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, with its JoburgPlaces and IkapaPlaces branches, the focus is on urban tours, immersions, and experiences. 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’.

We invite you to explore and learn with us. We offer 25 regular tours in Joburg and Cape Town. We are also perfectly positioned to design any customized event, immersion, or multi-day experience for you.



“And then I knew I was good at painting”
If it is inspiration that you need, head to the Esther Mahlangu retrospective exhibition underway at the Iziko South African National Gallery in Cape Town. The exhibition opened this weekend with a poignant event where she celebrated her life’s work in person. The exhibition will travel to Wits Art Museum in November and then around the world.


An iconic new memorial
Also underway in the Company’s Garden in Cape Town, is the construction of a new Commonwealth War Graves Memorial on the square that pays homage to the First World War Battle of Delville Wood. The existing monument honours South African soldiers who died in far-away France. However, as is the case with history and monuments worldwide, the memorial did not tell the full story of South Africa’s participation in the First World War. In a time that the concept of ‘white supremacy’ reigned around the ‘western world’, the contribution of soldiers from the colonized world were often not recognized – and especially so if they were not white.

The new memorial, designed by Dean Jay Architects, in the Company’s Garden will pay homage to the more than 1600 black South African soldiers who died on duty during the First World War. At LocalPlaces – IkapaPlaces, we are looking forward to the completion of the memorial so that we can include its stories in our regular Understanding Cape Town walking tour.


Jozi re-emerging?
In Joburg, the inner-city remains in flux. However, the good news is that Jozi always finds its way. After the recent batch of corporates fleeing town during the Covid pandemic – Anglo American and the Minerals Council (Chamber of Mines) just being two examples – all is not doom and gloom. Anglo has donated 45 Main Street to the Maharishi Invincibility Institute, while plans remain underway to possibly turn the iconic 44 Main Street into a major art museum and tourism destination. The Minerals Council building is now part of the OPH stable with some renovations having taken place.


Overdue bridge repairs
What excites us more at this stage, is any initiative to improve the infrastructure of the city. We are relieved to notice that the Nelson Mandela Bridge was closed for traffic over the weekend (18 Feb) for much needed maintenance and repairs. Work will continue next weekend (25 Feb). Similar work was carried out a decade ago and we hope regular maintenance will be scheduled onwards – and that the landmark spotlights on the bridge will shine once again.


Coolest new space and places
Just around the corner of the Nelson Mandela Bridge, in Braamfontein, an inner-city renaissance is also underway. Play Braamfontein has reimagined one of its rooftops into a City Beach Club, open on Saturdays. Atop the building housing the Playground Market, a rooftop 3v3 basketball court has opened!

In Maboneng, a beautiful new eatery, the Social Table has been going strong since mid-last year, while the beautiful Home of the Bean coffee shop has become the place to work, meet and hangout on that side of town.

LocalPlaces autumn offerings
We love sharing the spaces, places, and stories of our cities. It has been a busy summer season for us. Charlie guided countless JoburgPlaces tours in the inner-city, Soweto and across Joburg, while Gerald saw a steady increase in bookings for Cape Town tours, both in the inner-city and peninsula. We are grateful for the many international visitors, corporates, educational institutions, and locals that joined us on tours, city immersions and experiences.

Suddenly, we are past the mid of February. The sun is getting crispier and brighter, but with less heat. Is autumn already on the way? With the imminent change in season, we are also changing gears at LocalPlaces. Autumn is our bumper season for locals, and we have lined up a whole gamut of special deals for this period.

Daily short tours
Did you know that we offer two short tours in each city, available daily, in Joburg and Cape Town. These two-hour tours are a brilliant and affordable way in which to experience some of the most prominent neighbourhoods. In Cape Town, we explore the Alfred Basin (V&A Waterfront) or the Bo-Kaap. In Johannesburg, we cover Main Street in Marshalltown, while also launching a short Mesmerizing Maboneng tour soon.

Our short tours are available at the special autumn price of R250 per person for locals, and R375 per person for international visitors. It is essential to book in advance as we also take private tour bookings. An open short tour may not be available on a specific day, if we have already received a private tour booking for that day.


Saturday open tours
We also offer longer, 4-hour Saturday walking tours in both Joburg and Cape Town, which guests can join at a special per person rate of R350 for locals and R450 for international visitors.

The schedule for Joburg is as follows:

Saturday 24 February: 9am-1pm: Newtown Never Died walking tour

Saturday 2 March: 9am-1pm: Fashion District & Little Addis walking tour

Saturday 9 March: 9am-1pm: Understanding Joburg (Astonishing Marshalltown) walking tour

Saturday 17 March: 9am-1pm:  East Town is Alive walking tour.


And the schedule for Cape Town:

Saturday 24 February: 9am-1pm:  Understanding Cape Town walking tour

Saturday 2 March: 9am-1pm: Mesmerizing Midtown walking tour

Saturday 9 March: 10am-6:30pm: Fantastic Foodie walking tour

Saturday 16 March: 9am-1pm: Understanding Cape Town walking tour

Saturday 23 March: 9am-1pm: Mesmerizing Midtown walking tour


Become a member
A LocalPlaces membership is simply irresistible. Members qualify for ongoing discounted tours throughout the year.

An annual membership for R1000 gives you access to open Saturday tours for only R250 per person. For R1000 you can book four places on any combination of tours. Either 4 guests at once, or you can join up to 4 different tours as an individual. Should you want to bring more guests, or attend more tours during the year, you will only pay R250 per person for additional places.

A R600 membership gives you access to three places on any open short tours. Either 3 guests at once, or you can join up to 3 different tours as an individual. Should you want to bring more guests, or attend more tours during the year, you will only pay R200 per person for additional places.

Purchase your membership now. Or buy it as a gift voucher 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

LocalPlaces – JoburgPlaces & IkapaPlaces.
Learn with us. Fundani nathi.


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