Mixing Business & Pleasure
As home to the continent’s largest stock market and the African headquarters of numerous multinational firms, Johannesburg is one of the undisputed hubs of pan-African business activity. And with its vibrant, world-class hospitality sector, “Joburg” or “Jozi,” as it’s known locally, spoils business travelers when it comes to choices of accommodations, as well as things to do outside of business hours. From concerts and live events to museums and night markets, Johannesburg is arguably the best destination in Africa for mixing entertainment and enterprise in one visit.
Three Things to Do After Work
1. Attend a Night Market. From intimate boutiques to massive luxury shopping malls, Johannesburg boasts a plethora of conventional shopping venues, but on select evenings a unique breed of marketplaces also crop up across the city. These informal “night markets” feature locally made crafts and food products, and sometimes feature live music as well. Though a countless number abounds, Market On Main and 27 Boxes stand among the more established night markets.
2. Join a Business Networking Event. As a major national and international business hub, Johannesburg is constantly abuzz with commercial networking activity. Business events here come in all shapes and sizes. Regardless of your industry, on any given week you will likely find an event that is relevant to your interests. Search on Eventbrite for business events in Johannesburg to find a current list of events, such as Digital Swarm, a forum for technology professionals and entrepreneurs that will be held on March 28.
3. Visit the Apartheid Museum. No visit to South Africa can be complete without taking time to understand the challenges and triumphs of the country’s recent history. The Apartheid Museum features a variety of exhibits and artifacts that creatively explain the complex and difficult story of the country’s past and its transition into a diverse, representative democracy. www.apartheidmuseum.org.
Three Places to Eat
1. Moyo Melrose Arch. Located in a prime location on the square of the upscale Melrose Arch neighborhood, the multi-level, 350-seat moyo serves steak, seafood and local cuisine, accompanied by an extensive South African wine list. In addition to beef and fish, visitors can also sample venison, ostrich and crocodile, among others. With several colorful dining areas decorated with pan-African artwork and an entertainment lineup that includes live music, traditional dancing and face-painting demonstrations, a visit to moyo is a feast for all of the senses. www.moyo.co.za
2. Vuyo’s. For a taste of true South African cuisine, head to Vilikazi Street in the heart of the famous township of Soweto, where the spacious Vuyo’s flagship restaurant is located just down the road from the homes of two Nobel Prize winners (Nelson Mandela and Desmond Tutu). Started by an ambitious local entrepreneur, Vuyo’s serves local favorites, such as grilled boerie rolls and oxtail potjie, as well as casual and grilled fare infused with South African flavors, such as rooibos smoked chicken salad and dukkah-spiced lamb chops.
3. The Blackanese. Located in the bustling Maboneng district on the eastern side of downtown Johannesburg, The Blackanese Sushi and Wine Bar aims to fuse “African flavor with Japanese cuisine.” This popular restaurant features a range of Japanese seafood specialties with delicate infusions of South African flair, as well as a prawn braii on the weekends. For the more culinarily adverturous crowd, The Blackanese also features sushi-making classes.
Three Places to Stay
1. African Pride Melrose Arch. This contemporary luxury hotel lies at the heart of the bustling luxury retail, dining and commercial district of Melrose Arch. African Pride Melrose Arch features bright contemporary interiors and furnishings, a unique poolside dining concept, and a close proximity to some of the best shopping in the city. www.marriott.com/hotels/travel/jnbml-african-pride-melrose-arch-hotel
2. The Capital on Bath. A quiet budget hotel located in the trendy Rosebank neighborhood, The Capital features simple rooms with modern decor, a daily breakfast buffet, and many business-friendly features, including free high-speed WiFi and complimentary shuttle service to nearby destinations. The hotel is located within walking distance from numerous art galleries, shops, cafés and restaurants, as well as the Gautrain rail station. thecapital.co.za
3. The Peech Hotel. An eco-friendly oasis in the midst of the city, The Peech is a boutique luxury hotel located in walkable Melrose, yet not far from the city’s major commercial districts. The Peech’s laid-back Bistro serves breakfast, lunch and dinner made from locally-sourced produce and the hotel’s own vegetable garden. The hotel also hosts regular food-and-wine events, including an annual spring wine festival. thepeech.co.za