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Johannesburg City Centre South Africa
Johannesburg City Centre South Africa
Botanical Gardens
Botanical Gardens

Johannesburg Driving Ideas Guide

Johannesburg or the “City of Gold” is the economic powerhouse of not only South Africa but the continent of Africa as well.

Its residents work hard and play hard and although the city is mainly focussed on industry, mining and commercial enterprises, it remains an interesting place for a tourist to visit.

However, many excellent attractions lie outside the city itself, and all are easily reached by rental car.

Johannesburg to Sterkfontein Caves

48mins to Sterkfontein Caves 54.1 km) via Hendrik Potgieter Rd/M47

Situated around 70 kilometres outside of Johannesburg (roughly an hours travel), the Sterkfontein Caves are located in a region called the Cradle of Humankind. This UNESCO World Heritage Site, which covers over 47 000 hectares, is home to many unique ancient human fossil finds over the last 100 years. These include the famed “Taung child”, “Little Foot” and “Mrs Ples”. Many of these fossils are over 2 million years old and are thought to be of the early indigenous ancestor of homo sapiens, both the Australopithecus Africanus and the Australopithecus Prometheus.

The Maropeng visitor’s centre that tells the story of these species as well as how they were discovered should be a compulsory stop on your visit to the area. Sterkfontein accommodation is varied, from backpacker’s lodges to self-catering apartments or chalets and small hotels. An overnight stay is a must if you intend to explore other attractions in the area.

Johannesburg to Groot Marico

2 h 27mins to Groot Marico (213.6 km) via R509

Situated near the border of Botswana, the picturesque town of Groot Marico offers a glimpse into the traditional South African rural lifestyle. The town itself is over 200 kilometres to the west of the city and a drive of around two-and-a-half hours will see you enter this “platteland dorp” (the Afrikaans word for rural town).

That’s not to say this quaint area is not without its attractions. The town was home to the esteemed South African writer, Herman Charles Bosman and a museum in his honour can be found here. If you visit during October, be sure to take in the Herman Charles Bosman Festival, a highlight on the Groot Marico calendar.

Other attractions include arts and crafts, traditional restaurants serving rural food and battlefield tours highlighting the Boer war.

Groot Marico accommodation includes guest houses, bed and breakfast establishments and small hotels. For the adventurous, a stay on a working farm not only allows an authentic farm experience, but you may even get roped in to do some farm work!

Johannesburg to The Pilanesberg National Park

2 h 18 min The Pilanesberg National Park (203.2 km) via R556

Situated around 250 kilometres to the north-west of Johannesburg, the Pilanesberg National Park has much to offer you should you choose to take a day trip there. Not only are the famed African Big 5 (lion, leopard, black and white rhino, elephant and buffalo) on display throughout the park, but other incredible adventures await.

These include hot air ballooning, hiking trails, mountain biking, archery and, of course, the famed attractions of Sun City. This incredible resort not only offers family fun, with the Valley of Waves a particular highlight, but the chance to win at the various games tables in its casino.

Again, with so much to see and do, a day trip is never long enough to take in everything the region has to offer. Pilanesberg accommodation scales every imaginable variety that you could dream of. From the luxurious suites at Sun City to small backpackers lodges, chalets and guesthouses, practically anything to suit your budget.

While Cheaperthancars offers great discounts and Cheaperthanhotels provides for a wide range of accommodation choices and deals, we believe that the less you spend the more you can do when you get there.

Your Cheaperthancars Team