Best Places to View Jacarandas

Its that time of year when Joburg and Pretoria turn purple. There is a saying amongst students that if you haven't started revising for your exams by the time the streets turn purple it's too late. 

The Jacaranda's don’t last all that long, the best time is usually the second or third weekend in October, just after the first rains have come at the start of summer.  

best places to see Jacarandas



Half Day Trips: 

Rosebank  

Park in Rosebank Mall, and then head out towards Tyrwhitt Avenue, and across Oxford Road into Melrose. Take a stroll around the avenue's before heading back along Jellicoe. Finish up with a drink or meal at the Keys Mile. If you are looking for viewswe recommend Marble or Mesh Club (which is open to the public after 4pm), or the Milk Bar for great vibe.  

Picnic In Emmarentia Park 

Park in Emmarentia car park, just off Orange Road, and then stroll up Troon Road, up and over Barry Herzog, and into the beautiful Clovelly Road. You can stroll all around Greenside, before heading back into Emmerentia to pick up your picnic and head into the park. (If you have kids there is a great play area right by the entrance on Olifants Road.  

Take A Heritage Stroll

best places to see Jacarandas in Johannesburg


Drive around the streets in parkview, before parking at the bottom of Westcliff Steps on Crescent Drive or the intersection of Wicklow Avenue and Westcliff Drive. The 210 steps are well worth the climb to take in a view across the whole of Johannesburg.

Westcliff is home to all the old "Randlords", its one of the oldest parts of the city. With its large properties with incredible views. It is also home to two outstanding (and over subscribed) schools; The Ridge (boys) and St Catherine’s (girls). The Johannesburg Heritage Foundation run wonderful guided walks. 

Best Places to see Jacarandas in Johannesburg


Lunch @ Four Seasons Hotel - Westcliff 

This is a must do at least once during your stay here. You can not beat the views from the terrace at this luxury hotel. But make sure you book, it is incredibly popular at this time of year. You may even want to go for a walk around the zoo in the morning, since its right opposite.  


Pretoria 

Pretoria is usually 3 degrees warmer than Joburg, as a result the Jacarandas bloom a few weeks earlier than they do in Joburg. 

A great viewing spot is the Union Buildings, which you can get to via the Gautrain, take the Hatfield stop and then the H3 bus. 

Best Places to see Jacarandas in Johannesburg

If driving, head to the Brooklyn Area, and drive along Pienaar Street and Murray Street, amongst others. For the White Jacaranda's drive along Herbert Baker Street, and then up into the Klapperkop Nature Reserve to get an ariel view. 

For more info on 2Summers hunt for the White Jacaranda's Click here to read her post and see more beautiful photos.  

Johannesburg Tours

People often ask me if I feel safe to walk around and explore Johannesburg. Like any city there are no go area's. or places I would only go through with a local, or as part of a group. But there are lots of places that you just have to be aware (rather than paranoid). Plan your trip, know where you are going, where to park, and leave your Rolex at home.  

Here are my top experiences, the majority are individually or community run, with the larger more established tours at the end. 

Johannesburg Tours

1. Day Tour With Thami 

Thami provides the BEST tour in the whole of South Africa! Every guest who comes to stay with us, has to go out with him, at least for half a day. We have sent global CEO's, and my in laws out with him. Thami has grown up in Soweto, he know everyone and everything. There isn't anything he can't show you or explain to you. Thami will personalise your tour, and give you a day you will always remember! He really is outstanding. All the profits he makes go directly back into the people of Soweto. 

2. Micro Adventures Tour Guide 

https://www.facebook.com/KWTMicroadventurer/

Great variety of adventures to go on, from running up the stairs at Ponte Tower, to exploring Joburg's Heritage. Each event always has a great mix of people who create a welcoming environment. But be warned their adventures sell out quickly, so if you see something you would like to do, make sure you book it! 

3. Johannesburg Heritage Foundation

https://www.facebook.com/groups/112707830122/

My good friend Heather Mason from 2Summers told me about these guys, and wow what a great find! They provide a vast amount of knowledge and history delivered in a variety of formats, from bus trips to neighbourhood walking tours. They always run a special offer on tours throughout September to celebrate Heritage Day.  

 

4. Joburg Photowalkers & InstaWalks 

For those who want to explore off the beaten path, join the Photo walkers facebook group, or keep a look out for the next Instawalk. 

https://www.facebook.com/groups/710081799017014/

5. Dlala Nje - Hillbrow 

Most Joburger's consider Hillbrow a no-go area. Thankfully Micro Adventures and Dlala Nje are changing that, by encouraging people to return, by running Hillbrow and Ponte tours and have also just opened a bar and yoga classes inside Ponte Tower.  Dlala Nje operate a youth club based out off Ponte, all proceeds from their tours go directly to the running costs.. 

