JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA

February 14, 2017

In the Summer of 2016, my mom and dad took me on an almost 6 week journey to South Africa, Mozambique, Swaziland and Lesotho. I had just turned two years of age and was -a few weeks prior to the trip- diagnosed as being autistic. Did this discourage my parents to take me along? Absolutely not! I think it gave them a sense of peace as they could finally understand what was causing my behaviour. The Southern Africa tour all started in the energetic Johannesberg, South Africa, where we stayed a couple of nights.

After a 10 hour+ flight -on which I had my own seat for the very first time- with a stopover in Istanbul, Turkey, mom and dad picked up the rental car that we were going to drive the following weeks. After spending our first night in a lovely guesthouse, we explored Joburg.

Starting exploring the city at Gandhi Square. 

Although we drove a rental car, we took a 'hop on-hop off' sightseeing bus to see some of the city's pivotal sites and spots, since it was a very relaxing way for us to travel and informative as well. 

Views from Carlton Centre (Top Of Africa), at 223 m (732 ft) the tallest building of the entire Africa continent.

Sculpture found at the Carlton Centre, which relates to a story concerning three men and the search for gold.

After the Carlton Centre, we went to the impressive Apartheid Museum.

 

Mom was saying: 'It's not fair what happened here!'

Gold Reef City: theme park, hotel and casino.

Beautiful art in front of the Casino.

Time flies when you are traveling. Mom and dad are always keeping an eye on the time of feeding, so we stopped to have some meal for me here.

We went to SAB World Of Beer, a beer museum and information centre. Since this is clearly stuff for grown-ups, I decided it was the perfect time to take a nap.

 

In The SAB World of Beer you can try different kinds of beer from Africa. Mom was trying traditional beer from Uganda.

After visiting the Museum Africa, we went back to our guesthouse. On the road, mommy and daddy stopped so that we all could eat and I could play. Since I love to climb, these objects were a blast! 

The next two days, we explored greater Johannesburg. It was when we got a first glimpse of the immense beauty of the landscape, but also of the very poor living conditions of a large percentage of the population. This was sometimes very difficult to see, especially when it involved children not much older than I was.

Mom shed a tear when she saw this...

Off to our next destination.... Lion's Park!

Sadly it was closed. Hope to see lions in Kruger National Park.

One of the most beautiful places we went to was Johannesburg's Botanical Gardens (Water Sisulu National Botanical Garden). I had a great time there since there was lots of space to run around and even a large playground! The waterfall on the edge of the gardens was stunning!

Visiting this place invloved a small walk to the falls and hike to reach the top.

In Johannesburg, we visited the famous Nelson Mandela Square. Inside, the was a huge toystore, Hamleys, and daddy took me inside to have a look and to buy some toys.

 

Probably the most important site in Soweto, a historic township of the city of Johannesburg, is the Nelson Mandele National Museum, commonly referred to as Mandela House. It is where Nelson Mandela lived from 1946 to 1962.

 

Performers outside Mandela's house. Don't forget to give them a tip.

The streets of Soweto. As the local says: you've never really seen South Africa if you have not visited Soweto.

Our beautiful guesthouse, the first of many places we stayed at during our trip in Southern Africa, and what a great way to start! I slept perfectly fine, "Better than at home", as mommy and dad said to each other.

 

Ready to hit the road again! After Joburg, we had lots more to see and do. Make sure to check out all the stories!​​

 

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