Charlie Moyo on tour.
The unlikely team of Charlie Moyo and Gerald Garner makes up LocalPlaces. Together they run tours, storytelling sessions, city immersions and events in Johannesburg and Cape Town. Charlie is primarily based in Johannesburg, where the business is known as JoburgPlaces and Gerald in Cape Town as IkapaPlaces.
LocalPlaces has evolved over time, becoming a tourism and storytelling thought leader organically. It started off with Gerald writing and publishing a book about Johannesburg in December of 2010, Spaces & Places – Johannesburg. He later republished it as JoburgPlaces. With a background in landscape architecture and journalism (including publishing for the architecture, construction and engineering trades), Gerald had the perfect skills for writing a guidebook to the city that included history, architecture and city landmarks.
Soon after publishing the guidebook, a foreign corporate phoned Gerald and asked that he guide 40 overseas guests on an inner-city walking tour (they had read the book and wanted to see the astonishing place themselves). So was a tourist guiding business born. It grew organically and by 13 years later, JoburgPlaces has taken many tens of thousands of people on tours.
It did not take long before the mesmerizing inner-city captured Gerald’s imagination and he also ventured into property activations. Helping several landlords renovating historic buildings and opening food markets, restaurants and events venues. These included the Sheds@1Fox, Joziburg Lane and Hangout Jozi at 1Eloff, Thunder Walker with Zwipi Underground and later Charlie & Gerald’s Town Treasure on Gandhi Square, and JoburgPlaces Hub at JSE Newtown.
It was at Joziburg Lane where Charlie and Gerald met in 2016. Charlie helped run the event bars and operations. A stellar friendship and business partnership evolved. Charlie’s velvety voice and incredible knack at storytelling simply had to become part of the brand. Unfortunately, though, while Joburg inner-city had seen some incredible regeneration between 2007 and 2017, things have since taken a downturn again. Of course, the Covid lockdowns added to the challenges and inner-city Joburg is in somewhat of a downward spiral again today. This is made far worse by totally inefficient city governance and urban management.
All is not despair though. The Joburg inner-city still has an incredible story and people and is more than worth visiting. It will always be a part of our tours, storytelling sessions and experiences. However, Charlie and Gerald have recently decided to reposition and expand their business. From where they started as Joburg inner-city regeneration activists and accidental tourist guides, they are now ready to develop a proper and thriving tourism business. Focusing on both greater Johannesburg and wider Cape Town – and later other cities and countries too.
Between Johannesburg and Cape Town one can experience so much of South Africa and it just makes sense that Charlie and Gerald host their guests in both cities. They are known for exceptional storytelling, in-depth historic knowledge and insight into contemporary urban culture. They are using this knowledge to expand their tours to include more driving tours (as opposed to mostly walking tours), visiting all Joburg and Cape Town favourites. Tours will always include stops at significant places and walks through thriving neighbourhoods though. They do not believe in experiencing a city through a minibus window, instead preferring to connect with the people and places in person. Their mission is to provide the best one-day and multi-day experiences for any visitor, or local, who wants to enjoy the best of the cities they call home.
Charlie and Gerald invite you to enjoy Johannesburg and Cape Town with them. You will leave mesmerized and inspired.
Gerald Garner on tour.