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helena

South Africa/Johannesburg?

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Next week SO will be there on business but plans to add couple of days to the itinerary for sightseeing. Any suggestions?

Thanks much.

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Next week SO will be there on business but plans to add couple of days to the itinerary for sightseeing. Any suggestions?

Thanks much.

In Jo'burg? Yes my suggestion is don't go.

 

Actually the Apartheid museum I thought was excellent. Everything else is pretty awful - although we didn't try real hard when it came to food - mostly ate at our hotel the two nights we were there.

 

But really - even the people I know from Jo'burg would tell you not to add time to go sightseeing there.

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food is not an issue - more like some day tours or anything? some local safari or something... i sort of got this idea that this is a beautiful country... but of course it's quite big...

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food is not an issue - more like some day tours or anything? some local safari or something... i sort of got this idea that this is a beautiful country... but of course it's quite big...

I wasn't clear - when I said awful I didn't mean the food. Really it is a terrible place. I believe you are also relatively far from the nearest safari stuff - like a 50 minute flight to Kruger. I mean when you fly in its slag heaps and trash fires. Armed guards everywhere. I believe Pretoria is nicer but we didn't go.

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Here is how I would describe Johannesburg.

 

Take Essen or Duisburg and move it to Southern California, take Mexico City's crime issues (but maybe amp that up a bit) and layer in a massive serving of terrifying income inequality split on racial lines. Also Afrikaaners always seem mean and angry but that could just be the language. (of course I am basing this off of 2 days there, so it is a bit superficial)

 

Cape Town is much nicer. He should go there if he has a few days extra.

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food is not an issue - more like some day tours or anything? some local safari or something... i sort of got this idea that this is a beautiful country... but of course it's quite big...

the apartheid museum is really excellent. Probably one of the best museums I have ever been to on a controversial issue like that. I felt it was exceedingly even handed in discussing the history. It is a 3-4 hour time suck. There was also a tour of Soweto. It felt a little poverty tourism to me, but I'm chock full'o liberal guilt - it was interesting though.

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Also Afrikaaners always seem mean and angry but that could just be the language.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oSLMKUXZ3hk&feature=related

two utterly absurd interactions I had with Afrikaaners-

Concierge at the hotel "Oh. Have you heard of Apartheid" When I asked about the museum. Like someone coming to NY and asking about a museum of the '77 black out.

Other guest at resort in Mozambique whom I had to intercede with on behalf of our waiter when he asked him to change the channel for us because his even (super 14 rugby) was over and our event (champions league final) was about to start. The white guys behavior was one of the most mean spirited things I have ever seen an adult do to another adult.

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Ask StephanieL. That's where N is from.

I'll ask her this evening. Obviously, the apartheid museum is a must. She'd probably agree with you that there's not much to see in Jo'burg, and the center of town is still fairly unsafe, but there are other things to do around there. Is he going to have a car?

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Okay, N says to go to Gold Reef City (a sort of theme park about the gold rush days, but interesting and with good restaurants), Museum Africa in Newtown, Sandton City, where there's a mall, markets, and a little museum, and/or Rosebank, which is also a mall with a nice African market.

 

And N is a very nice South African. ;)

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