JOIN ME IN AN INTERVIEW WITH ALMA VAN AS ON HER CITY JOHANNESBURG.
Alma always had a passion for travelling and exploring. Over the years she has done it all from bush camping in South Africa, Botswana and Zimbabwe to beach camping in Mozambique. Flitting to the United Kingdom, Europe, and Australia to island holidays in Madagascar, Seychelles, Maldives, Thailand and Comoros. She has even had live aboard diving holidays on the Red Sea in Egypt.
Which is the best month to visit your city and why?
Johannesburg is a year-round destination. Although the seasons vary between 3 and 30 degrees Celsius, the weather is never that unpleasant as long as you have suitable clothing.
Which is the most convenient and favoured transport of your city?
The most convenient mode of transport would be to have your own vehicle. However, if you haven’t driven here, the traffic can by quite daunting. There is a very limited transport system in South Africa. Although we have the Gautrain, it only goes to certain areas. If you don’t want to drive, Uber taxis are a good way to get around.
What are the top 3 must visit places in your city?
So difficult to choose. It depends if you want to immerse yourself in some culture.
- Constitution hill. A brutal and important historical site about the past history of South Africa.
- Soweto Tour. A guided tour of Johannesburg’s largest township
- Rhino and Lion Park. On the outskirts of Johannesburg there is a rhino and lion park, where you can view wild animals in a natural park, if you don’t have time to explore any of the national parks or game reserves. In the area is the Cradle of Humankind where there are caves to explore.
Which is the most celebrated holiday of the year in your city?
Each holiday is celebrated in their own right and manner from Human Rights Day to Freedom Day, Heritage Day to Day of Reconciliation.
Which is the most happening area in your city and why?
Maboneng Precinct. A hub of vibrant culture & community, entrepreneurs with a lifestyle focusing on history, architecture, art and nature. It is the epicentre of the Johannesburg’s inner-city renaissance.
Where can one find amazing street food in your city?
Enjoy some Market or Street food at Market on Main, Neighbourgoods Market or Rosebank Sunday Market. Enjoy a mix of cultural street and market food such as Boerie rolls (barbequed sausage on a roll) or Bunny Chow (curry in a hollowed-out portion of bread).
Where to head for affordable shopping?
Sandton City or Hyde Park are great places to go for shopping, albeit upmarket. Walk into any major Mall and you should find some delightful shops to browse around.
Which is the most loved local food in your city, both sweet & savoury?
Sweet: It must be milk tart, a milky custard-based tart, sprinkled with cinnamon, but we have so many. Koeksister, fried pastry then dipped in a syrup and refrigerated – to be eaten cold. Malva pudding, a cake-based warm pudding drenched in syrup and served with ice cream or custard.
Savoury: Biltong and droe wors comes out tops. Biltong is strips of dried and cured beef, to be snacked on. Droe wors is a dried sausage also eaten as a snack.
Which side of the road does your city drive on? Is it cycle friendly?
We drive on the left side of the road but unfortunately it is not cycle friendly, although there are often cyclists around.
Would you recommend any popular local apps to tourists for transport, food and hidden gems in your city?
Flapp for fast and cheap flights. Gautrain for traveling from OR Tambo airport to some areas. Voicemap for walking routes. Aweza for communication.