• Lesedi Cultural village
    Enjoy cultural experiences at Lesedi





  • Sun City The Palace
    Visit amazing Sun City





  • Soweto
    Meet the locals in Soweto





  • Summary
  • Itinerary
  • Pricing
  • Options & Add-ons

Johannesburg Sightseeing Tours

A selection of cultural, historical and scenic sightseeing tours in and around Johannesburg.

Trip Highlights

DISCOVER

Johannesburg's finest museums
Wonderful shopping opportunities
 

LEARN

About local culture and heritage
South Africa’s tumultous history
 

EXPLORE

A Local Township with its unique flavour
Game Reserves and Resorts
 

Egoli, City of Gold. They came from far and wide to strike it rich in Johannesburg when gold was discovered in 1886. Our multicultural ‘City of Gold’ still pulsates with entrepreneurial energy, power and the jingle of money, so its little wonder the pace is fast and furious. Let Thompsons Africa guide you through this intoxicating maze.

Please note the Scheduled Tour prices below have additional drop of and pick up points and will have other guests on board. The Private Tour pricing offers a vehicle and driver just for your use and allows more flexibility – please note that the venues visited will have other guests – it is just the vehicle and driver that is on a private basis. Pricing for both the scheduled and private options is per person, based on a minimum of two people unless specified.


Half Day Tours


Johannesburg City Tour

Departs: daily between 8:15am and 8:45am

South Africa’s largest city remains its financial and commercial heart. It’s in this fast-paced metropolis that the country’s radical political and social transformation is most evident – this is the ‘Rainbow Nation’ at work. It’s a heady experience, with contrasts of every kind round every single corner.

The tour sets off for Constitution Hill, home of South Africa’s architectural marvel, the Constitutional Court and site of Johannesburg’s Old Fort Prison (closed Sundays).  Explore the inner city of Johannesburg and the influence the discovery of gold brought to this city and indeed South Africa. Then visit and explore the Maboneng Precinct, a wonderful example of urban regeneration of the eastside of the Johannesburg business district which is now home to several independent retail, restaurant, art and entertainment venues – fresh and unique lifestyle offerings of this new exciting development. Return to your hotel via the  lush, up-market suburb of lower Houghton. Johannesburg is a city of contrasts, that’s for certain.


Liliesleaf – A Place of Liberation

Departs: daily between 1:30pm and 2:00pm

Liliesleaf

Situated in residential Rivonia, the insightful and interactive museum experience at Liliesleaf honours South Africa’s remarkable heritage and the impressive trajectory of South Africa’s socio-political past. Once the headquarters of Umkhonto we Sizwe (Spear of the Nation), the military wing of the ANC and the Congress Alliance, Liliesleaf holds a position of esteem among struggle landmarks in South Africa.

Visitors to Liliesleaf will experience a first-hand account of the events and circumstances leading up to the infamous raid of the Rivonia farm, as well as insights into some of the revolutionary personalities who helped to shape South Africa’s democracy. Liliesleaf is one of Johannesburg’s best museums, not only because the new structures have been integrated so eloquently into the existing historical site, but because it challenges visitors to consider their responses to moral and political dilemmas that were inseparable from life under apartheid and frighteningly pertinent today.


Soweto Tour

Departs: daily between 12:45pm and 1:15pm

Soweto South Africa

You know the name. It's a legend. SOWETO, acronym for South Western Township, is home to over 2 million people, who, despite living in crowded and chaotic conditions, have a tangible sense of community, one which ironically, the ordered, walled, elitist northern suburbs lack. Inside Soweto, you will visit the Kliptown Open Air Museum where delegates met in 1955 to adopt the Freedom Charter, now the cornerstone of the Bill of Rights and the South African Constitution. This journey continues to Regina Mundi Church, site of many secret underground meetings of the then banned political parties. The next stop is the Hector Pieterson Museum, and discover the cause of the tragic riots which led to his death; guests will pass Mandela House, and give you time to visit this fascinating little museum (own account). Finally travel past the largest stadium in Africa, Soccer City, host of the 2010 FIFA World Cup Final. Soweto is unlike a suburb you've ever seen or been to, yet the history of struggle encapsulated here is a cornerstone of the South African Story.


Apartheid Museum

Departs: daily at either 8:30am or 1:30pm

The legendary Apartheid Museum is an interactive voyage of discovery, one which takes you from the dark days of, whites only, privilege, through to Nelson Mandela's historic release. This tour includes a pickup from your Johannesburg hotel in your private vehicle with a driver/guide. You will then be taken to the Apartheid Museum accompanied by your guide. The Apartheid Museum is a multimedia experience, with documentary film snippets, texts, sound clips and live accounts, recapturing life in the dark days of South Africa. It's a fascinating tour, filled with tales of bravery and sadness, but ultimately, it's a story with the right ending.


Lesedi Cultural Village

Departs: daily at either 8:30am or 1:30pm

Five cultures in a day, that is what you will be exploring at the Lesedi Cultural Village, heart and home to families of a range of African tribes, all living harmoniously in true traditional homesteads. Experience the warmth and hospitality of people from the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Sotho and Pedi cultures! Our multilingual, multi-visual orientation depicts the history of South Africa, and will deepen your understanding of the complexity of our multicultural community.


Pretoria City Tour

Departs: daily at either 8:30am or 1:30pm

Come on a cultural journey of exploration through one of South Africa’s capital cities, the Jacaranda City, so called for its breath taking purple lined streets when the jacaranda trees are in full bloom. Get ready and set to trace South Africa's extraordinary history via a range of imposing, intriguing museums and monuments, beginning with the legendary Voortrekker Monument, a memorial to the early settlers, followed by a visit to the Kruger Museum, the private residence of President Paul Kruger of the old Transvaal Republic. This City Tour ends with the Union Buildings, not only an architectural icon, but site of the emotionally charged scene which played out at Nelson Mandela's joyful inauguration as president in 1994. You'll be standing precisely where South African history turned the corner.


