6 tour companies that will remind you why Jozi rocks

Visit the Windybrow Centre of the Arts, one of the oldest buildings in Johannesburg, with Honest Tours.
Visit the Windybrow Centre of the Arts, one of the oldest buildings in Johannesburg, with Honest Tours.
Image: Supplied

We’ve all been stuck indoors for far too long. Luckily, tour guides are allowed to operate under lockdown level 3 and this means that local tour companies around Johannesburg resumed their operations again — available to smaller groups of people and under strict hygienic conditions.

While you can’t travel to other provinces, you can escape into the city for a few hours to stretch those legs and perhaps learn something new about this concrete jungle you call home. Just don’t forget your mask.

Past Experiences

The first full-time inner city walking tour company, Past Experiences was established in 2009. They have resumed operations under level 3 of lockdown and offer a choice of two private tours to a maximum of four people.

The following tours are available:

  • The General City Walk tour lasts between one and a half and two hours. It focuses on a bit of everything, including history, architecture, public art, political history, city planning and regeneration.
  • The Braamfontein Urban Art Walk tour lasts between one and a half and two hours and touches on Braamfontein’s regeneration and history with a focus on its public art, graffiti and street art.

Cost: R1000 for 1 to 3 people and R1100 for 4 people.

For more information visit Past Experience's website. To make a booking or enquire about tour dates and times, email Jo Buitendacht at past.experiences@hotmail.com.

A snapshot of the view on a Past Experiences city tour.
A snapshot of the view on a Past Experiences city tour.
Image: Supplied

Joburg Places

With a passion for storytelling, Joburg Places has been sharing the stories of Johannesburg since 2011. They have been running virtual tours (which have become popular and are still available) but chief storyteller Charlie Moyo is ready to hit the streets again. On lockdown level 3 Joburg places offers two inner city tours on a private basis that are available to book for any day and any time, subject to availability.

The following signature Joburg Places tours are available:

  • The four-hour Marshalltown Tour takes you on a walk through the oldest district of Johannesburg.
  • Explore Joburg’s retail district in all its diversity, vibrancy and history during a four-hour City Centre Tour.

Cost: R1000 for a private tour of up to 2 guests and R2000 for a group of up to 4 guests.

For more information visit the Joburg Places website. To make a booking, WhatsApp Gerald Garner on 082 894 5216 or email gerald@joburgplaces.com

Bheki Dube operates tours from the Curiocity Backpackers in Maboneng.
Bheki Dube operates tours from the Curiocity Backpackers in Maboneng.
Image: Supplied

Curiocity

Bheki Dube started Curiocity as a network of African hostels with the goal of connecting curious travellers to exciting, real and inspiring locations. Part of the experience is, of course, immersing yourself into the city you’re visiting for which their local tours around Joburg are perfect. During lockdown they’ve been innovate with their offering of virtual tours. These will still continue but they’re starting to open up tours into the city again.

As the team gets back into the swing of things, they are rolling out their East City Cycle Tours on Saturdays and Sundays between 15:00 and 17:00 for people who want to get exercise and fresh air while learning about their city. Starting at the Curiocity Backpackers in Maboneng, the guided tour will take you through places like Doornfontein, Victoria Yards and Troyeville. The tour costs R350 per person. Participants must be 18 years or older and bicycles are provided

For more information or to make a booking visit Curiocity’s website.

Franck Leya is ready to tackle the streets of Joburg on lockdown level 3.
Franck Leya is ready to tackle the streets of Joburg on lockdown level 3.
Image: Supplied

Honest Travel Experiences

Franck Leya, or the Innercity Mayor as he’s affectionately called by the people he helps in the inner city of Johannesburg, is ready to share the heritage of the city through his affordable city tours on level 3 of lockdown. Tours are available for private groups of a minimum of two people and maximum of five people.

The following tours are available:

  • Yeoville Cultural experience, two and a half hours, R250 per person.
  • Joburg Art Experience, two and a half hours, R200 per person.
  • Braamfontein walking tour, two hours, R250 per person.
  • Windybrow Heritage tour, one hour, R100 per person.

For more information or to make a booking visit Honest Travel Experience’s Trip Advisor Page.

Kennedy Welani Tembo takes Eloise Scoble and mascot Coffeeholic_teddy on a Jozi Coffee Cycle Tour.
Kennedy Welani Tembo takes Eloise Scoble and mascot Coffeeholic_teddy on a Jozi Coffee Cycle Tour.
Image: Supplied

Microadventure Tours

Kennedy Welani Tembo describes Microadventure Tours as a fun, vibrant and people-centric adventure company. Based in Parktown, they offer a variety of tours, from hikes to high teas and tours of Joburg at night. They have resumed operations under level 3 of lockdown but have scaled back on their offering to two of their tours – all capped at a maximum of four people.

The following tours are available:

  • The Jozi Coffee Cycle Tour which lasts six hours, starts off at Victoria Yards and winds its way on bicycle to Maboneng, the CBC and ends in Newtown and. It costs R450 with bicycle rental and R350 if you bring your own. 
  • The Graffiti Cycle Tour which lasts six hours, starting at Victoria Yards and covering Maboneng, Newtown and Braamfontein. The tour costs R550 with bicycle rental and R450 if you bring your own bicycle and helmet.

For more information visit their Facebook page.

Join Dlala Nje for a Ponte Experience to #KeepPonteLoveAlive.
Join Dlala Nje for a Ponte Experience to #KeepPonteLoveAlive.
Image: Supplied

Dlala Nje

Since being established in 2012, Dlala Nje has been running inner-city immersions in some of Johannesburg’s most misunderstood areas. These experiences have contributed to the development of a community centre that provides a safe learning environment for children.

Under level 3 of lockdown, Dlala Nje is resuming with their Ponte City Experience. Starting at the Dlala Nje community centre, they run through Ponte’s history of grand opulence, government red-lining, social oppression and urban decay – pointing out how, through all of this, the building has remained resilient. You will end off the tour with a drink of the 51st floor of the building. The tour accommodates a maximum of eight people and costs R300 if booked as a public tour through their website and R350 if booked as a private tour directly.

For more information or to make a booking visit Dlala Nje's website.


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