There are a number of festivals, holidays and other events celebrated in Johannesburg each year.
The main ones are listed below.
Commemorates the fight against racial segregation and in particular the Sharpeville massacre on this day in 1960, when policemen opened fire on a group of peaceful protesters demonstrating against the regime's “pass laws”, which restricted black South Africans from entering certain areas, killing 69 people and wounding 179 more.April 27: Freedom Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the day in 1994 that millions of black South Africans were allowed to vote in an election, which chose Nelson Mandela, a former political prisoner, as president.May 1: Workers' Day (national holiday)
The equivalent of Labour Day elsewhere in the world, this day has been a public holiday in South Africa only since 1994, celebrating in particular the role played by trade unions, the Communist Party and other labour movements in the struggle against the country's apartheid system.June 16: Youth Day (national holiday)
Honours the memory of the black South African high school students in Soweto township killed by police during protests beginning on this day in 1976.August 9: National Women's Day (national holiday)
Commemorates the demonstration by some 20,000 black South African women in Pretoria on this day in 1956, to protest the extension of the pass laws to women. Highlights include official ceremonies and parades through the streets of Johannesburg.September: Arts Alive International Festival (local event)
Held during the month of September each year, this festival offers a wide-ranging programme of performances, lectures, symposia, workshops and exhibitions, featuring both local and international artists and writers. Theatre, poetry, music (jazz, afrobeat, hip hip, reggae and traditional rhythms), dance, film and the visual arts are among the disciplines represented. Most events take place in the Newtown district, home to many museums, galleries, restaurants, theatres, clubs and cafés.September 24: Heritage Day (national holiday)
On this day, South Africans recognize and celebrate the cultural wealth of their nation, with ceremonies and events remembering the living heritage of the many cultures that make up the population of South Africa. Aspects of living heritage include cultural traditions, oral history, performance, ritual, popular memory, skills and techniques, indigenous knowledge systems and the holistic approach to nature, society and social relationships.December 25: Christmas (national holiday)
|Month||Min. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Max. Average Temperature (°C/F°)||Average Rains (MM)||Best Time to Travel|
|January||15/59||26/79||125/4.9||Not the best period to go|
|February||14/57||25/77||90/3.5||Not the best period to go|
|March||13/55||24/75||91/3.6||Good period to go|
|April||10/50||21/70||54/2.1||Good period to go|
|May||7/45||19/66||13/0.5||Not the best period to go|
|June||4/39||16/61||9/0.4||Not the best period to go|
|July||4/39||17/63||4/0.2||Not the best period to go|
|August||6/43||19/66||6/0.2||Not the best period to go|
|September||9/48||23/73||23/73||Good period to go|
|October||13/55||24/75||72/4.6||Good period to go|
|November||13/55||24/75||117/4.6||Not the best period to go|
|December||14/57||25/77||105/4.1||Not the best period to go|
Johannesburg's O. R. Tambo International Airport is located about 23 kilometres (14 miles) north-east of the city centre.
Johannesburg covers a very large area and public transport options may often seem ill suited to the needs of tourists. The route of the Gautrain rapid rail system is limited to a handful of stations, so it cannot be used to reach all points of interest. However, the city's bus options include the municipal Metrobus system, the Gautrain feeder buses, and the Rea Vaya Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) system. Minibus taxis also operate throughout Johannesburg.
Buses are the most convenient way to discover Johannesburg. The Metrobus system, operated by the city, has a fleet consisting of some 550 single- and double-decker buses, plying 84 different routes across Johannesburg. Most of these routes start and end at the main terminus in Gandhi Square, off Eloff Street in the city centre. Timetables may be obtained at this main terminus, but it should be noted that buses do not always adhere to them. A single ticket costs between ZAR 9.60 and ZAR 24.00, depending on the number of zones crossed.
