Johannesburg, South Africa – August 1999
The first (small) signs of Spring are here, but it’s still going to be cold nights, so don’t forget your woolen underwear.
One of the toughest things about writing this page, is that nothing actually changes very much from month to month in Johannesburg. This is probably true anywhere, which is a pretty good reason for travelling!
The one big event NEAR Johannesburg in August is Oppikoppi, which is a 4 day (6-9th August) JOL about 55km from Jo’burg. It’s a sort of Woodstock child, days of chilling out, smoking illegal substances, with a choice of about 60 bands to listen to.
Another FAQ is work. Generally speaking, you can’t be formally employed unless you have a work permit, which leaves the old standby of Restaurants and Pubs.
We’ve encountered a few waitrons who’s knowledge of English is minimal (Russian was never a common language in SA). The best chains to try are the Keg variety (Keg & Filly, Sunninghill, Baron & Maiden, Rivonia to name but two.)..or Spur Steakhouses. If you don’t have an accent, cultivate one! (Bigger tips!)
There is one activity that is ideally suited to Johannesburg:
Learning to Fly.
If you’re interested in getting your Private Pilots License, this is probably one of the best places in the world to do it. Some of the flying schools will include flying to various destinations as part of your training (Kruger Park, Sun City, etc). Consider the cost to start around R20,000 upwards. Translate into your own currency!
Links to Flying Schools:
How to stay in Johannesburg, get paid for it, AND have your accommodation, transport and food paid for!
To search SA sites for what you’re looking for…
try one of the better South African search engines.
“Backpackers” will turn up some good links.
For newspapers which will turn up interesting headlines like:
“Police Station Robbed by Armed Gang”
“Man gets 40 years
for shooting gorilla”.
More South African travel info at,
If your like mountains, and spectacular scenery…head East, young person!
Check out this seriously refreshing Africa site, particularly for female travellers.
Finally, visit my website which is where this is written.