A beginner’s guide to exploring Jozi and Cape Town like a local

Published Jul 25, 2023


Winter may be here, but that doesn’t mean those travel plans need to be halted.

On the contrary, winter serves as one of the best seasons for locals to become more acquainted with their country.

From gin experiences in the V&A Waterfront to quad biking through Soweto, read on to see the ultimate beginner’s guide to exploring the cities of Jozi and Cape Town.

1. Select the perfect home base

The best way to kick off your trip is to ensure that your home base is perfectly situated to explore the city you are in.

For Cape Town, the Radisson RED V&A Waterfront is nestled perfectly in the world-famous V&A Waterfront, home to many attractions within walking distance.

Similarly, the Radisson RED Johannesburg Rosebank is in the bustling cosmopolitan hub of Rosebank, making it ideal for leisure travellers who want to make the most of a Jozi visit.

These hotels also provide a play on the conventional, with the aim of encouraging guests to “stay and play”.

2. Get the adrenalin pumping

While some may equate a traditional holiday to quiet days and spa treatments, there is so much opportunity to add adventure into your trip.

Both Johannesburg and Cape Town are bursting with exciting outdoor activities suited to every traveller’s palate.

Whether you are a full-on adrenaline junkie, or someone just testing the waters, both cities can accommodate your daredevil levels.

For water lovers, Cape Town Kayak Adventures offers an exhilarating kayaking experience around Battery Park in the V&A Waterfront. It serves as a safe and exciting activity for those of all ages.

They are open year-round (weather permitting of course), and have dedicated guides along with you to ensure smooth sailing.

Need something a bit low-key? A pleasant e-bike tour around the city is a great way to take in the sights of the Mother City. These adrenaline filled activities and so many more can be booked with Up Front Concierge.

On the road to Atlantis, what may seem like small sandcastles in the distance are in fact vast dunes ready to be explored.

Jeep Tours Cape Town provides travellers with specially curated sandboarding experiences, led by experienced drivers who know the Atlantis dunes like the back of their hands.

Quad biking and Johannesburg may not be words you thought would be in the same sentence, but the team at Honest Travel Experiences beg to differ.

The Soweto Towers are famously known for their bungee jumping experience, but they offer so much more for travellers to explore the area of Soweto.

A quad bike tour of the township is offered by guides, showing the rich cultural and historical sites that can be explored.

3. Have fun with food (and drinks!)

It’s no surprise that food and drink tourism is on the rise, with a projection to grow another 16.8% by 2025 according to the World Food Travel Association.

Countries all over the world have prioritised their gastronomical offerings, and South Africa is no exception.

In the City of Gold, you don’t have to look further than your home-base to experience the best of the culinary scene.

The Radisson RED Rosebank has recently given its famous RED Roof menu a facelift by incorporating highly anticipated dishes familiar to most South Africans.

The Radisson RED V&A Waterfront also offers a unique gin blending experience that takes guests through the process of how different gins are blended.

You even get to take a sample of your handmade gin blend home with you!

Not too far from the hotel is the famous Cause Effect, who serve up an Insta-worthy cocktail pairing.

This sought after 3-course cocktail and food pairing lasts about 45 minutes, with each group being attended to by their own private bartender. These spaces fill up quickly, thus bookings are essential.

4. Learn more about the culture

Regardless of whether you are new to a city or were born and bred there, there is always something new to learn about the local culture. A great way to explore this is through the art around where you are staying.

In the trendy suburb of Rosebank, a walking tour is a fantastic way to become acquainted with the local art galleries.

Another offering by Honest Travel Experiences, the tour includes a walk through the Keyes Art Mile by an experienced tour guide who has in-depth knowledge about the artists and their work.