Gold Reef City#7 in Best Things To Do in Johannesburg
For a bit of heart-pounding fun, families cannot pass up an opportunity to explore Gold Reef City. Influenced by the region's prominent gold mining industry, this Jozi amusement park includes attractions like Tower of Terror (a former gold mine head converted into a freefall ride), Jozi Express (a rollercoaster with sweeping city views and several mine dump drop-offs) and Anaconda (a high-speed coaster ideal for adrenaline junkies). A kids section, multiple water rides and tamer experiences like gold panning and mine tours are also offered.
While some past visitors said the park is merely a wannabe Disney World, others argued Gold Reef City offers plenty of fun for adults and kids of all ages. Additionally, many of the food offerings receive high praise. But if you aren't a fan of long wait times for rides, avoid the park during the holidays. Instead, consider visiting during the offseason on a Wednesday or Thursday when local students are in school.
Situated near the Apartheid Museum, Gold Reef City is open Wednesday to Sunday from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. However, should a public holiday (except Christmas Day) fall on a Monday or Tuesday, the park will open for its usual hours. There is a lot available for parking for 10 rand ($1) per vehicle. Gold Reef City can also be accessed by taking a Red City Tour. Park entrance prices start at 110 rand ($7) for nonrider tickets – which provide access to experiences and children's rides only – and cost up to 185 rand ($12) per person for thrill rider tickets, which include all rides and experiences. Discounts are available for riders shorter than 4.3 feet, students with a valid ID and adults 60 and older. For even more savings, consider the family package, which includes tickets for two adults and two children shorter than 4.3 feet for 485 rand ($30).
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#1 Apartheid Museum
For a thorough understanding of South Africa's appalling apartheid era, a visit to Johannesburg's Apartheid Museum is a must. The museum features a series of graphic yet informative exhibits, including an array of hanging nooses that represent the execution of 131 government opponents and a series of televisions that show footage of anti-apartheid residents being attacked and killed. The museum also features several interactive exhibits, such as a room where visitors are invited to move a stone from the right to a pile on the left to show their commitment to fighting discrimination and racism. There's also two museum entrances – one for whites and one for nonwhites – to denote the physical separations once apparent during apartheid.
Although several recent travelers warned that you will feel emotional while making your way through this attraction, many agreed that the Apartheid Museum's heartbreaking atmosphere is necessary to help you truly understand what occurred during this period. And remember to take your time here. With so much information to digest, at least a few hours (if not a full day) is recommended.