When I think back on our road trip around South Africa, it’s easy to pinpoint which destination caused the most anxiety. After exploring the Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Free State, Mpumalanga, Kwazulu Natal and the Northern Cape, the only place that inspired actual fear, was Johannesburg.
You can’t turn on the news without hearing about this “crime ridden area”. People who have moved to Cape Town after living there, all know of someone who had something terrible happen to them. There is just so much bad news about Johannesburg and the surrounding areas, that it doesn’t surprise me how often tourists ask about how safe it is, to travel there.
The thing is, we didn’t have a bad experience while exploring the area. Maybe it was because we we only there for 3 days or maybe it was because we chose to make our base Centurion, but we actually loved the fast pace set by this vibe-y part of the country.
Taking the fear out of family travel
We did practice a lot of caution however and, as a result, we barely have any pictures (as we didn’t want to make ourselves a target for the criminal element while we walked around) but we visited as many places as time allowed. There is nothing that attracts more attention than hanging your camera around your neck or advertising the fact that you’re using your cellphone or tablet while travelling in a car.
As long as you keep your wits about you and practice some common sense, you can minimize the risk of inviting unwanted attention.
Since we didn’t have all that much time, we carefully selected our activities and had to limit ourselves to things we could only do in Gauteng. In other words, we stayed away from the malls and chose instead to visit Sci Bono on the first day and then take the Gautrain to Sandton the next.
Sci Bono is a multi level science centre that rivals the one we have in Cape Town. Kids can easily spend an entire day, interacting with the displays or watching science shows while the parents stroll behind attempting to at least keep up with them as they zoom through each level.
South Africa’s own bullet train is also a must do with kids. This sleek, super fast form of transport, is an adventure in and of itself, and kids will love watching the world go by as they sit in the lap of luxury. I must admit that Sandton was our destination of choice, simply because we wanted to try some Krispy Kreme doughnuts and we don’t have a store in Cape Town, yet. Oh my word! It was absolutely the best R130, I’ve ever spent.
A photo posted by Tami, Anton and the Zs (@tazzdiscovers) on
The only thing we didn’t get to do while we were in Sandton was visit the Johannesburg Stock Exchange as it was closed, because we were there on a Saturday. The kids would have learned so much from that experience but it simply means we will have to go back to visit again. Oh, and of course we still need to visit the Cradle of Humankind too.
What else should we add to our list of places to see in Gauteng, the next time we visit? Let us know in the comments field below.