what to do with 1/2 day in Johannesburg?

May 23rd, 2006, 02:23 PM
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what to do with 1/2 day in Johannesburg?

I tried every possible way with our itinerary to avoid having to spend a night in JBG. SAA changed the arrival time of our flight into JBG, so now we can't make the planned flight to LVI until the following day. We arrive around noon after a 17 hour flight, and I am hoping that we can get a pretty early morning departure from JBG to LVI the following day. I don't want to waste a moment of our trip (also going to Cape Town and to Sabi Sabi), but I know that we will be tired from the flight. Any suggestions on what to do?? I am definitely hoping that we can find a hotel with an early check-in so that at least we could freshen up before we head out.
trvlcrzy is offline  
May 23rd, 2006, 02:47 PM
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btw: we arrive in JBG at noon, just in case that impacts your suggestions. thanks!
trvlcrzy is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 10:35 AM
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Additional question: where would you recommend that we stay for our 1 night in JBG knowing that we have so little time there? (not sure yet when our departure is to Vic Falls the following morning) At first the tour operator suggested the Westcliff Hotel (5*); when I mentioned that we didn't need a 5* hotel necessarily, she then recommended the Holiday Inn at the airport!! I don't know if she was mad because I said we didn't need a 5* for such a short time or if she genuinely thought this was the only other alternative. She has not given me the departure time to LVI. HELP!! Our trip is in July and these details need to get sorted out soon!!
trvlcrzy is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 11:10 AM
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I would think that the flight to Vic Falls departs around 10h00.
I think that with just the one night in Jberg that you would do well to stay in the Sandton area, there are malls and good restaurants within walking distance from most hotels. I personally don't think it a bad idea to have the first night after the long haul free to chill.
There is an inexpensive Holiday Inn in Sandton too.
Try the Michelangelo, generally it offers a lower rate in the winter, you might get lucky.
As far as things to do are concerned, maybe spend the afternoon looking into the apartheid museum, concierge should be able to sort that out. Maybe get a car and go out to the sterkfontien caves, figure four hours round trip taking in some suburban sights en-route.

Another possibility is an afternoon on a township tour of Soweto, have dinner at a local shabeen, check with the concierge which are the preferred. Most will probably suggest wandis cafe, but there are others.

If your flight is around 10h00, you will need to be at the airport by 08h00. I am sure you'll be a wake and ready by 04h00...!
mkhonzo is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 11:23 AM
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In my opinion, your best hotel option at JNB is Southern Sun's "GARDEN COURT JOHANNESBURG INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT" It was previously the Holiday Inn Garden Court. It is very convenient and reasonably priced. I wouldn't worry about doing too much with your half-day in Johannesburg. Just relax and adjust after your big flight.
MisterAviator is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 11:55 AM
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I stayed at The Westcliff on a visit when I spent two nights and explored the city.

I am transiting in JNB with one overnight in July, and I am staying at the Garden Court (formerly the Holiday Inn). I'm sure its fine for one night, and its very convenient.
thit_cho is offline  
May 24th, 2006, 11:05 PM
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Let me clarify and make some corrections about the "Holiday Inns". (Also see the thread http://www.fodors.com/forums/threads...4&tid=34735912, where this was discussed.)

In S.A. the "Holiday Inn" chain is of a very high quality and not necessarily to to be compared with the same name in any other country. Especially (in my own experience) the U.S. The "Garden Court" variety is actually not as high (or as expensive), while still being of good quality.

There has been a "rebranding" by the Southern Sun Hotel Group, and the "Garden Court Johannesburg International Airport" used to be "Holiday Inn Garden Court". The "Southern Sun Johannesburg International" was the "Holiday Inn". And as I said, the latter is a higher grading than the former. When I did an online test booking, the former Holiday Inn was exactly 50 per cent more expensive than the Garden Court. (See the link to the Group's website in that other thread.)
ArthurSA is offline  
May 25th, 2006, 10:18 AM
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I have stayed (or almost stayed) at both of these two ex-Holiday Inns. In 2004 I stayed at the Holiday Inn Airport (now, according to Arthur, the Southern Sun Johannesburg International) and it was a very nice hotel, decent bar and restaurant. It reminded me of some sheratons and hiltons I've stayed in. Not US Holiday Inn-ish at all.

Then on the way home I thought I would try the Holiday Inn Garden Court. Took the shuttle from the airport, checked in and got to my room. There was barely enough room to walk on each side of the bed and you could almost change the channel on the TV with your toes. I thought to myself - I will not end my stay in Africa in a motel 6. It was nice and clean - just not nice and plush like the safari lodges or the airport H.I.

I went back to the front desk and had them void my credit card charge and took the transportation back to the Holiday Inn Airport. Guess what - it was full. I ended up at the Intercontinental next door for twice the price and very similar accomodations.
sundowner is offline  
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