Go There & Back Dave & LeeAnne Travel the World in 2007

The Walls of Johannesburg

The Safest Place in Joberg - The Mall
The Safest Place in Joberg - The Mall

Johannesburg is very sketchy, the crime statistics are scary and in a place where even locals don’t go out at night tourists have to adapt. As a consequence of crazy crime, the security business is booming – everyone has high masonry walls around their homes and at least one of the following on top: razor wire, barbed wire, electric fencing, or crushed glass. Every home has a sign advertising the security firm they use and many include an “Armed Response” sign as well.

In a city where it’s not safe to go out after dark almost anywhere, and many places where you can’t go day or night hostels in Jo’berg take on Orwellian proportions. Their goal is to have everything you need on site so you don’t have to leave for any other reason than to go to the museum of the airport. And when you need to go there, they also operate their own in-house taxi service to get you from A to B. The message here is: do not interact with locals.

So why would you go to Johannesburg? Good question, well, it’s a huge transportation hub, and home to the busiest airport in Africa. If you come to South Africa, you are almost certainly going to land here, or transfer here – welcome to Johannesburg.

The Malls of Johannesburg
Here is a near complete list of “Safe” places to go in Jo’berg: The Mall, the other Mall, the Casino, and the Apartheid Museum. In our few days in Jo’Berg we spent a ridiculous amount of time at the Mall. In four days time we probably spent more time in shopping malls than we have in the last four years.

Jo’berg, the home of the happy (and safe) shopper.