10km from Willy's - created around an authentic 19th century gold mine,
this theme park brings the old Joburg mining town back to life. Experience
an underground mine tour, watch real gold being poured, and see and learn
the fascinating history of "the city of gold," and the African
miners and their now world-famous dancing. Right next to it is the
Apartheid Museum. The complex also has a casino, restaurants to please all tastes, conference
facilities, and a fairground with a giant ferris wheel and exhilarating
roller-coaster ride, among others!
The name "Soweto" has become synonymous with the long struggle against
apartheid, and a visit to this area is a must. See The Nelson Mandela
Museum, Archbishop Tutu's House, the Hector Pieterson Museum and the
Regina Mundi Catholic Church. Visit the world-famous Wandies: mandatory
stop on the Soweto tour, it is a cosy restaurant-bar in the middle of the
township, popular with both locals and tourists alike. A tour guide is a
must for this interesting trip, and Willy will arrange this on request.
Lesedi African Lodge is a multi cultural village set amongst the pristine bushveld and rocky hills less than an hour’s drive north of Johannesburg.
Live the experience - experience the vibrant and colourful traditions of
the Basotho, Ndebele, Pedi, Xhosa and Zulu people on a short tour. Be part of traditional Africa for just a short
while. You will never forget it!
Approximately 45 minutes from Johannesburg, the Cradle of Humankind World Heritage site will take you back to the dawn
of pre-history. One of the richest fossil sites on the planet, it has
yielded hominid fossils that have been dated at 2 to 3.3 million years
ago. Well worth a visit.
Designed to replicate an ancient Tuscan hill-top village, Montecasino
offers a casino, the five star InterContinental Palazzo hotel; conference and event
facilities, unique dining options and the Pieter Toerien Theatre. There is
also a 15 screen Nu Metro cinema
complex, the Magic company - a family entertainment centre - and the
Montecasino Bird Gardens. Using the Johannesburg freeway system, easy to
reach from Willy's, and well worth a visit.
Eastgate Shopping Centre is situated in the suburb of Bedfordview, on a
prime site on the major freeway between Johannesburg International Airport
and Johannesburg city center. Easily accessible from the highway, this
superregional shopping center has 250 stores catering for all tastes and
styles. From department stores to top boutiques, restaurants, cinemas and
a host of exclusive speciality stores, Eastgate has everything, AND free
parking! Just round the corner from Willy's.
Bedford Centre & Square offers exclusive cosmopolitan shopping. Whether you are
searching for that perfect outfit and stunning gift or convenient
groceries it will be a pleasure from beginning to end – guaranteed. Hot
fashions, accessories, designer wear and all those “to die for” items will
surely rejuvenate your look and satisfy your soul. Step into the centre,
smell the rich aromas emitting from the coffee shops. Let yourself go and
indulge in a delectable cheese cake or a glass of wine with a scrumptious
meal. This is not what dreams are made of. Its is real. It is the way
shopping should be. Literally 5 minutes away from Willy's.
Johannesburg's Oliver Tambo Airport is the major international airport in
South Africa for flights from all five continents. There are also direct
international flights to Cape Town International. Flights from the UK or Europe
are usually overnight, with a flight from London to Johannesburg or Cape Town
taking approximately 12 hours. Direct flights between Sydney and Johannesburg
take approximately 15 hours. South Africa has an excellent network of domestic
carriers, offering flights to all major city centres throughout South Africa. A
flight between Johannesburg and Cape Town takes 2 hours.
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South Africa is a vast country and areas of interest are widespread. It is
often best to combine both flying and driving to make the most of your time.
Public transport is not reliable, and it is advisable to hire a car to get
around cities and to attractions. If you'd rather not drive long distances, you
might consider one of the excellent bus companies offering cost-effective deals
for people to travel around the country. Look out for the Greyhound, TransLux
and InterCape buses, amongst others. These luxury buses will transport you from
one major city centre to another at a very reasonable cost -
tickets can be booked at Computicket. The Baz Bus is an affordable hop off
option for backpackers. Alternatively, join an organised tour that suits your
interests and your schedule.
Travelling to South Africa is fairly easy. All foreign nationals must be in
possession of a valid passport, and in some instances, a visa is required.
Travellers from Europe, most Commonwealth countries, the USA, Scandinavia and
Japan do not need a visa for vacation purposes. A free entry permit for a period
of up to 90 days will be issued on arrival. For visitors wishing to stay longer,
an official visa needs to be applied for.
International travellers with minors accompanying them (this also applies to
travellers to Swaziland) need an Unabridged Birth Certificate for each minor
travelling with both parents. Minors travelling alone, or with only one parent,
or with friends, etc., need to enquire at South Africa's Home Affairs Department
about the latest applicable regulation.
Value Added Tax (VAT), at the rate of 14%, is charged on most items. Foreign
tourists to South Africa can have their 14% VAT refunded provided that the value
of the items purchased exceeds R250.00. VAT is refunded at the point of
departure and receipts from purchases must be kept and produced. Ask shop
assistants for a VAT invoice.
The South African currency unit is the Rand, denoted by the symbol
"R." One hundred cents makes up R1 (one Rand). Currently, the Rand is
weaker than many European currencies, as well as the US$, making travel to South
Africa affordable by international standards. Visitors will more than likely
find eating out and shopping particularly affordable and excellent quality.
Foreign currency can be exchanged at local banks and Bureaux de Change. Credit
cards are widely accepted, including American Express, Diners Club, MasterCard
and Visa. Banks are open Monday to Friday from 9:00 to 15:30 and on Saturdays,
from 8:30 to 11:00. Autobanks (ATMs, Automatic Teller Machines) are found in
most towns, and operate on a 24-hour basis.
Petrol (or gas) stations are widespread throughout South Africa, and many are
open 24 hours a day. However, if you are planning a long-distance trip through a
remote area, ensure the tank is full to avoid running low. A petrol attendant
will fill your tank for you, and will wash your windscreen. Petrol stations do
not accept credit cards and petrol must be paid for in cash or with a local
As a rule, South African restaurants do not include a service charge in the
total bill. It is customary to leave a 10% tip for good service, or more for
excellent service. At petrol stations, an attendant will fill your tank for you
and will offer to wash your windscreen - whatever small change you have
available will be appreciated - R3 to R5. In many areas, attendants will offer
to assist you in finding a parking space for your car and to watch over it while you shop - again,
on your return to the car, a
tip of R3 to R5 or so will be appreciated.
South Africa's electricity supply is 220/230 volts, AC 50Hz. Most plugs have three round
pins but some plugs with two smaller pins are also found on appliances. Adaptors
can be purchased. US-made appliances will need a transformer.
Public holidays are listed below. In major areas, shops, restaurants and
cinemas will be open on public holidays (except for Christmas Day and New Year's
Day). If the holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday will be a holiday.
1 January - New Year's Day
21 March - Human Rights Day
9 April - Good Friday (the Friday before Easter Sunday)
12 April - Family Day (the Monday after Easter Sunday)