10 Best Day Trips from Johannesburg, South Africa: A Few Hours to Spare

best day trips from johannesburg

Sometimes, you just want to get away from it all, the city buzz, the people, the congestion and the best thing to do is just take a day and vamoose from the city. Johannesburg can be overbearing sometimes if you are an international visitor or even a local and you might want to get away from it all. The best thing about this is that there are quite a lot you can do outside of Johannesburg in the little towns surrounding the city. From highly relaxing to adrenaline-inducing activities, the following are some of the best day trips from Johannesburg.

1. Pilanesberg safari day tour from Johannesburg

Pilanesberg-Salt lick-002
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user NJR ZA used under CC BY-SA 3.0

It is just obvious that a safari drive a little out of the city is going to be on this list. You can plan a day out with the big five and other animals at the Pilanesberg National Park. With an enviable landscape and a cliché waterhole-kinda-scenery, you can always be guaranteed to see some of the world’s majestic animals gather at this place where the animals always come to quench their start. From the king of the savannah himself, the lion to the flying birds in the sky and every other African animal in-between, it is a guarantee that you will come out of the park refreshed, astounded by the natural world and ready to tackle the city life. There is brunch served on the trip.

Pilanesberg safari day tour from Johannesburg

Address: Johannesburg, South Africa


2. Private Johannesburg full day tour including a visit to the Lion Park (from USD 270.0)

Have a one on one touring session with your guide through Johannesburg. Start off on the wild side at the Lion Park and get to meet the lions and have some fuzzy mingling time with the cubs in the park. After which your guide will take you on a learning tour of Sophia Town and Soweto Township and a must visit to the Apartheid Museum. If you are in the mood for shopping, you will have the opportunity to get authentic South African wares at Maboneng after which your day tour will be over and you can have a well-deserved rest at your hotel.

Johannesburg Private Tour with Lion Park and Mandela House

Duration: 10 hours

21 reviews

3. Johannesburg: Soweto Township full day tour

The Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital, Soweto
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Robert Cutts used under CC BY 2.0

Soweto Township is quite an attraction for many who visit Johannesburg and deservedly so as it is historically rich. A day just to tour and mingle with the locals at this township will see you have an extended time at the Apartheid Museum to learn about all the struggles of apartheid in South Africa. You will also have a chance to walk the same corridors Nelson Mandela walked at Mandela House Museum. Visit one of the largest hospitals in the world, Chris Hani Baragwanath Hospital in Soweto. This tour is an all-encompassing tour of Soweto and all its enclaves. You will have a whole day to experience its people, its architecture, its food, its history and its vibe.

Johannesburg: Soweto Township full day tour

Address: Johannesburg, South Africa


4. From Johannesburg: Full-day Kruger National Park day tour (from USD 360.7)

best day trips from johannesburg | from johannesburg: full-day kruger national park day tour

Kruger National Park is a wonderment on its own. Home to so many animals including the lion, elephant, buffalo and many species of birds, you are guaranteed a wholesomely satisfying tour at this par. A few hours’ drive from the hustle and bustle of Johannesburg, ready yourself to be taken in by the sheer magnitude and beauty of Kruger National Park. Depending on what time you arrive at the park gates, you will have ample time to drive in the park, get to see some of the splendid animals and enjoy either an early lunch or a late lunch while you brace yourself to head back to Johannesburg.

From Johannesburg: Full-Day Kruger National Park Safari

Duration: 9.0 hour

6 reviews

5. Johannesburg: Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center

De Wildt Cheetah and Wildlife Centre
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user South African Tou... used under CC BY 2.0

Cats can be the cutest animals ever and big cats even more adorable! Get a chance to be up-close and personal with the fastest animal on land at the Ann Van Dyk Cheetah Center. The main attraction here is the cheetah but you will get to see other animals on your safari drive in the reserve. After a short historical brief about the center, you will set off on an open safari four-by-four car to enjoy the splendor that is the cheetah in its habitat and experience other animals too.

Johannesburg: Ann van Dyk Cheetah Center

Address: Johannesburg, South Africa


6. From Johannesburg: Pretoria, Soweto & Apartheid Museum tour (from USD 174.0)

Tour the nearby towns in Johannesburg more so the ‘Jacaranda Town,’ Pretoria to learn a little bit about the Afrikaners at the Voortrekker Museum. Still in Pretoria, check out the Union Building, the place where the President of South Africa calls home. The tour will also take you to Soweto and you will get to learn and see how life is there.

Apartheid History Tour: Pretoria and Soweto from Johannesburg

Duration: 10 hours

13 reviews

7. Full-day Amandla Tour from Johannesburg

Orlando Towers, Soweto
Source: Photo by user Ryan Kilpatrick used under CC BY-ND 2.0

Ever wanted to walk the same roads that the South African heroes walked? Then take this tour, the Amandla Tour which will accord you the pleasure of rehashing the historical experiences of yesteryears in South Africa. You will have the opportunity to visit the Soweto Cooling Towers, Vilakazi Street, Hector Pieterson, Freedom Square, Constitution Hill and other attractions.

Full-day Amandla Tour from Johannesburg

Address: Johannesburg, South Africa


8. From Johannesburg: Half-day Apartheid Museum tour

Apartheid Museum Reflections
Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user User:Katangais used under CC BY-SA 3.0

A half day dedicated to visiting, learning and taking in the era that was the Apartheid period in South Africa. Four hours of learning about the atrocities that took place during this time, learning about the people who were against apartheid and how they fought to create equality in South Africa. The tour is interactive as you will get to experience how life was for certain races in South Africa as you will be given a race at the entrance and you will walk the museum carrying that race, get to feel how it felt for many in those days. A tour that is bound to educate and make you aware of the then South Africa.

Half-day Apartheid Museum tour

Address: Johannesburg, South Africa


9. Johannesburg highlights: Guided day tour (from USD 91.0)

One of the best ways of knowing a city is by tackling it head-on on a guided tour. From the bustling city to the congested townships, get to experience it all and learn about the many cultures that makeup Johannesburg. You will spend the almost the whole day, ten hours to precise, with a guide who is a local, born and raised in Johannesburg and is well informed about the city. The guide will take you to Vilakazi Street in Soweto Township to see where some of the South African great heroes and minds Archbishop Desmond Tutu and the late Nelson Mandela lived. The tour will take you to all the corners of Johannesburg from the World Cup stadiums to Apartheid museum to Telkom Tower to Constitution Hill, the list is endless.

Johannesburg, Soweto and Apartheid Museum

Duration: 10 hours

106 reviews

10. City sightseeing Johannesburg hop-on hop-off tour (from USD 20.0)

If you are freshly new to the city, this tour is the best way to get to know the major areas of the city. Hop on a double-decker bus to drive around and outside the city of Johannesburg visiting attractions such as Constitution Hill, Apartheid Museum, Ghandi Square, Planetarium, Origins Center and many others. While driving around, there is an audio commentary of the areas you visit giving in-depth details about them.

City Sightseeing Johannesburg Hop-On Hop-Off Bus Tour

Duration: 55 to 60 minutes

3 reviews

Educational, informative and entertaining

Source: Photo by Wikimedia Commons user Paul saad All Pho... used under CC BY-SA 4.0

You will not have enough of these tours as Johannesburg has a lot to offer for those who visit the city. Making yourself aware of the atrocities of the city and the country as a whole will give you a new perspective of how life was like for the many who lived in specific eras in Johannesburg. Enjoy the cultural aspect of the city and its nature. Johannesburg will never disappoint.

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