Full Day Tours


Journey to Freedom

Scheduled tour departs Tue, Thu, Sat & Sun between 8:30am and 9:10am
Private tour operate daily

Hector Peterson Memorial

Many South Africans gave much, some gave all, to achieve a truly democratic South Africa. Come with us on this full day tour which shares some of the journey, pain and struggle of those heroes; witness the places and experience the diverse museums where these momentous, tumultuous years have been so well documented.

Our day begins at the Hector Pieterson Museum, where we start to unravel the cause of the devastating riots, before travelling past Mandela House, where you have the option of visiting this small museum (own account). Our next significant stop is the fascinating Regina Mundi Church, site of so many of the underground meetings of the then banned political parties. Standing in here, you can feel the tension, picture the intensity, the strain on the faces of those brave souls, committed at any cost to changing the way of life of a nation.

After a break for lunch in Soweto at a local restaurant (own account) we continue on to the legendary Apartheid Museum. This is an interactive voyage of discovery, one which takes you from the dark days of ‘whites only’ privilege, through to Nelson Mandela’s historic release. The Apartheid Museum is a multimedia experience, with documentary film snippets, texts, sound clips and live accounts, recapturing life in the dark days of South Africa.  It’s a fascinating tour, filled with tales of bravery and sadness, but ultimately, it’s a story with the right ending.


History of Humankind & Lesedi Cultural Tour

Departs Wed, Fri & Sat between 7:00am and 7:30am

Lesedi Cultural Village

We go right back to our beginnings, to the exceptional World Heritage Site of The Cradle of Humankind,  the world's richest hominin site, home to around 40% of the world's human ancestor fossils. The superb Maropeng Visitor Centre is truly an exciting, world class exhibition, focusing on the development of humans and our ancestors over the past few million years.

Continue on to the Lesedi Cultural Village where you may explore five cultures, heart and home to families of a range of African tribes, all living harmoniously in traditional homesteads. Experience the warmth and hospitality of people from the Zulu, Xhosa, Ndebele, Sotho and Pedi cultures, and you’ll find it fascinating! The multilingual, multi-visual orientation depicts the history of South Africa, and will deepen your understanding of the complexity of our multicultural community. Then enjoy a traditional African meal, a fine way to round off a day of new experiences and fresh insights.


Pretoria & Cullinan Diamond Mine

Please note that this tour requires a minimum of 4 participants to operate
Departs Tue, Thu & Sat between 8am and 8:30am

Cullinan Diamond Mine

The Cullinan Diamond Mine is the site of the World's oldest and South Africa's third richest diamond mine. Premier mine opened in 1902 and together with it founded the pretty Victorian village of Cullinan. The Cullinan Mine produced the world's largest gem quality diamond, a massive 3106-carat uncut. This diamond was chiseled into 98 individual diamonds including the Great and Lesser Stars of Africa, the 2nd and 3rd largest polished diamonds in the World which are now set in the Crown Jewels of the United Kingdom.

The tour starts with a 15 minute video before guests are led into the high security premises of the mine where you are shown the workings and machinery of the mine. You then visit the enormous open cast mine, excavated from Kimberlite rock which is now four times larger than the famous Big Hole in Kimberley. Continue to Cullinan Diamonds where you will view diamond cutting and polishing before you are invited to browse the loose diamonds and exquisite jewelry and perhaps make that special purchase.

After lunch at a local restaurant, continue with the cultural journey of exploration through the capital, the Jacaranda City, so called for its breathtaking purple-lined streets when the jacaranda trees are in full bloom. You're ready and set to trace South Africa's extraordinary history via a range of imposing, intriguing museums and monuments, beginning with the legendary Voortrekker Monument, a memorial to the early settlers. Travel on to the Kruger Museum, the private residence of President Paul Kruger of the old Transvaal Republic. Ending with the City Tour with the Union Buildings, not only an architectural icon, but site of the emotionally charged scene which played out at Nelson Mandela's joyful inauguration as president in 1994. You'll be standing precisely where South African history turned the corner.

Add-Ons

TRAVEL INSURANCE

Trip Cancellation, Interruption and/or Medical Insurance – please note that insurance for this trip is a mandatory requirement from suppliers in Africa – proof of insurance must be provided before bookings are confirmed. It is your personal responsibility to ensure you have enough travel insurance coverage from the provider of your choice. Please let your Africa Specialist know if you would like information on this.

To avoid disappointment, we recommend booking your preferred tours well in advance of your departure date. Speak to your Africa Specialist for more information.

Prices are per person based on a minimum of two people in US Dollars. Private tour rates are based on two people traveling. For scheduled tours, collection from hotels outside of the city center will incur an additional fee.

Pricing Valid to October 31, 2020

TOUR SCHEDULED TOUR DEPARTURES SCHEDULED TOUR PRICE PRIVATE TOUR PRICE
Johannesburg City Tour - Half Day Daily $55 $140
Liliesleaf - Half Day Daily N/A $140
Soweto - Half Day Daily $65 $140
Apartheid Museum - Half Day Daily N/A $140
Lesedi Cultural Village - Half Day Daily N/A $220
Pretoria City Tour - Half Day Daily N/A $145
Journey to Freedom - Full Day Tue, Thur, Sat, Sun $110 $230
History of Humankind & Lesedi - Full Day Wed, Fri, Sat $195 $290
Pretoria & Cullinan Diamond Mine - Full Day Tue, Thur, Sat $175 $280

 

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*Prices in USD, based on double occupancy, restrictions apply

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