6. City Skate Tours

https://www.facebook.com/cityskatetours/

The tour lasts three hours and skateboards are provided (tours are for persons aged over 18 only). The first hour is usually spent teaching you how to skate, before heading into town to tell you more about the history, and point out some up and coming urban developments, graffiti and street sculptures.   To book contact Mnyandu on +27 79 839 8833, email cityskatetours@gmail.com. Tours from R300 per person (including skateboard rental). Tours on Sat, Sun, start at 10:00 and 14:00.

7. New In Town Orientation Tour

Have you just moved to Joburg? There is no need to do this all on your own. We can pick you up and show you around for the day! Introduce you to people within your area, take you to the local yoga studio, shops, schools, parks, and generally help you get your weekly routine set up. We are all expats so understand whats its like, let us take you shopping and introduce you to all our favourite South African brands! Contact us to learn more.

General Tours - You Need To Do At Least Once

Red Bus Tour

Lebo's Bicycle Tour - Soweto

Past Experiences

Joburg Places  

Have a specific question? I like to hang out over on Instagram, and often have a story or two to show you around Joburg. Come PM any questions or concerns you have over at: https://www.instagram.com/expatcollection

Joburg Expat

The best of Christmas In Joburg

Expat in Johannesburg will have to get used to celebrating Christmas so early! Christmas markets and fairs start early October and run until start of December, mainly because the schools finish for their main summer holiday at the start of December and soon after everyone flees. My first year here I found it lonely and sad with the lack of Christmas Festivities. My favourite home comforts (Christmas Songs on the radio, Christmas parties, Christmas Specials on TV) weren’t here. Now I actually find it quite refreshing, and low key, with the celebration being about holidays and family time rather than the whole commercial take that there is in the UK and US. 

What I have come to love about Christmas Shopping here, is the ability to buy your presents from local small businesses, through the wealth of Christmas Markets that take place across Joburg. Some are better than others, but here is our list of whats on when over the next few months!  

Christmas in Johannesburg

FESTIVE MARKETS & SHOWS

By Word Of Mouth Festive Market - Sunday 6th And Monday 8th October  

Hosted at The Polo Room at the Inanda Club. Word of Mouth host fantastic workshops sharing, decor looks, edible gifts and weaths, along with christmas food ideas. 

Sanlan Handmade Contemporary Fair - 11th - 14th October 

If you only get to one Christmas Market, make sure its this one! They alway curate the best of South African design (plus food and drink is amazing!)  

Glenshiel Christmas Market- Westcliff 25th - 28th October 

Catch the tail end of the Jacaranda's in this spectacular property. This annual fundraiser for St Johns Ambulance service hosts a high end carefully curated market and tea garden.   

 

November 

Bryanston Organic Christmas Night Markets - Every Tuesday From 20th November 

Parkhurst Late Night Christmas Shopping - Thursday 22nd & 29th November 

Parkview Christmas Market 30th November - 2nd December

Community Market, with carols sang by the local primary and high schools. Lovely outing for the whole family.  

Boutique Christmas Market - Hyde Park -  24th- 25th November 

Melrose Arch Christmas November 2nd - 3rd January - place to go and see beautiful christmas lights!  

 

December 

Linden Market - 1st & 2nd December. 

Linden market is a local boutique market, they have managed to source some of the best products out there. Set in Emmarentia Dam, its a beautiful setting with kids play area, and great food and drink venders there is something for everyone. 

Kamers - 4th - 9th December Pretoria. 

expat life in south africa

From fashion to food… skincare to ceramics… jewellery, lifestyle, music and more – at Southdowns College, a trendy venue that perfectly reflects this uniquely South African event. 

44 Stanley Christmas Market - 7th December - Date TBC 

Christmas with Richard Cock - 8th & 9th December Join the the Symphony Choir of Johannesburg and the Johannesburg Festival Orchestra for a Christmas carol concert at the Linder Auditorium

The Sheds 1Fox St Christmas Carols Market - 7th December
Monte Casino - Christmas Village - 12th December - 17th December

(+ outdoor screen showing family christmas movies) TBC

Fourways Christmas Day And Night Market - 9th /10thDec & 16th/ 17th Dec Date TBC 

The Neighbourgoods Market - Saturday Morning & 1st Thursday Of The Month  

expat life in south africa

 

HAVE WE MISSED ANY MARKETS? PLEASE LET US KNOW IN THE COMMENTS BELOW