Hiring a car in Johannesburg

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Hiring a car in Johannesburg

Pick up your hire car at Johannesburg airport and head to the heart of 2010 World Cup action.

60-second guide to Johannesburg

in its own head

"We're the New York of Africa! With world-class stadiums, boutique hotels, top restaurants and designer outlets on offer, we've got something for every 2010 World Cup visitor."

but more realistically

Jo'burg, Jozi, eGoli or The City of Gold (never Johannesburg) is by far the largest city in South Africa. It's brash and fast-growing but it's got wealth, incredible energy and a beautiful climate. It won't disappoint during the World Cup.

the vibe

Wander around the city's many flea markets, bartering for curios and locally made art, then dress to kill and hit the city's top trendy watering holes.

the natives

Hooting taxis and brightly dressed hawkers form the heart and soul of Jo'burg's streets.

the weather

Jo'burg can be scorching in summer, but a fresh breeze will take the sting out of a Jozi January - the days average a toasty 26 degrees. The World Cup falls during winter, the sunniest time of year, with cool days and cold nights.

the local speciality

Traditional local food can be both innovative and unusual: from African phutu (maize meal porridge) to Afrikaner potjiekos (stew cooked in a three-legged iron pot on an open fire).

the celebrity

Actress Charlize Theron grew up on a farm outside Benoni, a Johannesburg suburb. She was the first South African woman to win a Best Actress Oscar - and to be nominated for a Razzi, the anti-Oscars.

did you know?

Despite the relatively dry climate, Johannesburg has over 10 million trees and has the biggest man-made forest in the world.

they say

"Johannesburg is vibrant, the weather is excellent, the northern suburbs have lovely gardens, and there are excellent shopping malls" - anti-apartheid campaigner and friend of Nelson Mandela, Helen Suzman.

5 to see in town...

1. Ellis Park Stadium

Iconic pictures of Nelson Mandela holding aloft the 1995 World Cup Rugby trophy in this very stadium have been seen around the world. Make your own triumphant visit during the 2010 World Cup.

where to park?

Located in the central business district of New Doornfontein the stadium has several car parks, accessed from Fitzrey, Erin and Bertrams. Further spaces are available at nearby Charlton Park.

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2. Mary Fitzgerald Square (fan zone)

Jo'burg's World Cup party kicks off in this central square, named after a local campaigner for women's rights. View games on big screens or visit the surrounding attractions, such as Museum Africa.

where to park?

Spaces can be found on the streets surrounding the square, try the car park behind the nearby Market Theater.

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3. Soccer City

Bordering one of South Africa's most famous townships, Soweto, this jewel in the crown of World Cup stadiums is designed to resemble an African cooking pot being warmed by flames.

where to park?

Park at one of the designated car parks around the city (Marks Park in Emmarentia, Bezuidenhout Park near Ellis Park Stadium, Wits West campus at Wits University and Montecasino in Fourways) and catch a bus to and from the stadium.

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4. Lion Park

Get up close and personal with some big cats, including rare white lions. Other large predators include cheetahs, hyenas, wild dogs and jackals. They'll even let you cuddle a lion cub.

where to park?

There's free onsite parking.

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5. Gold Reef City

Ninety per cent Disneyland clone, this theme park offers a token nod to historical authenticity with its adventure ride interpretation of gold-rush Jo'burg. Parents can pop down for a drink in the world's deepest mine pub.

where to park?

All visitors to any of the attractions can use the free onsite car park.

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and 4 to drive to...

1. Pilanesberg Game Reserve

It's a given that you'll want to see the big five (that's lion, leopard, rhino, elephant and buffalo to you and me), and a visit to the fourth largest game park is your ticket to holiday photo envy.

how to get there?

Head north-west on the R512, which becomes the R104, then turn onto the R556, which will take you into the game reserve. The drive will take you around two hours.

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2. Soweto

Despite its modern-day gentrified restaurants, shebeens (bars) and budget accommodation, this famous anti-apartheid campaign site is still a fascinating place to visit. Impress your fellow travellers: 'Soweto' isn't African, but an acronym for 'South Western Townships'.

how to get there?

Soweto is a 10-mile drive from Johannesburg. Head south-west on the M1/N12.

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3. Pretoria

Surprisingly Pretoria, and not Johannesburg, is South Africa's capital city. Drive to the Union Buildings, where Mandela was inaugurated on May 10th, 1994, or skip a generation and visit a Boer War fort.

how to get there?

Head north on the M1/N1, then the N14. It'll take you about 40 minutes.

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4. Cullinan Diamond Mine

Get your bling fix at the home of the largest diamond in the world - The 3106-carat Cullinan Diamond, found in 1904. Handle or even buy one of the sparklers for that special someone.

how to get there?

Head north on the M1/N1, then the N14 until you reach Pretoria. Head east on the R104 then north on the M8. Take the R513 east to Cullinan. It'll take about an hour and a half.

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