The Heart of South Africa With Our Johannesburg Iberia Mayor


We’re hot on Jo’berg right now, and enjoying our renewed service to South Africa‘s “Mother City“. And now we have the benefit of inside guidance of one of our #IberiaMayors, Rocío Oceja, who unlocks for us some of the secrets of what she calls a “multicultural, vibrant, and young city”. 

Also known as Jozie, South Africa’s biggest, most exciting city brings together the benefits of natural beauty with a cosmopolitan urban scene. The itinerary Rocío has for us begins in Sandton, the downtown business hub, just 30 minutes from the airport, where among many other things the shopping is great at Sandton City, one of the country’s oldest and still most exlusive shopping centres. Then go for a shopping experience of a different and colourful kind at Braamfontein, one of the city’s best known markets, full of typical African products and multicultural vibe.

Getting even more colourful and funky, our Iberia Mayor takes us next to Maboneng, a community that’s a hub of cultural activity, mixing commercial establishments with art and lifestyle.

And if you’re a football fan who wants to revisit the excitement of the 2010 World Cup, check out FNB Stadium (where Spain won its last world championship, by the way).

There’s a wilder side to Jozie, as well, which you can experience at its Lion & Safari Park, just an hour from city centre, where you can see much of Africa’s inspiring wildlife in naturalistic settings. Just a little but farther, Rocío also highly recommends the Elephant Sanctuary, where you can feed, clean, and walk among these majestic giants.

Contemporary South Africa cannot be understood without the figure of its first post-apartheid president, the late Nelson Mandela.  So you shouldn’t leave Johannesburg without visitar Soweto, the grouping of townships that in the 20th century notoriously became the dumping ground for blacks evicted from white areas of the city. It’s home not only to Mandela’s former residence but also the Museum of Apartheid.

After all this Rocío tells us also not to miss the cool cafés, galleries, boutiques and design studios 44 Stanley Avenue, a shopping complex created from renovated industrial buildings and courtyards.

Noting that one of the best parts of visiting Jo’berg is encountering its always wonderful, welcoming people”, Rocío signs off with a wish that this city and South Africa as a whole “continue the path embarked on in 1994 to completely wipe out the inequality that still exists in this country”.

Check out what Rocio has to show us (if you don’t speak Spanish, be sure to click on the subtitles), and check out our best fares from the USA and Spain.