Many say 'there's no reason to be in Joburg' or 'get to Johannesburg and get out!'
That's hard when every Australian Cricket Tour to South Africa has us scheduled to play at least one format at incomparable Wanderers 'Bull Ring'.
We've visited the 'City of Gold' or simply 'Joburg' or 'Jozi' countless times since 1997 and have never had a bad experience. It is big, bold, brash, stylish and cool.
Slick suburbs of Rosebank, Melrose, bohemian Melville (favoured hangout for two nearby universities), and gentrified 'villages' of Greenside, Parkhurst, and Norwood, can entertain you for a week without cricket.
So, when the cricket is on and you are 'forced' to go, you will discover Joburg isn’t so bad. In fact, Jozi is not bad (where we go!) and remains our favourite South African city, which is getting even better.
We admit that living in the flashy northern suburb of Sandton is far from the dangers of downtown and Soweto (below), which certainly aren't as they were when we first visited in 1997.
Like any city in the world, there are places you don't need to go. With urban renewal programs and cultural regeneration, especially Newtown adjacent Park Station (bus and train terminus), you can go further 'downtown' today than when Australian Cricket returned to Johannesburg in the 1990's.
We day-tripped to Soweto in 2014, but in 2026 we'll let you decide to go or not. It's not for everyone, but easy to reach from our hotel in Sandton.
4km from the enormously tiny ‘Bull Ring’, Sandton in the 1990's was THE place to stay purely for safety (we didn't live there, we toughed it out at Backpackers Ritz!). We stay in Sandton now for the entertainment and convenience. It is a place to love, not just live.
Where we stayed in 2018 doesn't mean we will stay there in 2026 (we are always researching), though we would love to.
Radisson Blu Gautrain has a beautiful rooftop pool and bar (below), excellent breaky, gym, free area shuttle, and is opposite Nelson Mandela Square!
Before you say, "I'm not taking a train in Johannesburg", the Gautrain is safer and much quicker than driving.
A$15* and 15 mins later you'll be in Nelson Mandela Square's cafes, bars, pubs, & restaurants where we imbibe pre-, during, and post-test match.
(*It's A$20 and 30mins from O.R. Tambo to Centurion (above), should we play at SuperSport Park, 37km north of Wanderers Stadium and 16km south of Pretoria)
Fingers crossed we play in 'Jozi' in 2026 to have 8 nights in the ‘big smoke’. Match tickets, and awesome apparel are some of the inclusions, along with two awesome dinners at which a Protea is welcome to join us.
We won't include match day transfers as it is safe walk from Sandton if you want to get your 'steps up' or you can take an app-based taxi for A$4 (2 persons, Nov. 2023).
If golf is your thing, there are ripping courses near Sandton, including Wanderers Golf Club, behind Wanderers Stadium (below).
Further out, rent a car to glitzy Sun City to tee-up on the championship Gary Player Country Club or Lost City Golf Course.
Depending on the schedule, if you didn't join us in Namibia to begin, 6 hours drive east is famous Kruger National Park if you want to tick the box on this famous park.
This said, it doesn’t matter where you go as every South African city has nearby private or national parks. If wildlife is not your thing, the wilds of cricket in South Africa will create desire to tour again and again and again. Much like us!