10 Interesting Facts about Johannesburg

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Johannesburg is a huge, beautiful, thriving metropolitan area in South Africa that embodies the very best that the nation has to offer. A far cry from the deserts and jungles that most tourists imagine when they mentally picture Africa, Johannesburg offers a modern break from your African safari vacation that includes world class cuisine and retail shopping opportunities. The culture in the city is unique, and draws travelers from across the world throughout the year. Located between the sea and unforgiving mountains that team with wildlife, South Africa’s largest city is the perfect place to stay if you are hoping to get a full experience of Africa. If you are planning a safari tour, this city is definitely worth considering putting on your list. Here are 10 interesting facts about Johannesburg.

  1. A Golden City

Johannesburg was founded during a major gold rush in South Africa over 120 years ago. This golden city has thrived since, and contains the wealthiest province in all of the country. Though Johannesburg was founded multiple generations ago, it is still considered a very new city by standards through the world.

  1. A Big City

Johannesburg is the second largest city in all of the country of Africa. It is second only to Cairo, Egypt. For the entire population, there is only one hospital that serves 3.5 million residents. Incredibly, this is the largest acute hospital in the world.

  1. A Green City

Johannesburg is a city that loves the environment and trees, having planted a magnificent, made made and urban forest that is the largest of its kind.

  1. A Dry-Port City

Johannesburg is known as the “dry-port” city because it is not built directly on a coastline. If is the largest city not to be built on any water.

  1. An Ancient City

Roughly 40% of the world’s ancient human fossils have been discovered just outside of the main city, on a major archeological site.

  1. A City with a Beautiful Skyline

The tallest structure in Johannesburg is the Hillbrow Tower, standing at 269 meters high. This tower stands out among the rest on the city’s stunning skyline.

  1. A City with a Zoo

Johannesburg is proud to have one of the very best zoos in Africa. The park is over 100 years old, and provides a home to many incredible creatures. This includes the only set of polar bears in all of Africa.

  1. A Great Police Force

As a large city, there is a good amount of crime and tourists are cautioned to stay on the safe side. That being said, Johannesburg is proud that the average response time for police is as little as 60 seconds.

  1. A City in the Clouds

Since Johannesburg is set 2000 meters above sea level and the air is not as dense as the neighboring cities, it takes longer to boil an egg.

  1. A City of Music

Johannesburg is home of  a distinct African style that is known as Kwaito. This interesting genre is both fun and catchy.

Plan Your African Safari Vacation

If you would like to learn more about cities in South Africa and planning your African safari vacation, visit our safari tours page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa

 

How to Avoid Getting Scammed While on Vacation

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Imagine the feeling of joy when you finally land in Africa to begin your safari tour after all of your hard work planning, only to have the excitement stolen from you when you find that you have become the victim of a scam. Unfortunately, this is all too common, as shady individuals love to take advantage of the fresh flow of tourists that stream in and out of Africa throughout the year. Most travelers are under the impression that they are too smart to fall for a scam, or that they will be able to spot trouble from a mile away. The truth is that even the most aware people become victims of professional scammers. It is almost impossible to know when or how someone might scam you, so it is important to arm yourself with as much insight as possible. Here are some tips for avoiding getting scammed on vacation.

The Overpriced Taxi

One of the most common scams that tourists fall into is the overpriced taxi. The good news is that this is relatively easy to spot once you know that it happens. Taxi drivers will claim that their meter is broken, charging you upwards of hundreds of dollars as a consequence. If you enter a taxi and something feels off, find another mode of transportation or settle on a rate with your driver before you take off.

Closed Hotel Scam

As if being tricked into paying hundreds for a taxi ride was not bad enough, this next scam goes right in line with the last one. Shady taxi drivers make arrangements with certain hotels and receive a commission for dropping off patrons at the door. Drivers will often tell their passengers that the hotel they want is completely booked or no longer open, suggesting an alternate hotel instead. The price to stay in this hotel, much like the price of the taxi, has been grossly exaggerated to pay off the taxi cab driver.

Nothing is Free

This scam mostly impacts female travelers, but men and women alike should be aware. Venders love to put a bracelet on a person’s arm or give them a bit of rosemary. This gesture might make the goods appear to have been a free gift, you the vender will almost immediately demand money.

Help from a Pick-Pocket

Be weary of helpful people. Though some have good intentions, others are simply trying to create an opportunity for their friend to take what you have in your pockets. If you are stopped to be helped, or stopped to answer questions from a stranger, have a friend look out for those who are up to no good.

Learn More about Safari Tours

While you are on your African safari vacation, stay vigilant. Remain aware that scams happen, and try to avoid it happening. If you do find yourself the victim of a scam, do not panic. Contact your insurance agency or travel advisor. If you would like more information on planning your safari tour, visit our safari page or contact a representative with Roho Ya Chui today.

Jill Liphart for Roho Ya Chui. Travel Africa

 

What should you African safari travel insurance cover?

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When you go on an African safari holiday you don’t want to worry about anything except, if you will see the illusive leopard or not or will you be able to see a rhino at all. You should be free to enjoy the safari you were looking forward to for so long.

In order to achieve that, you should have a travel insurance. Pretty much all insurance companies offer travel insurance and it can be challenging to go through all the plans to make a decision.

Your safari travel insurance should in essence cover:

  1. Emergency evacuation expenses.
  1. Medical and hospitalization expenses including emergency assistance, accidental death and disability, personal injury.
  1. Repatriation expenses.
  1. Cancellation or curtailment of your travel.
  1. Damage/theft/loss of personal baggage/goods/money/any personal effects of whatsoever nature and value.
  1. Costs incurred as a result of changes to arrangements such as the cost of a private charter should you miss your (connecting) flight for any reason whatsoever.

The cover for cancellation of your safari holiday varies per insurance plan. Study carefully the terms and conditions of the plan to know in which cases cancellation is covered. Some cover for medical reasons only, others include cancellation for work reasons and the most comprehensive cover includes cancellation for any reason. These variations come with different price tags and in general cancellation for medical reasons is sufficient, but it the cover for work reasons can be very useful.

Once the travel insurance is sorted, you can focus in the joys of an African safari and get worried about which zoom lens you should bring with you or what to wear.

 

Ute Sonnenberg for Roho Ya Chui, Travel Africa