The Rea Vaya BRT system is a fast way to get from Johannesburg's central business district to Soweto. Its buses use dedicated roads and lanes and only stop at specially designed enclosed and guarded bus shelters. Among the system's inner-city circular routes, C3 is particularly of interest to tourists as it links the Johannesburg Art Gallery with the Old Fort on Constitution Hill, the Origins Centre in Braamfontein, Park Station, Newtown and the Carlton Centre. A single ticket costs between ZAR 5.80 and ZAR 13.30, depending on the distance travelled.
The Gautrain feeder buses also offer a number of useful routes within the city centre. A single ticket costs ZAR 7 if you are using a bus and a train within 1 hour of one another, and ZAR 20 if you are using a bus and not using a train within 1 hour.
Many minibus taxis operate in Johannesburg. They can be picked up at ranks or hailed in the street, and will drop you off wherever you wish along their routes. Most of the city's minibus taxis terminate at Park Central Taxi Terminus, where you can find ranks for various numbered routes. This is the most popular mode of transport for locals and is certainly the least expensive. Most minibus taxis have between 14 and 16 seats. Fares start at about ZAR 5 for short rides.
There are only a few official taxi ranks in the city, although they also wait outside the large hotels and the main Gautrain stations. It it therefore preferable to book taxis in advance. Expect to pay about ZAR 8 per kilometre travelled.
Renting a car is by far the best way to get around Johannesburg and is particularly useful for reaching destinations not served by the main bus routes. Rental cars are a relatively inexpensive solution. Rates start at about ZAR 200 per day, but remember that petrol costs about ZAR 10 per litre.
Upon your arrival in Johannesburg, you can get in touch with local tourism professionals for further information and to help organize your stay.Johannesburg Tourism
Offers sightseeing recommendations, tourist information and brochures.
The currency used in South Africa is the rand (R).
1 USD = 11.83 ZAR
1 ZAR = 0.08 USD
The above exchange rate is given for information because is variable.
Most medical facilities in South Africa offer a good quality of care, but costs are high. Even under emergency circumstances, you may be refused medical care if you are unable to provide a guarantee of payment. It is therefore recommended that you obtain insurance covering health care expenses as well as medical evacuation or repatriation before you leave home.Vaccinations
There are no vaccination requirements for visitors to France.
For more information, contact Air France's international vaccination centre:
Tap water is safe to drink in Johannesburg.
As a general rule, foreign nationals must be in possession of a visa to enter South Africa. However, South Africa has entered into visa exemption agreements with a number of countries.
To find out if you will need a visa for travel to South Africa, visit the website of the South African Ministry of Foreign Affairs: http://www.dfa.gov.za/consular/current_issues.html
Here are a few basic Zulu phrases that may be useful during your stay in Johannesburg:
Hello / Good morning / Good evening: Sawubona (one person) / Sanibona (several people).
Goodbye: Sala kahle (one person) / Salani kahle (several people).
No, thank you: Ngabonga
Thank you very much: Ngiyabonga kakhulu
I don't understand: Angizwa
Could you repeat that: Phinda futhi?
What time is it: Sikhathi sini?
Excuse me: Uxolo
Airport: Isikhumulo sezindiza
Train station: Isiteshi sezitimela
I'm (…): Ngiyi (…).
I'm looking for (…): Ngifuna (…).
How much is (…): Imalini (…)?
Do you have (…): Unawo (…)?
Where can I find (…): Ngingatholakuphi i (…)?
Where can I buy (…): Ngingathengaphi i (…)?
I'd like (…): Ngithanda i (…).
And what about tipping?
In Johannesburg and throughout South Africa, tipping is not necessarily required, although always appreciated if you are satisfied with the service. It is customary to tip between 10 and 15 percent of the bill in restaurants, bars and cafés. Parking facilities are usually monitored by attendants. The latter often ask if you would like them to keep an eye on your car. If you accept, be sure to leave a few rand as a tip, depending on how long your vehicle has been parked.