Montecasino Bird Gardens#5 in Best Things To Do in Johannesburg
One of Jo'burg's most popular family attractions, the Montecasino Bird Gardens – which sits about 19 miles northwest of downtown – houses an array of brightly colored birds, reptiles and smaller mammals within a lush garden setting. In addition to strolling through the property's grounds, visitors can feed more than 60 species of birds in the aviary or enjoy a 30-minute bird show at the on-site amphitheater.
Overall, past travelers raved about the Montecasino Bird Gardens. In particular, many appreciated the park's friendly staff, reasonable entrance fee and entertaining bird show. To truly make the most of your visit, reviewers suggested buying some food at the ticket office to feed to the birds.
Open daily from 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. (except in December when the park stays open until 6 p.m.), the Montecasino Bird Gardens – which require a car to reach – charges a small admission fee. For those 11 and older, tickets cost 64 rand (or about $4). For adults 60 and older and children between the ages of 2 and 10, tickets are available for 36 rand ($2), while children younger than 2 can enter free of charge. Guests of the park's affiliated hotel also qualify for a discounted entrance fee of 36 rand. And while the birds are the star feature of this attraction, other property amenities like the Café Flamingo and playground earn stellar reviews as well.
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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.
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