Hundreds of thousands of people from across the world are headed to South Africa to watch the World Cup, descending on Johannesburg, Cape Town, Durban, and six other cities across the country for the biggest sporting event the continent has ever seen. Yet, not everyone headed there is a sports fan. Some are being dragged by spouses, some by friends, some want to be apart of the excitement, but don't want to dish out the dough for tickets, and some are just building in some extra vacation time to see the sights.
My partner Danielle and I recently had the privilege of spending nearly two months traveling across South Africa, meeting with farmers and looking at projects that are working to alleviate hunger and poverty (as part of a 15 month research trip across the continent). Along the way we met with dozens of travelers and packed every weekend with cool excursions. From our travels, here is a guide of 50 non-sport related things to do while in South Africa.
Tons of incredible activities will be missing, so please use the comments section below to create a more comprehensive list.
What to Do:
1) Spend an entire day at the Apartheid Museum, it's brilliantly laid out using technology and multi-media, and the visit takes you on a journey that will forever change the way you look at race relations and racism. It was a powerful and emotional experience
2) Go on a bike tour of the city
3) Take a private walking tour or 4) group tour of Soweto where you will see Freedom Square, site of the Soweto up-risings, Desmond Tutu's home, the Mandela Museum, and a visit to a local settlement.
5) Reserve a spot on the one and a half hour guided tour organized by SAB brewing (partners with Miller-Coors in the USA) complete with a 3D adventure and an IMAX-style movie, real life machinery depicting the beer making process, and lots more.
6) Aside from the Mall of America in Minnesota, the East Gate Mall is the biggest shopping center I've ever been to. It has two movie theaters and two more huge malls within walking distance. Alternatively, (7) the mall in Rosebank is closer to the city and has everything you might need.
8) If your traveling with kids you might want to take a one hour trip to Maropeng and visit the UNESCO World Heritage Site known as The Cradle of Humankind. The interactive journey offers a underground boat ride, fossils, and learning about how humankind was born.
9) Alternatively, you might want to take the family for a visit to the Gold Reef City Theme Park.
Where to Eat/Drink and Enjoy the Nightlife:
10) For vegetarians, we loved the Kauai Health Food & Juice Co chain
11) For drinks, sip a martini at Ratz 12) eat sushi at Tokyo Star in Melville, or 13) stop by Sundeck in Norwood. The Rosebank mall also has some lively outdoor options.
14) For live jazz, head to Kippie's and 15) to shake your booty head to Carfax.