ABOUT

Charlie Moyo (above) and Gerald Garner (below) are passionate storytellers and urban futurists, renowned for remarkable storytelling. They unpack the past to provide understanding of the future and insight into contemporary city culture. They believe that the future of South Africa – as an urbanised, and fast urbanising, society – is in its cities. It is therefore essential to at least experience one walking tour with each person, exploring and learning along the way.  The business is known as LocalPlaces with Charlie Johannesburg and Gerald in Cape Town.

Understand South Africa through its cities
If you want to understand a country, do not travel to its beautiful landscapes and nature spaces only. Instead, engage with its culture and people – and there is no better place than to do this, than it its cities.

A city represents a conglomeration of contemporary culture and gives a glimpse into the future trajectory of a country. In the case of South Africa, with its incredibly diverse mix of people, it is Johannesburg and Cape Town that provide the best such window.

At LocalPlaces our focus is on urban tours, encounters and immersions. Our goal is to share knowledge and provide insight into the makeup of these cities (and the country). We do this by unpacking the past to understand the present culture and the future. Our slogan is ‘Fundani nathi’ – isiZulu for ‘Learn with us’.

While our core focus in on the cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town, we tell the entire story of South Africa on our different tour experiences and can venture further afield too, planning or hosting road trips and countrywide explorations too.

We invite you to explore and learn with us.

Our tours are available 7-days a week. Click on the menu tabs to see the tour options. To check availability for any specific tour, contact us on WhatsApp +27 82 894 5216 (especially if it is short notice) or email us on gerald@localplaces.co.za

WALKING TOURS 
We are best known for our inner-city walking tours in the exciting and energetic inner cities of Johannesburg and Cape Town. If there is only one thing you experience with us, then it must be a walking tour in each city

We offer the following open walking tours 7-DAYS A WEEK, at a per person rate and subject to availability, as we may have accepted other bookings in those time slots from time to time:

Joburg:
Understanding Joburg: 9am-1pm
East Town is Alive: 2-6pm
Welcome Joburg: 2-4pm
Mesmerizing Maboneng: 4-6pm

Cape Town:
Understanding Cape Town: 9am-1pm
Welcome Cape Town: 2-4pm
Bristling Bo-Kaap: 4-6pm

Check with us on WhatsApp +27 82 894 5216 or email gerald@localplaces.co.za for availability.

All other walking tours are available on a private basis for any time slot that is available. These include:

Joburg:
Fashion District & Little Addis
Buoyant Central Spine
Newtown Never Died
Bristling Braamfontein
Constitution Hill

Cape Town
Mesmerizing Midtown (Cape Town)

DRIVING TOURS 
All our driving options are available as private tours only. A minimum total rate applies for up to 3 guests with a per person rate for 4 or more guests.

Driving tour options include:

Joburg:
Joburg Overview – Charlie’s Favourites
Joburg Overview – Gerald’s Favourites
Understanding Soweto (full day)
Understanding Soweto (half day)
Fantastic Foodie
Viewpoints & Watering Holes

Cape Town
Peninsula Overview
Winelands
False Bay Villages
Fantastic Foodie
Viewpoints & Watering Holes

For everything else, including encounters, storytelling sessions, events, ‘get-arounds’, road trips, travel planning and accommodation, click on the relevant menu tabs, or simply contact us for info and advice.

WhatsApp: +27 82 894 5216
Email: gerald@localplaces.co.za

Our back story: 
LocalPlaces has evolved over time, becoming a thought leader in urban futurism and storytelling. It started off with Gerald writing and publishing a book about Johannesburg in December of 2010, Spaces & Places – Johannesburg. He later republished this 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 14 years later, JoburgPlaces has taken tens of thousands of people on tours and city experiences.

It did not take long before the mesmerizing inner-city captured Gerald’s imagination, making him also venturing 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.

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.


