist i would definitely say it's a no no.

Seattle
6 posts
10. Re: Driving route within Johannesburg

Thanks for all your inputs.

I guess I'll avoid driving too much. I was hoping I can get a glimpse of Johannesburg by driving by the CBD and around some of the nicer suburbs. But I guess it's not worth the risk, given that I don't know which streets are safe streets to drive-by.

I have booked a half day tour of Soweto the following day, otherwise, I'd do the step-by-step detailed driving route around Soweto posted a while back by SepSep.

For the day, I plan on doing Maropeng in the morning, lunch at Carnivore, then the Apartheid Museum in the afternoon. I don't know if all are do-able, given the distances and traffic. Any opinions, suggestions, comments, or suggested routes for driving between them?

I assume it's quite safe to drive to/from Melrose Arch and Sandton or Rosebank? Is parking easy to find and safe in Sandton and Rosebank? Is parking usually pay-parking or free parking on the street?

Thanks for all the help!

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