Take a Hop-on, Hop-off Tour of Johannesburg – Part 1

Visitors to South Africa’s City of Gold may want to consider using the hop-on, hop-off bus service provided by City Sightseeing to visit some of the city’s top attractions. Starting and ending at the Gautrain Park Station in the Johannesburg city centre, the bright red open-top bus stops off at Gandhi Square, Carlton Centre, James Hall Transport Museum, Gold Reef City, Apartheid Museum, Mining District Walk, Newtown, Origins Centre at Wits University, Braamfontein and Constitution Hill. With buses departing every 30 or 40 minutes, depending on the day of the week, passengers can spend time at the various attractions and catch the next bus to continue their journey.

Situated on the spot where the first court of law for Johannesburg once stood, a statue of Mohandas Gandhi by sculptor Tinka Christopher depicts him as a young man dressed in the required clothing for an attorney in a court of law – an image much different from the one often associated with the man who came to be addressed as Mahatma – an honorific Sanskrit term meaning ‘great soul’. It was here that Gandhi served as an attorney, and where he was sentenced for his involvement in political activism in South Africa. Some time spent enjoying refreshments at the local cafés while watching the daily activities of the people who call Johannesburg home, will give visitors a true sense of why South Africa is referred to as the ‘rainbow nation’.

For a panoramic view of the city of Johannesburg there is no better vantage point than the observation deck at the top of the 223 meter tall Carlton Center, the next stop on the bus route. The view highlights the diversity of the area, with remains of re-mined mine dumps to the south, the FNB Stadium, Soccer City and Soweto to the southwest, Gandhi Square below and the distinctive skylines of Braamfontein and Hillbrow to the north.

The James Hall Transport Museum offers insight into the evolution of transport in the city and surrounding areas, from the time of horse-drawn carts through to today’s modern modes of transport. Categories at the museum include animal-drawn vehicles, bicycles and motorcycles, buses and coaches, motor cars, fire engines, steam-driven vehicles, and trams and trolley buses.

Continued in Part 2