 

REVIEWS
We have met astonishing people on tour tours, events, storytelling dinners and city immersions. Many of them have become friends and often-returning guests. Below is some feedback from our clients, as well as formal media reviews and references:

Times Live video, 2019
This video link by Time’s Live was shot at our previous restaurant and venue in the heart of Joburg – a historic underground bank vault. Unfortunately, we had to close the venue after the Covid pandemic, but Charlie’s brilliant voice and storytelling can still be enjoyed when you tour with us.
https://www.timeslive.co.za/sunday-times/lifestyle/food/2019-08-20-inside-jozis-hidden-gem-dinner-inside-a-115-year-old-underground-bank-vault/


New York Times recommendation, 2023

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2023/03/23/travel/things-to-do-johannesburg.html


Telegraph recommendation, 2023

https://www.telegraph.co.uk/travel/explore-south-africa/local-tours/

Best guided tour
Thanks so much for today, Gerald. Just talking with John now and we both said probably the best guided tour we have done on any of our extensive travels. We will definitely be highly recommending you.”

  • WhatsApp message from a guest (May 2024)


Vast historical knowledge

“Charlie is a great tour guide. Very eloquent and has an extremely vast historical knowledge of Joburg and the entire region.”

  • TripAdvisor review (May 2024)


Our best tour in South Africa

“We are very glad that we did the tour with Gerald at the beginning of our stay in South Africa. The walking tour was well thought out and provided a lot of useful information. We were able to ask a lot of questions and learned a lot. In terms of content, this was our best tour in South Africa. Thank you very much!”

  • Rahael, TripAdvisor (January 2024)


Interactive and immersive

“We did both a half day walking tour and a full day peninsula tour with Gerald – they were the highlights of our Cape Town visit. Gerald’s command of South African history is simply unbelievable but the way he weaves it into stories and discussion makes it interactive and immersive for all. Cannot recommend enough for anyone visiting Cape Town – you will develop a very strong perspective on the complex history and current situation of the country overall.”

  • Ben, TripAdvisor (December 2023)


Once in a lifetime experience

“After a long flight to Cape Town from Atlanta, I figured the best way to learn about Cape Town was to book a half-day walking tour. I had read about IkapaPlaces in a NYT article, 36 hours in Johannesburg (even though the article was about Joburg, one of the tour companies referenced was IkapaPlaces – note, I booked the Joburg walking tour as well).

I met Gerald Garner on a sundrenched Saturday, starting along the waterfront, walking our way through the city. Gerald is an excellent storyteller; I learned so much in just a 4-hour time. My wife and I only had 2 days in Cape Town and this was the best way to spend one of those days (the other day was spent going to the Cape of Good Hope/Table Mountain).

The bottom line, if you are looking for a nice leisurely way to learn about Cape Town from someone who can bring the history of South Africa to life, you owe it to yourself to book at tour with Gerald. It was a once in a lifetime experience for me.

Thank you. Gerald.”

  • Joseph, TripAdvisor (December 2024)


We will be back for more

“Hi Gerald, thanks again for a wonderful tour on Dec 31. We are leaving SA now, but we’ll definitely be back and ask for more of your tours also recommend you to everyone coming here:)”

  • Taira, WhatsApp (January 2024)


You owe it to yourself

“I had read about JoburgPlaces (Charlie Moyo) in a NYT article (36 hours in Johannesburg). After doing some additional research, I booked two walking tours while in Johannesburg, Atonishing Marshalltown Tour (Understanding Joburg) and Soweto by bus. It was a great call. I learned so much from Charlie as we walked around Joburg. My favorite was walking inside the prior Johannesburg Stock Market and then seeing where Mandela/Tambo law offices were located (across street from the shadow boxing statue of Mandela). We then met our driver for the tour to Soweto. Originally, I was going to just do the walking tour, but Charlie convinced me a visit to Joburg without visiting Soweto would miss out on the story of Apartheid South Africa; Charlie was 100% correct.

The bottom line, if you are looking for a full day of meaningful, informative and entertaining insights about South Africa and Johannesburg in particular, you owe it to yourself to reach out to Charlie and confirm a booking. I am so glad I did, a once in a lifetime experience. Thank you Charlie.

  • Joseph, TripAdvisor (December 2023)


Mind-blowing day

“Charlie took us on a fantastic tour of Johannesburg. As we had booked a private tour, he had the opportunity to tailor the tour to our interests (as urbanists and housing professionals) and it was a mind- blowing day full of stories and deep history.

Highly recommend! This is the perfect tour for a local, South African or tourist!”

  • Claudia, TripAdvisor (December 2023)

 

Tripadvisor review, 2023
This tour was a fascinating look into the history of Joburg and South Africa. Our family of 10 did this tour in the morning and the Soweto bus tour in the afternoon. Charlie is a wealth of information and everyone could not get enough of his valuable knowledge and insight. Gerald arranged a delicious lunch of local foods in between tours. If possible I highly recommend reading Nelson Mandela’s autobiography “The Long Walk to Freedom” before traveling to South Africa.


Tripadvisor review, 2023
This tour was a highlight of my entire trip to South Africa. I learned SO MUCH from Charlie about the history of Johannesburg and how it shaped the city of today. Charlie is an excellent storyteller and kept my mom and I engaged throughout the half-day tour. We felt comfortable asking questions and referenced things we learned from Charlie throughout the rest of our trip to South Africa. I’ll recommend this tour to anyone I planning a trip to Johannesburg.


Tripadvisor review, 2023

This is an awesome tour where you gain a great understanding of Joburg’s history. It was totally made by Charlie Moyo our guide who is so much fun to spend 4 hours with. He is knowledgeable and is a great storyteller. We found him through an article in the New York Times entitled 36 hrs in Johannesburg. Don’t miss this tour. A true appreciation of Joburg.


Tripadvisor review, 2023
This is a fantastic walking tour. Gerald is an encyclopedia of South African & Cape Town history and he is very passionate about sharing it all with you! This tour is the perfect introduction to Cape Town and a great way to visit so many different neighborhoods on foot. Plus after a long day of travel to get to SA, walking around the city for a few hours was just what we needed.

Gerald was patient with all of our questions and super helpful with others suggestions for meals & districts in Cape Town. He was flexible with our speed and offering to stop shops of interest. Our family really enjoyed meeting our first “local” and I cannot recommend this tour enough. Just do it.

JOIN OUR GROUP:
Join our WhatsApp group to stay informed about upcoming news, quick encounters, tours and events. We publish announcements there once every two weeks: https://chat.whatsapp.com/ESUm9xIzGOHAsAshNyTHvF

Otherwise simply WhatsApp us on +27 82 894 5216 or email us on gerald@localplaces.co.za to check availability.


BECOME A MEMBER:

LocalPlaces membership gives you access to the best encounters and tours in both Johannesburg and Cape Town. A membership is valid for a year from the date of purchase for both Johannesburg and Cape Town.

If you are a local, or a traveler / expat / digital nomad / migrant in Johannesburg or Cape Town, staying here for a couple of months or more, then a LocalPlaces membership gives you the best access to spaces, places, people and tours in the city.

The major benefit for members is that they can attend an unlimited number of Quick Encounters FREE of charge. Quick Encounters are designed for locals and travelers alike who want to experience special places and meet inspiring people. These are not lengthy tours, but quick, mini events – typically visiting significant places that you would not enjoy as much, or find as meaningful, if you visited it on your own.

Whether it is a specific museum exhibit, a street art district, a stunning public space, an astonishing viewpoint or just a fantastic eatery, we take you to significant spaces & places and introduce you to inspiring people. Attendance are FREE to members, however any museum/venue entrance fees and food or drink for the customer’s own account on the day.

Find the Quick Encounters page on our menu tabs to see the upcoming schedule.

LocalPlaces members also qualify for discounts on walking and driving tours!

Member benefits:
Attendance of scheduled Quick Encounters for FREE.
PLUS
50% discount on all Quick Walking Tours
50% discount on all Slow Walking Tours
10% discount on all Slow Driving Tours.

Costs:
An annual individual membership costs R500 per person.
Pensioners pay R400 per person.
A joint (couple) membership costs R900 (two people).
A family membership costs R1250 (two adults and 2 kids) and R250 per additional child.

Purchase your membership now. Or buy it as a gift for a friend, a colleague or a loved one.

To become a member, send an email to gerald@localplaces.co.za or a whatsapp to 082 894 5216

We will respond with payment details and arrangements.